24 Hours of Rapelje

June 28, 2006 · Print This Article

by Jackie

“I didn’t know you could get a bruise in the shape of a bike seat.Yuck! And look at those mosquito bites.” This observation from myhusband – my bike mechanic and all-around support guy – a day after I won the women’s solo category at 24 Hours of Rapelje.

My bruised, lactic acid-filled, mosquito-bite laden butt basically illustrates how up beat up your body gets at this race through the cow pastures of central Montana.

In good ol’ Western fashion we started at high noon with a shotgun blast near the Stockman Cafe. A Le Mans start. At first I started running then thought better of it and walked to my bike. When I got there I discovered I needed to zero out my cyclo-computer.

My dawdling put me way behind the hammerheads, but then again I
didn’t have team mates to share the load.

The 12.5 mile course wound through dirt and paved farm roads, cowpaths, and up and down random sections of pastures (no trail). We rolled over sandy dirt, sage brush, lots of rocks, and dead gophers and birds for hours on end. The only sign of civilization was the occasional windmill, fence, or the rare farm house miles away.

At night it was so dark I got disoriented. Right away, another female soloist with a very expensive racing bike began throwing down laps. I kept pace. Finally at lap 4 something inside me snap. I got competitive. New experience for me on the bike.

So here I was – exhausted from the grind of work, lack of sleep for months on end, and little to no time spent on the bike – gunning for a gal half my age. I polished off 8 laps before my butt said, ‘nomore’; she stopped at 5. The folks at the Stockman Cafe told me it’s a new women’s solo course record. Makes me wonder, “what would happen if I actually trained?” hmmmm….

Then again, am I stupid enough to solo again next year and go for a three-peat? I’ll think about that only after my butt heals.

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