Thursday, June 27, 2013

24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest

The start!
Kokopelli Bike and Board had two four person teams go down to compete in the 24 HITEF outside of Gallup on June 15th. Myself on a four person single speed team (Myself, Paul, Pete and Rex) and Laura on a four person female team (Laura, Dani, Katie and Tanya). Both teams in the end both took 3rd place. Unfortunately mother nature had a say in how many laps were going to be complete for all riders.

The race started at 11am with clear blue skies. By the time I went out on my first lap and the skies were becoming cloudy. It spit rain off and on but nothing significant. I did manage to puncture my front tire on my first lap but I managed to get the Stan's sealant to seal the hole. I really hate mechanical problems. When I went out for my next lap around 7pm it was trying to rain more but again nothing that affected the trail. I rolled in around 8.30pm and off went Pete on our next lap. Things were looking good with us in a solid 3rd place but still within striking distance to the top two teams. Lets keep it going through the night and see what shakes out.

Laura took off on her night lap on her rotation at 9.15 and at 9.30 the rain started coming down. It went on for about an hour. I was wondering how the trail conditions were as it has been so dry in the area that any substantial amount of rain would make that trail pretty sloppy. Well, at 10.30pm the race officials stopped the race. Meaning nobody was going back out to ride until the conditions became considerably better. I was worried about Laura being out there in those conditions but I knew she could persevere through much worse. I went up to the transition area to see what was going on on the course. Riders were trickling in with their bikes looking ravaged by the mud. Horrific stories of people dragging their bikes for miles as the wheels would not roll. I finally got word that Laura was ok on the course and was possibly getting a ride back to the start area. Turns out she rode in and her bike looked like hell. She was still smiling. Nearly three hours out in the elements! My teammate Rex was out on the course during the melee and came in looking pretty rough but not as rough as his bike did. I don't think he cared he was riding Paul's Ti Selma. LOL!!! Rex declared that ride the worst 20 miles of his life.

Laura assessing the damage.

Rex looking worked after his mud lap.

Paul's Selma that Rex worked over in the mud.

 The raced finally resumed at 6.30 am with a short part of the course closed off due to the muddy mess and damage to the trail. My team managed three more laps to hold onto to 3rd place as well as Laura's team.

Another epic weekend of racing.

The girls putting together a strategy.

The girls on the podium in 3rd place. Great job to both teams. We rocked the Enchanted Forest.

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