Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo 2007
The 2007 Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo was a 24 hour mountain bike race in the Sonoran Desert north of Tuscon, AZ on February 17-18, 2007 where the only rule was "The Epic Rule"... to 'Be Kind". That rule sets the stage every year for two fun-filled days of epic mountian biking in the Arizona desert at the 24 hour town called Old Pueblo.
A letter from a young fan and the cholla cactus.
Last year it was an honor to be selected for my contributions to cycling and endurance racing and they dedicated the race to me and I won the solo class. I went to this year's event with the intention to defend my title, knowing it was going to be a tough race with strong competition. More than 1,500 other cyclists participated in the greuling course filled with desert beauty and the beasts called the cholla. The cholla are beautiful but dangerous cactus that some say 'jump' out at you. They don't, really, but I had one stuck through my shoe once for a whole lap and I will never forget it and hope not to have to pluck those barbs from my skin ever again.
The race went smooth and was super fun. It was windy, though, and I had a crash in the weirdest spot. Darrr.... wonder how that happened?! Anyway, as far as 24 hour races go, this was one of the smoothest. It was chilly at night and super windy. My crew had hot food for me, and even though I had a hard time eating, I nibbled and was able to stay focused. Here is a sample of some of my energy and nutrition for the race. The rest was chicken burritos, pasta, potatoes, tuna-something, and Cytomax.
The race was tough and Dave Harris was out there again pushing me again. Last year we were neck and neck until he went practically blind from the dust. So was a guy named Mike Schell, who's pit was next to mine. The solo field was real big, one of the largest I've been in, and had some great competition. I felt really good, though, and pushed it hard and was able to get a comfortable lead and I was able to stop a little early with 18 laps. You know, it is not as much fun without good competition! So, in the end I had a record number of flats, but managed to pull it off and I got first, Dave was second, and Mike was third.
I forgot that it stays dark a long time in Arizona in February! I was glad to have the Moab from Niterider. I didn't have to change the battery for hours, and when they did have to charge it, it didn't take that long. But I sure do love the sunrise during a 24 hour race. It seems like I get a second wind every time.
Just a quick THANK YOU to my crew! Chris Malloni from Cannondale, Terri my wife, Rob from the Bicycle Ranch, Owen from Mccully Cycles in Honolulu and Clyde from Arizona Cyclist. Those guys brought a great sense of humor, assisted with mechanical, and brought a fire pit with lots of wood.
I've done this race at least 4 times and winning this year made it special because last year was tough and now with our new baby, I was worried how my training was going. I'm hungry for a good season this year, and hope this is the first win of more to come. Hopefully, little Joshua can be on the podium with me!
Well, I'm beat, and the drive home to LA took an extra 2 hours yesterday because of traffic. One thing though, is these socks that Todd gave me work great! They are called "the Recovery Sock". At first I thought they were just ugly socks, but a few people had them on and Terri convinced me to try them so I did. After all, it was only the two of us driving home. I swear that within 20 minutes my legs felt better and I did not have swelling from the long drive. In fact, first thing I did this morning after I stumbled out of bed was put them on and I immediately felt better. Don't know how they work, but they do, and I will use them from now on.
Well, this is all I have energy for, but here are a few photos of the race.
Thanks for reading, God bless, and safe travels.
'Till next time,
I'm signing a Kona 24 OP poster for some fans
Taking off on one of the night laps. I love the Moab lighting system from Niterider. It kept me going without having to worry about changing batteries.
My team fixing one of the many flats!
The beautiful Cannondale Carbon 6-13 Scapel and my gear.
Happy to have my new Tifosi eyewear
Hanging out with our Cannondales!
What better menu than this?!