Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

24hrs of Rocky Hell

who dat?! So, early in the year, Nick, Will, and I have a discussion about doing the 24hrs of Rocky Hill later in the year and for some reason I agree. I figured I haven't done one of these yet, so "what the heck", right? Then a few weeks later, the guys find out that the race is the same weekend that they're scheduled to work, so they couldn't do it. This was my first opportunity to bail out. But no, I decided to push it and when Tommy and Weihan mentioned racing, I decided to take their offer up. Bad thing about that was a few weeks after that, we found out that TerraFirma changed the race date and now Nick and Will COULD do the race...oh well. So they decided to just do it as a tandem...we picked up Andrew to make a 4-man team. All was good.

About a month to the race, Weihan finds out he can't race because of work, so we had to pick up a new guy. We were starting to get to know Mike Drost better and figured he would be a good replacement for Weihan. Still, things were alright. Then the TerraFirma 12hr debacle happened and I wasn't very excited about racing anymore. I felt burnt out because of all the stress and bs that everyone has been giving me all year. So I abruptly told my team that I wasn't going to do it anymore. Shocked, Tommy and Mike started to rally to keep me on the team. I took a few days to cool down, then I decided to stay on the team. Everyone else was still on. This was my second chance to get out of this drudgefest.

To make it a little interesting, we decided to make a wager between our team and Nick's team...beer for us, wine for them. Since they were a smaller team, we decided to spot them some laps...we eventually ended up with 5 laps, which I thought were too many, but we went for it anyway. The day finally came and felt relatively fresh with the weather getting a little cooler and I had taken it easy after TF. The lineup was Andrew, Tommy, Me, and Mike. First lap was the "feeler" lap, trying to get a good feel for how this thing would go, since this was my first relay race. I had a good time of 59mins, but I felt really labored on the first part of the course before Fat Chuck...should have warmed up! I felt a lot better on my second lap, but only shaved a minute on my time...our baton transfer must have been slower or something. Then came my first lap in the dark. Pretty uneventful and pretty clean considering the conditions...about 1:05 which was still good for a night lap.

Then it started to fall apart. Times were getting slower, Mike was having problems with his shifting throughout the race (he switched out his shifters that same week...what's the mantra?!?) and had chain suck during his night loop, and my light went out right as I summited Fat Chuck...that was bad. I put on my emergency headlamp, but that was terrible. I couldn't go as fast as I wanted to--everytime I tried, I would just run off the trail and almost kill myself on a tree. Thankfully, I had just passed a racer with a good light, so I decided that it would be safer to just wait for him and follow him the rest of the way. We went really slow and he had shifting problems, so I knew my time would be bad. It ended up being around 1:13, which is better than I thought it would be. This was all bad because, despite us having no expectations for this race, we were first for most of the race. We then lost the lead overnight and had a lot of catching up to do. They, like us, had one really good biker...but I think he was a little faster than Andrew. No matter, we knew that we were as a whole better than their team as a whole...or at least we hoped.

So daylight came again and it was time for my last lap...so I thought. I even asked everyone if this would be my last lap and everyone was positive that it was. So I decided to put it all out for this lap. I would also get some help from another racer from another team who had 3rd place sown up but could not catch us or the 1st place team...he did not like the guys on the 1st place team too much, so he wanted us to win. He was very helpful and kind...even when this girl Shontell was being a total bitch on the trail by not letting me pass her, he defended me the whole time, attacking her behavior. I am officially not a fan of that GIRL. Does she think she's a pro or something? If so, take her attitude to some pro race where she would fit in better--we're here for the friendly, competetive racing...not the assholes. Anyway, I was able to summon some strength and ended up putting us back up by 2mins. I was spent. However, to my dismay, the first things to come out of Tommy's mouth as soon as I passed the baton to Andrew (Mike was actually supposed to go out next) is that "we have a little change in plans." My heart sunk as he told me that I would have to go back out one last time after Andrew came back in from his lap. Okay, Andrew had the worst part of the deal since he would still have to go one more time after me to finish it off, but I had not planned to go one more time after only 1hrs rest. I had no idea what I had left in the tank.

Somehow I was able to summon one more lap out of myself and I got back on that bike as they pushed me through the starting lane and I started living in my own personal hell. While I was still passing people on the trail, there seemed to be more and more guys passing me, which was not good for my morale. I kept trying to push through, but I knew my time would be slower than 1hr, which is what we thought I would need. At the turnaround point, I was happy, because I knew it was mostly downhill from there. So I put it down as far as I could I shot down the final hills...as soon as I got off the bike to check in and pass the baton my legs cramped, putting me in unbelievable pain. My time was 1:05...okay normally, but probably not at this stage of the game. Andrew shot out of there on hot pursuit of their last racer who was not as fast as Andrew, but had a considerable lead on us. All HART members present stood and waited at the finish line as the 24th hr came, which meant this was indeed the last lap...then the sinking feeling started to settle in as we saw their rider rolling in, cramping all over, and Andrew was nowhere in sight. He had made tremendous time on him, but he cruised in 2mins behind. So close. Results.

2nd again at RHR. WTF. Well, I guess it was good considering that we weren't expecting anything...but still, to lose that close again. Unbelievable.


Post a Comment

<< Home