Tuesday, October 16, 2007

24 Hrs of Moab

Everyone has their own take on this one-of-a-kind event, I figured I'd share mine for the amusement of those who may stumble upon my blog.

For me, the race itself is only part of the experience. Of course the anticipation of going to Moab for this race is a large part of my personal motivation to do the other things I must do in life. All year I look forward to Moab and when it finally arrives I try to savor every minute.

Traditionally I arrive early, usually sometime Wednesday. Two reasons; 1. As the team manager I feel obligated to be the one who stakes out and guards our highly desired plot of grass, weeds, ants and sand which we will call home for the weekend. 2. The solice of the desert is, as many know, very therapeutic and it gives me a chance to unwind, de-stress and think only of one thing, riding.

Of course it's not quite as simple as that due to the dynamics of the race and the scope of our team. This year we fielded 5 teams and 1 solo rider. Nevertheless, we have plenty of help which makes it easier to focus on the race and enjoy the experience and for that I'm grateful. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

I suppose the baseline of the race is that it's not just up to you. It's not and hour or two of hard riding and then you go home, it's about consistencey, of not only your riding, but of that of your teammates. It's about hope; hoping that you do well, that your friends do well, that you have no mechanicals or crashes and when you or your buddy have completed a lap, that you all can do it again in short order. In this regard a 24 hour event is more like life than any event in which I've participated. We build a microcosm of a community out in the desert, divide responsibilities and work hard to accomplish our goals, we revile one another near the campfire with our successes and failures, with our close calls and seemingly heroic or daring feats of cycling prowess. We commisserate with those who have defeats but encourage them knowing that the next lap can result in success. Even our competitors become our friends as we recognize our shared pains, our shared experience.

The 24 Hrs of Moab, is, for me, bliss. It lacks the complication of life's varied focuses. It allows us to strive, bond, struggle, hope, dream and ride like no other time during the year. For many of those who attend, it is Mecca, and the highlight of the season. I am just glad to be able to go each year and I already anticipating the next time I can spend a few days in the desert on my bike with my friends.

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