After the plague went through the house again this past week, I headed back up to Tennesssee for the inaugral Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hour Race in Fayetteville. Guess having a baby in day care will do it.
I got treated super nice. Steve picked me up from the airport and we swung by the Bicycle Works bike shop before he dropped me off at the hotel. We picked up a few things and got my wheel worked on. Then I relaxed at the hotel for a while. I needed time to get healthy. I went for a spin on the road and my legs felt achy and I felt terrible. That night I slept about 9 hours and I really needed it.
Friday at the course I rode a lap and felt better than I did on Thursday and the track was great. I knew it would be difficult since there was about 1200 feet of climbing per lap and it would be fast. A hard race for sure.
Had a meet and greet at the track at 5 that evening, grabbed dinner on the way back to the room and went to the pharmacy and picked up something for the cold. The pharmacist joked and said something about a big prescription problem there, but I had no idea what he was talking about until later. I just wanted to get to bed early and try and rest for the race.
Race day morning I had real good pancakes at the track. The race started with a short dragster run. At least this one I didn't have to wear a sack! And I got on the bike in the top 10. Nat and Josh were first and second. There was a mile loop at the start so I could see what was going on and by the time we got to the single track I got up to about 5th place.
Then I ran over something on the trail. I didn't see it, but heard the air leaking out. I was in third when it happened about 20 min into the race. Dannabbit. I only had one tube and I needed two. Rob Lichtenwalner stopped and gave me his tube. Someone else gave me a quick fill. I don't know who that guy was but I want to tell them THANK YOU.
When I got finished with the lap I was 9 minutes back . I had to stop though to replenish my tubes and fills and have to admit I was discouraged but it was the start and there was still time. I kept up good speed and after about 5 hours into the race I finally made it up to about 4th place. No one else ahead of me had mechanicals and it was fast. Being all single track, it was tough to get back up there.
Then I started pacing my self. I worked hard to get up to that position and I figured I had to pace my self and recover and the leaders were still 15 minutes ahead. Then, I worked my way up to 3rd place and for about 3 hours rode for 3rd hoping to hold on.
When it was near the end, I heard Josh was hurting and thinking he was not going out for another lap. They told me he was 10 minutes ahead so I gave it my best go at it.
I crossed the finish 3 minutes behind Josh. Then they told me he had really been 15 minutes ahead. That was cruel but I think I did my best lap time all day on that last lap and now I can say it feels good!
It was a good strong finish with my fastest lap at the end. I'm happy my fitness it getting better as the season gets going. And even though I felt terrible all week, I managed to pull off a good finish. Results are posted on ride424.com.
I was pleased.
The race was well put together. Real professional and I'd recommend anyone wanting to do a 12 hour to go next year. They had awesome prizes and sponsors. They even gave away bikes! Great town, great people, and great location!
Guess I'll have to check for flea bitten rats around our house, too!
I pirated some of these pics from Jeff Kerkove's photo album but he's got more.
http://picasaweb.google.com/kerkovej Thanks Jeff!