24 Hours of 9-Mile race report

August 2, 2006 · Print This Article

by Maria

I’m pretty sure Karla was hinting that I should post some sort of race report. It was super awesome to have Karla out there racing. What an awesome racer! I saw her on two of my laps. I can’t believe she was able to ride so well (and so long) with the serious heat we had on Saturday afternoon.

I represented the Bellas at 24-9 on a Coed Open team (all of us riding rigid single speeds, BTW): the lonl-lrl-kenwood racing-VB team. Steve Rowntree, the team captain, had some sort of handwriting deficiency when he filled out our entry form. Translated, the team name should read: one on one- crc (car r coffins)- kenwood racing- VB (velo bella) team. Fiona Lockhart and Josh Schwantes joined us on our quest for 24 hour glory. We pulled off a 2nd place finish in our category. If the race hadn’t been cut short due to severe weather, we might have been able to catch the first place team. Just to reinforce how awesome my team actually was, we were the only team on the podium with 2 women. The other teams had only one woman. We rocked.

We didn’t experience too much adversity during the race, aside from the weather. The first 18 hours went quite well for us. During the lap when the race was postponed (at 5:30am on Sunday), Josh’s front hub blew up and his lights went out (maybe from the downpour?), but he managed to ride it in. I sat around freezing for an hour before they resumed the race. My lap after the downpour turned out to be really fun. Only one section of single track was slick-muddy. The rest of the single track had big puddles that had hidden rocks and roots, but it wasn’t greasy. Since the dirt was more gravely, the trails stayed pretty firm. I felt like a kid splashing around in the puddles, getting all muddy. As I entered the exchange tent, I saw Steve and Fiona there. Neither of them seemed to recognize me. Sure we had been racing for a long time, but I couldn’t imagine that they forgot what I looked like! It turned out that I was a mud monster, and no longer looked like Maria! My VB jersey was totally unrecongizable. Only the whites of my eyes were visible. Too bad I didn’t get a photo of myself!

Steve left to do his lap and Fiona hosed me off. I think she had a pretty good time doing that. With most of the mud off my body, I decided to take a real shower. I was so muddy, that dirt had somehow gotten into my bike shorts and was crusted into my chamois! I was wearing those classy new H-wood shorts by Louis Garneau- the wafflebutt chamois. It turns out those little dimples are great for holding the dirt. I had little waffle shaped mud pieces in my shorts! I took a photo of my muddy chamois, but everyone has told me its too gross to put online.

The officials decided to cancel the race again while Steve was on his lap. This time it was cancelled for good. Fiona was ready to rock out on our team’s final lap, too. For determining finish times, they didn’t count Josh’s lap in the downpour, my lap in the mud or Steves lap in the mud. We felt a little cheated since we all thought we could crank out some good laps that morning and over take the 1st place team. I guess I’ll have to wait until next year!

I know theres one more race report out there… Dana?

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