A 24 hour weekend. Clouds, wind, dust, fire, and racing.

At 12:01 AM we shouted: “11 hours and 59 minutes to go!” from the fire-pot in front of the Kona tent. The event was far larger than I imagined it would be. It was impossible to not stay up late. Lights, noise of generators, music until 3:00AM. Serious riders; serious bikes, and people just out to do a lap and have some fun. Deep into Saturday afternoon, I abandoned my camera ready spot at the rock drop-off to go into my leaking tent during the squalls of wind and rain that pelted the riders. Had I pants, I would have stayed outside for at least part of this. Many were beaten by this wind, yet many beat it back with strength and perseverence. People were blown into Cholla cactus and there was one woman who landed chest first into one, and second hand I heard of the screams that pierced the trail. Some gave all; All gave some. It’s cliche, but appropriate in this instance.

On the way in, dust storms enveloped my touring bike twice, blinding me. I rode the wrong side to avoid the dust wake caused by so numerous the trucks and cars coming into 24 hour town. I left this morning 1 hour before the finish. Many drivers had the same idea. The rain had moistened the soil into a state of stability. Oracle road was head-wind city the entire ride in, and, as I watched the trucks go by with knobby tire bikes in cargo it occurred to me that I was the only one up there this weekend with slick tires, and that I almost regretted not registering in time and being able to spend a few hours on that loop with other racers. I met lots of great folk, and found out that there are those that ride for drunkcyclist that don’t feel the need to write on this blog, as there are people that write for drunkcyclist that don’t race in our jersey.

Amazingly, I missed Gnome, but I saw Dirty cut down the rock drop in a good display of skill, and got what I hope is a good photo. My Cannon powershot camera (beat to shit, doesn’t show half the screen, but uploads fine) is MIA at 24 hour town this morning in the proximity of the Kona tent, but may have shaken out of my front bag pockets on the washboard riddled road out.

Happily wiped out yet dry and comfortable in my old bread van as it starts to hail in midtown Tucson… I’m looking forward to subsequent and better race reports by the Flagstaff crew. D2 may downplay himself but he’s a gentleman and a scholar, and races bikes representing DC in good form. As I watched him walk away this morning to do another lap, sleep deprived as anyone present, I felt my respect for him solidify. Nice work in that tough weather, team Drunkcyclist. Way to represent.

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

28 thoughts on “A 24 hour weekend. Clouds, wind, dust, fire, and racing.

  1. Just got back! I didn’t race, but I crewed for a girls team, Citlali, Hillary, Amber and Maria. Those girls rode that shit weather through and smiled! Joe and I kept the bikes rolling, the food hot, and a good time was had by all. Citlali was first responder to the screaming cholla victim, so her first lap was 3 hours, but that was the one dark spot. I even poached a lap at the end on my 42 pound Titus (1:05) and felt fantastic! I will race it next year!

  2. …pulled your ass out of the fire with this one, littlejar…

    …what direction will you go in next ???…

    …just wonderin’…

  3. Thanks for that, LJ. Sounds like I missed a big one. I guess we’ll just have to make our own down here.

  4. sorry I missed you out there LJ. I was off in my own little antisocial world of hurt. I’m in your town until tues afternoon. Look me up. I should be face down in one of the finer establishments on 4th ave by this afternoon.

  5. Was good meeting you, LJ. As is often the case with 24 hour racers, I wasn’t in much of a social mood, especially with the weather being what it was.

  6. I think I passed you out there on Oracle about a mile south of Willow Springs Road. Maybe it’s because I was ridiculously exhausted myself, but that ride looked painful. The ride up there on Saturday must have been complete hell. Riding out there from Tucson and back, in the wind, you probably put in a bigger effort than I did (2 measily laps).

  7. It was a good windy race this year. I pulled 5 laps, then I got a flat. Then I fell asleep before I got the flat fixed, woke up and left in the morning. I hung at Dejay, John Fuzzy Milne and Jake Kirpatrick’s pit. I really wish I was just a tad more prepared because when I was out there in the rain, railing it on my VooDoo Super tanker, I was stoked on that shit, all tacked to hell like it was. Fuck yea. Sorry to have missed you out there LJ. You were another of many peeps I never saw. And that’s how I’m doing it next year, only next year, I’ll have to find a friend who can change tires.

