Thursday, October 6

Happy anniversary... I guess.

The fact that I've continued writing a blog since I started it back in January '06 may seem counter intuitive to the fact that I'm not a big fan of tooting my own horn.  When this thing got off the ground, it seemed like everyone that was racing mountain bike cycles was doing it.  The sharing of stories and experiences, a community of sorts, maybe even a semi-happy, partially dysfunctional family.

We were basically telling stories around a virtual e-campfire.

So, yeah.  That whole thing is pretty much dead.  So is talking about how dead it is.  That's how dead it is.

On the topic of tooting my own horn.  I've considered whether or not to write this post, but either for a lack of something else to blerhg about or just giving myself a moment of reflection... why not?

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the 2006 24 Hour Solo World Championships.  Now, I won't normally be the first to bring it up in a conversation, but if you ask, yeth, I won the Single Speed class.

I used to feel kinda meh about the whole topic.  It's not like I discovered the cure for foot fungus.  Ten years later... mebbe I feel something better than meh.

I could write quite the lengthy post about this, but since every sentence I add will just sound like one more note played on my tootin' horn, I'll wrap it up as quickly as I can.

I'm stoked that I got to enjoy the experience of sharing the course with the likes of Craig Gordon, Chris Eatough, Brandon Draugelis, Mark Hendershot, Ernesto Marenchin, Kelly Magelky, Yuri Hauswald, Sue Haywood, Rebecca Rusch, Louise "La Ruta Lou" Kobin, Monique "Pua" Sawicki and all around good guys Greg Martin, Jake Kirkpatrick, and Nicholas "Nick the Stick" Kindt.*  It was also great going up against two competitors I totally respected in the 24 hour single speed world, Sean Sulllivan and Cameron Chambers.  2006 was truly zenith year for 24 Hour Solo racing, and being a part of that event was incredible.

I mean, they made a movie (essentially) about the race, so...

BTW:  This is me following the camera man that's chasing Eatough and Gordon.

I did my best to ride my balls off and watch these guys destroying each other whenever they lapped me.  Watch the movie close enough, and you'll see my pink wheels in there somewhere.  I'm not gonna watch it again just so I can tell you when tho.

One more thing and that's it.  I used to kinda mock the title I earned, referring to it as "world" champion.  I guess I don't feel that way anymore.  Chris Eatough has said that Conyers was the hardest course he has raced 24 hours on, but I'm sure that Gordon's riding so hard to beat him that Gordon ended up in the hospital also had something to do with increasing that difficulty.

For me at that time, I used to think rigid forks kept single speeding "pure."  I ended up riding my hands into ground hamburger, and when it was all said and done, I could barely hold onto the handlebars on the granite slab descents for the last... I dunno, six or seven hours?  Probably the hardest thing I've ever done on a bike.  Maybe the afterglow of the win didn't last very long, but the nerve damage did.  187 miles, 23,000 feet of elevation, all the granite... months of pain.

So mebbe I can allow myself to take just a little bit of pride in what I did over those 24 hours, and...

Favorite moment?

photo cred: Charles Myrick
Waiting for the magic hour when we could officially cross the line, Sean Sullivan (IF jersey) and I hung out and shared a beer.  You can't tell from this picture, but it was a happy occasion.

Not the same topic, but something close... the idea of racing a mountain bike in circles for 24 hours sounds just as impossibly stupid to me now as it did back in '99 before I'd ever done one myself.

photo cred: Eric Wever?  Bill Fehr?
My first 24 hour race... on a team, oblivious to the concept of 24 hour solo and the woman flashing her breast parts in my direction.

It's sad that it's fallen outta fashion, but then again... Dual Slalom, Super D, NORBA Nationals... you name it.  All almost or completely gone.  Things change.  I'm fine with that, although there is this slight part of me that thinks mebbe I should do another 24 hour race when I turn fifty (which is soon enough), but I plan on having that slight part of me surgically removed before then.

* There were others out there, and nothing against the age-groupers, but aside from the super young (U23) and super old (50+... yeah, almost as old as I am now, so I can call it "super old"), age grouping watered down the event in the name of making more money/boosting attendance ala USAC National events. The World Championships would have better bettered served with the addition of a duo category... mebbe four person teams.

But it was all the beginning of the end, so whatever now, I guess.

At least WEMBO sifted through the ashes of what 24 Hours of Adrenalin left behind and is trying to make something out of it that makes sense (the race doesn't stay in N America with a token, last minute jaunt to Australia).  Huzzah and all that, even thought they're still doing the elites AND age groups... which still bothers me, but whatever.


Mike Riot said...

There is a cure for foot fungus??

SM said...

Fucking Legend.

Anonymous said...

facebook killed the radio star... even facebook is kind of dead now as every mutant on the planet is now using smaller forms of mindless communication like twitter. No longer are people using full sentences but mindless little symbols and tiny little words that have grave meaning. De-evolving as a society?
Even mtbr sucks now a days. I posted something last day and some 20 something started giving me sht... I told the little bastrd to f-off, who got banned, me... too much political correctness going on as well and instigators can get away with anything... so what's the point of posting sht anymore.

Just let a mindless society de-evolve I guess.
We had our fun with forums and blogs back in the day. Really enjoyed reading them and adding stories along the campfire e-talk...
Now, its just mindless bullsht. I pity the next generation. Its just so fake. We're the last of the mocichans it seems. There were some great racers from around 2005-2009 and good times... Now, things seem to be fizzling down as we the x-generation ages. Up next, the millennials, yikes! spoon fed fools they are... complaining... whining and mindless text msgs.

We had a good roll of it all. Really enjoyed reading blogs, stories, and real stuff... gonna miss that. It was good times. Now, its mindless times...

Anonymous said...

Chris Eatough - great rider... didn't he ride 24hours worlds till he barfed blood?

Jeremiah Bishop - another great rider.. remember La Ruta when he smashed his face in, ouch...kept on riding though to come in 2nd. Determination.

Tinker - what ever happened to Tinker? he was doing the 100 milers and La Ruta..

Anonymous said...

My World chanpionship was won 11 years ago. We celebrated the date at SSusa this year, too weird.

At least you won yours on a bike and not in a goKart! HA! I wouldn't trade it tho.


Anonymous said...

Hey Buck...who actually won the bicycle part of the race in 05?

dicky said...

Jesse LaLonde edged out Travis Brown FTW.

Eric Wever said...

I love that Snowshoe '99 photo. You were missing the bare breasts because you were so excited that you had just passed Jon Stamsted.

dicky said...

At least she agreed to show me them later, but it really wasn't the same as in the moment. Contrived breast part flashes are boring.