Tuesday, October 14, 2008

24 Hrs of Moab review

The culmination of the mountain biking season is this event held just south of Moab, Behind the Rocks. I look forward to it all year. I plan my entire October calendar around it. If every event were like this it would be very hard to get anything done other than cycling. Honestly it's like the Disneyland of cycling events in my mind.

What a great opportunity to hang with friends, ride your bike and enjoy being in nature. That is of course until Mother Nature turns on you and tries to sandblast you into oblivion. Every year there's some challenge to deal with at Moab, this year it was the wind. A storm front was moving in and for two days the wind blew and blew and blew, tents were ripped apart, equipment toppled and everything we ate had a bit of a gritty texture to it. Nevertheless we remained and talked and raced and staked everything to the ground with 1 foot long nails.

I arrived on Wed morning so I could secure a plot of ground on the front row of the race course. It's something I end up doing every year. It becomes harder every year to get the good locations. But with 6 teams coming we need alot of space. We had over 50 people camped in our little dust bowl, multiple campers, trailer, and tents. A host of kids and at least 5 dogs. It was on the border of chaos, right above bedlam, a great location!

All teams did well with Chris and KC's Single/Rigid team taking top spot in their division and the Grand Masters team winning again by virtue of the fact that there are apparently no other old guys who can tolerate each other enough to put together a team. Congrats to Bill, Brad, Dwight and Mike.

My team finished 4th out of about 20 teams. We might have done better, but this race is all about not having any problems. Paul crashed on his night lap, at least a couple of times and hurt his wrist. Having done this at Moab in the past I know how this can hamper one's ability to race effectively. He couldn't ride anymore, so Jesse, Jeff, Jared and I had to move to the 4 man change over for the last half of the race which is more mentally difficult than physically.

Overall, a great experience as usual. I won't miss all the logistics, coordinating, begging, borrowing and anxiety about organizing a large group for this event, but I will miss the stories, the images, the food (Thanks Abby, Mindi and Marci) and the friends. For now we move into the winter season, where everyone becomes semi-reclusive and riding opportunities are limited. Time to start planning for next year I guess. Something to keep my mind busy on those long cold winter nights.

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