  8. I got in four laps. When the rain started, I sat in my truck for about three hours trying to get myself motivated to freeze my nuts off in the rain and cold, but I just couldn’t do it. Hence the 15 hour lap in the live updates. I rode two on Saturday (stellar laps!) and two on Sunday (even better laps!) before shit was not fun anymore and my knee hurt like a bastard.

    Barring the rain, I think I had three more laps in me.

  9. DB – I’ll try to make it down to Che’s Lounge around beer:30, 10 minutes after 4:20 today. I’ll bring a grapefruit or two to lift you up. It’s eerie quiet for a Monday – must be a holiday. That means clear (sorta) roads. That means: Ride away the soreness and think some more. East side – Old Spanish to Freeman road is calling me again.

  10. Rhys: Actually, the wind blew me all the way up Oracle Road on Saturday. I barely felt the thousand or so feet of climb. Sunday was a penance.
    If I go next year, I’m riding up on Friday, and doing 4 laps on race day, with a borrowed 29er hard tail. God, I want one of those now.

  11. I have to check out one of these things. Not to ride. Just to see what’s up.

    I can’t even imagine a 24 hour ordeal like that. I ride an hour and I need a nap and some cookies.

    Congrats to all who did it.

  12. On one of my Sunday laps, I ended up pedaling behind one of the Stomparillaz. I told him he was badass for riding that Pugsley with those fat ass tires. He said at that point (Sun 8 am) we were all badass for going through that shit during the night. I had to agree.
    It was brutal, but a lot of fun.

  13. This year was my 14th 24 hr race and my 4th OP, and every time at about 2-3am I start turning into Richard Lewis/Abe Bagoda… whining and questioning why I still do this shit. We had a teamate that went from 0 to his face in .6 seconds on the bitches and needed 36 stitches. Aptly named…. That meant doubles from then on. On the dawn double shift, I remembered why I do this. Seeing the Sun come up while railing and ripping tacky ass single track on a 29′er….it does not get much more fun than that. Course was a fucking highway. On the twisty singletrack I passed a DC guy on a white/blue SS, did not not think I’d see him again. Whichever DC’er it was, good on ya. Fuckin dug in, caught me on the climb, and then drug my ass to the top of the downhill. Much obliged

  14. Caught you on a climb? Riding a singlespeed? I can assure you that was not me…

    I would have been the guy talking to himself, slogging up every hill while barely turning the pedals, freezing his nuts off.

  15. omg the fucking singletrack! I got caught in the first of the rain. I kicked the SS up a notch or five just to stay warm, but when I got into the alternate route, the soil tacked up so good, you hardly see it like that in the dez. It ripped!

    Once the alternate singletrack opened at 3 on sat, I never rode the bitches again.

  16. humpty – i do believe that you saw jesus. scandinavian jesus, that is.

    gnome – missed you out there… the weather wasn’t exactly sociable. next time.

    and if i do say so myself, the DC skirts team kicked ass. 12 laps total, 3 a piece. in the wind, dust, rain, sleet, and cold we always had a rider on the course. well done ladies, well done.

  17. Thanks Humpty, that was me with the white/blue SS. I vaguely remember hearing some encouragement as I saw a familiar face on that hill. The sound isn’t real great in the pain cave, so I bet I just grunted at you.

    But props to you and all the folks who rode in that shit. The DC ladies hung tough in the night, and the Dirty fought for two more laps than I cared to. Plus the camp crew kept the fire and whiskey going all night.

    Now who is on board for a DC showing at the Enchanted Forest 24 in NM come June?
    http://www.24hitef.com/
    http://drunkcyclist.com/2010/06/24/race-report-24-hours-in-the-enchanted-forest/

  18. Well I had my headphones on rockin a bunch of Tool and System of a Down bootlegs so if you said anything back to me I did not hear ya. I ate a jumbo Payday on the flar after the bitches and it lasted me until I crumbled like FETA towards the top and needed a wheel to follow, ended up being my fastest lap of the race. Thanks, you are now the Jesus that I shall worship….