Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Subaru 24 Hour Champion Challenge

I'm back in Downey now and just got a chance to update the blog. It will continue to be a busy month for me but I'll try and get something posted again next week. For now, I owe a story about the Subaru 24 Hour Champion Challenge on Labor Day weekend.

The good news is that I feel like I'm finally recovered from RAAM. It took almost 2 months and it was wierd riding and feeling like I had no power and lost all my ability. I was also riding in Florida, and with the heat and humidity, was hard enough, but for a few weeks now, I've gotten my legs back and feel good and strong again. That's a good thing since I needed all I had to win the Subaru race.

Tropical Storm Ernesto followed us from Florida up to Pennsylvania and turned a perfectly beautiful 24 hour race course into a slimy wet chopped up moss soup. It was also in the low 50's and windy which made the race condititions the worst I've seen in I can't remember how long. The fog settled in and held tight all night which made riding conditions a white out. The best Niterider lights couldn't even cut through it. I worried the whole night that I might end up in the lake! Every pedal stroke was effort in all that mud and to climb the hills you had to go slow and not spin out.

The whole race a local guy named Mike Schultz chased me down. He and a couple other solos were riding strong and we pushed it along the whole 24 hours.

I crashed a few times and can't remember which one got me good, but I still have a painful lump on my chest bone. It hurt to cough and twist so I'm sure it was a good one, but it's getting better now.

We were all cold, wet, and having fun riding in the mud. Only thing bad I can say is after you eat so much mud, it's hard to get the good food in! But mom and Terri were there to make sure I ate and drank enough. Even the Cytomax was hard to get down.

I don't know if I could have finished that race without two bikes and excellent mechanical support. Cannondale mechanic Chris Moor and Bryan Caporuscio from Spokes N Skis in Altoona PA were there washing and lubing my bikes between laps. I used the Rush and my new carbon 6-13. I was so happy with both bikes even in all that mud.

While the conditions were not the best, the race was a blast! The promoters did a great job and had a nice venue for us. I'll for sure go back next year.

I'm having trouble posting pics today but will try and add them later.

Just wanted to thank Chris, Brian, Mom, Terri, the race promoters, and all the racers up there. It was a great race!

Peace and out,


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