Monday, February 23

2015 12 Hours of Santos

Getting to the race stuff as fast as possible.

Drive down to Georgia Wednesday night.  Hot tub.  Drive down to Orlando Thursday.  Poach another hot tub.  Fancy Mexican food with The Pie.  Flight of margaritas.  Drive up to Ocala Friday morning.  Find Faster Mustache people and Niner Mike.  Mike lightens my bike by ten grams with some top secret hush-hush tech (no longer top secret or hush-hush), and we go pre-ride the course.  My duo teammate, Scott Smith, shows up.  Another lap with the crew from TVB.  Then beers with FM crew, beers with TVB crew, move my sleeping bag into Timmy's tent since I don't want to sleep in below freezing temps in a hammock, have a shitty and sometimes painful night's sleep, wake up with a few regrets.

Scott and I strategerize.  He will start.  I don't want to go first because generally speaking, the first rider out does more work.  I'm an injured hot mess, and I discovered this on the ball of my foot Thursday night:

Long story.  An issue that goes back to my early twenties.  No way I'm running to my bike though.

We decided that the first two turns will be two laps each.  Figuring on 40 min+ laps or so. 

The race starts with a LeMans run to the bikes and a prologue lap.  Scott is near the front on the run.  I thought we came to Florida to play bikes.  Maybe I was wrong.

Twenty minutes later, a rider comes out of the woods.  I don't know it at the time, but he's in the our category and WAY out front of anyone else.  I woulda been amazed, but like I said, I didn't know.  I look for Scott to come out about twenty or so people back.  He doesn't.

I wonder now if we will consider this one of his laps or pile the twenty minute prologue onto his first two.  I'll have to ask... whenever I see him.

He finally pops out of the woods, much further back than he went in.  He tells me that he broke his chain.  Now I'm trying to figure out how he fixed it so fast and got back in the hunt.  I remember to ask him if he's going two more laps or just the prologue plus one.  He says he's just doing the plus one.  I have sads.

So we transition to me, I have no idea how we are doing.  I realize duo riders have yellow number plates too late to pay attention.  I push it as hard as I can, making passes whenever possible.  The racing will be tight, and lagging behind slower riders can cost seconds that over twelve hours add up to minutes...

Although I thought Scott and I would be sitting around by a fire drinking beer long before the race was over, as we never considered being in contention.

photo cred: Nancy Bregg
Taking the jump line that I didn't know was a "jump line" to make a pass.  Much excite.

I come off my set of two pulling consecutive 41.77 minute laps.  Scott goes out.  I check the results.  They are mounted six and a half feet off the ground.  The times aren't accumulated.  We're sitting in second, and although I can hardly see them, my fuzzy math of adding two times together means we're actually in third.  Shit.

I know Scott's not gonna want to sit up and give up a possible podium.  For the most part, I don't want to either.  Looks like we might be racing for awhile.

I didn't really bring any food.  The website said there would be food vendors on site.  There weren't.  I grab a banana and a tiny bag of mini-muffins from a table near the start/finish.  I settle in and wait for my turn.  Time flies, and about an hour and a half later, I meet Scott for the transition.

"At some point, we need to confer," Scott says to me.

I know what he's thinking.  We're in third, and that's not what we came here to do.  We just wanted to get out of town and ride somewhere that the sun was shining and the temps were above twenty degrees.

My first lap hurts.  My second one, less... but it was slightly slower.  Meh.

Scott and I transition again.  We mumble something to each other, but I think we both know we're going to keep going out as long we we're in the top three.  I head back to my car, grab a beer and some Peanut M&M's that Mudman had the foresight to purchase for me, and set a timer.

I go back out, come back in, more beer, more Peanut M&M's.

Same thing repeats again... I think.

Then I start to fall apart a little.  I can't even finish my next beer, and it's time to put lights on at the same time the pasta dinner is an option.  I go out, never need my lights, and get back to the pasta in time to see that the sauce is gone and they're putting soup on it now.  I had spaghetti and sauce with meatballs on the brain, so when I saw it was gone, I had sads.

At some point, I turn my frown uspide down.  I still can't fully comprehend the results, as we're more than ten laps in, there's still no accumulated times posted, I can't add that much in my brain, the results are still a foot and a half above my head, and I'm feeling fried...

but finding that my leftover beer from before was still cold, pizza had magically appeared in our pit area, putting on some dry, fresh clothes, riding in the dark that made the course feel new again...  I just felt less shitty about life.

I head out on our last lap.  Keep an eye out behind me for the 81 number plate the few times someone comes up on me (since I really have no clue what our lead on fourth is), fall over into the limestone trying to peep the plate coming up on me...  and finish.

photo cred: Christie Burnett
We snagged third.  Neat way to start 2015... if you don't count the Icycle XC race I quit because of back pain and the downhill race practice that injured my ribs in January.  Call that a false start, if you will.

So yeah... thanks to Scott for suggesting we duo up.  My first ever duo anything over six hours and it was just as hard as I imagined it.

Few things about the race.  I hope I don't sound like I'm bagging on it, as it was a uniquely interesting event.  Although the course wasn't quite my cup of tea (lotsa pedaling and power stuff), it was a blast and really kept it mixed up enough to be interesting.  Drops, jumps, technical sections... it made you forget the miles of pedally flat pine needle covered sand berms.

I was bummed that I saw non-riders chowing down on the pasta... since it impacted my getting any.  It would be nice if they'd tighten up on that.  The times not being accumulated so you could tell how far ahead/behind the other teams you are?  I don't get that at all in a 12/24 hour race.  Really important info IMHOMO.  The fact that I coulda used a step stool to check the times?  Tall people could always stoop.  Short people gotta jump, I guess.

I was also a bit bummed to see so much garbage on the trail.  I've never seen so much of it, aside from maybe La Ruta.  I'm sure OMBA or the promoters will clean it up, but they shouldn't have to.  It made me sad seeing racers treat a hosting trail system in that manner.  It's deplorable.


I had fun, and I'm super stoked that I went.  It was my first time doing a Gone Riding event, and the positives outweigh the negatives tenfold.  Good times, good times.


Anonymous said...

Good write-up! Makes me eager for warm weather racing!

Your foot! WTF dude?!!! Try taking better care of them shitz! It's pretty obvious from the surrounding area that they have been heavily neglected. Every so often you should just bust out some emory cloth on them. Works for me.

Dr Sole said...

damn.... need a cheese grater on that fungus infest from wearing your bobos cost a dollar fourty nine....or soak it in PBR

Anonymous said...

^ Boots? Sure as hell sounds like his bald, hairy ass.

As for your case of jungle rot, I shall return your dremel post haste.

Anonymous said...

Dang, no mention of the LED lighted kicker!?
We're gonna have to go bigger next year