Tuesday, June 12, 2007

24 Hours of Adrenaline Report

by Dablondeus

Blog Report Link

Don't tell the Hamana Hos......but Tits of Steel just wanted to race the 24 Hours of Adrenaline for fun. However, that's not the way it went...

Friday evening: set up camp and socialize with our camp mates the Velo Nerds,Google Earthlings, Team MBOSC, and our pal DJ in a phenomenal social area set up with comfy camp chairs, stoves, a keg, and a heater donated to the group by our sexy volunteer, Geo. I decided that this weekend was going to be fun, and began to enjoy my first Google sponsored pint in my commemorative glass. Our gracious sponsors Jeni and Kyle soon showed up and began to wow the crowd with BR Lights. A fun social evening. A great start.

7:00 am: crawl out of a warm tent for two monster cups of Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company's Fair Trade Organic Sumatra Dark Roast and two slices of Nicole's campfire toast with organic peanut butter and raw honey. It was cool to see Eve out there supporting us and Mark, since she had to drop off the team for motherly purposes.

10:00 am: We saw Caroline off to her running start, then I sat in the shade to hydrate and enjoy my final moments of rest.

2:30 pm: first lap. While I was waiting for Becky to come in, volunteer extraordinaire Geo gave me an awesome back rub (that's Nic in the photo), including pulling my shoulders out of their cyclist's slouch position with his giant man hands of steel. It was a rough and rutty dust fest out there until Hurl Hill. I regretted the high tire pressure I was running until I got to the climbs.

My hardtail scooted up the fire roads and shot me up the giant fire road whoopties in my big ring. What sucked on the ruts made those long climbs easy. A fair trade in a course with about 2000 feet of climbing. I resolved that during lap two I would power through the rough sections with a little more resolve to reduce my lap time.

Between laps one and two, I was informed that we were in second place, the Hamana Hos were first. The excitement grew and the pressure was on.

8:00 pm: My best lap. We were in second place, and the Hamana Ho sharing my lap was waiting in the transition area with me. Her teammate came in shortly before Becky; Kyle told me I'd catch the Ho on the grind, and dammit if I didn't. I passed her, then she hopped on my wheel. I swerved over and slowed, then hopped on hers. She tolerated it for the remainder of the climb. Once we hit more technical stuff, she showed a bit of apprehension, so I passed her closely on a single track. She called, “Be careful!” after I scraped by, then followed me to the bridge. I hopped off the bike, ran up the stairs and she asked me if I was going to ride down the stairs on the other side. I just kept running, then ran down the middle of the flight, my bike blocking her way. At the bottom I knew the lap was mine, because I am strongest on the flats, and that's where I took off. I finished in front of her. She found me at the transition area, and gave me a big hug for making the lap fun. Then she offered to teach me to ride stairs in the morning after the race, because she said I was a good rider and shouldn't be afraid. Jeni was standing there with a knowing smile as I thanked the competition for her offer. How could I tell her I didn't ride them because I knew it's what she wanted? I think this was the first time in my life where I felt competitive enough and strong enough to use some strategy out there. It was a new feeling for me, and I liked it.

10:30 pm: Old habits are hard to break. One and a half pints from the keg, not so bad, right? I wanted to wind down from the coffee, GU shots, and Gatorade all surging through my system. I headed to the tent, and caught very little sleep between random fits of anxiety.

1:30 am: Feeling oddly like an old shoe, I dressed in my warm cycling clothes. The best thing I can say about this lap is that BR Lights rock. The white light illuminated everything I needed to see out there, which was good, because I was delirious. I had no legs and no brain. I was caught on the grind by the tiny Ho that could. I resented her big time as I hopped on her wheel. She was making me work way harder than I wanted to. Eventually I dropped back, promising myself I would catch her soon enough. Suddenly I was alone; I saw night lights parallel to me, but maybe 500 feet up. Realizing that I was no longer on the course, I sighed and threw my bike over my shoulder to hike back up to it. I finished three minutes behind the Tiny Motorized Ho. We had been eight minutes ahead. Never have I been so bummed to have dropped off of a wheel.

7:00 am. Caroline woke me to tell me we were ten minutes ahead again, and I didn't have to do my last lap if I would let Sophie take it. In my mind I heard, “You are the weakest link. Good-bye.” I was happy to sip coffee as I warmed the bench and cheered on Nicole and Sophie as they left for the last two laps.

10:45 am: We beat the Hos by one lap. The day was sunny, and the beer relatively cool. Dance contests filled the void until the awards ceremony. We patiently awaited our podium call as we basked in the wonder of our win. The announcer called out “First place, Tits of Steel” and we jumped up to receive the glory. It was exciting to throw on the yellow jerseys, receive the first place medals, and get cheered on by the crowd. It was really cool to hold the BR Lights banner during all of the photos, and to stay on the stage for photos of just our team.

This weekend will definitely go down as one of the most awesome in my book. Geoff, Jeni and Kyle were tireless in taking care of us for the entire race. I mean, these people gave us cocoa, rubbed our shoulders, mounted our lights and cheered us on every minute of the race. DJ had gotten me a tent at the last minute, and Mark & Eve lent me their cozy sleeping bag. My teammates were so mellow, beautiful, and wonderful to race with. We took first place and made our light sponsor proud. I met more cool people with whom I hope to ride again. It was a big 24 hour love fest.

Will Tits of Steel race next year, or just go down as a one hit wonder? Who can say, but I can't help wondering, what would have happened if we had actually trained for this?


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