Thursday, May 30, 2013

24 hours of Pain. Welcome to Spokane.

Im not sure why I agreed to join the team, maybe it was the excuse to get out of Olympia, maybe it was the good times that the team name heralded. Or maybe it was just that I was hoping that Lee would cook up some delicious camping food. Either way,several months ago, with very little coaxing I found my self a member of "Go to the Capitol Forest Classic August 10th & 11th" and Race in 24 Hours of Spokane. And so it began. 
Rise and shine... or rain. Let the trip begin. Despite what everyone told me I never really accepted that Spokane was like 6 hours away. 

At least I had a co-pilot. He wasn't one much for conversation though. 

This view never gets old. Perfect spot to pull over for a stretch.  
Finally arrived in Spokane. Camp ground is on big ol' field that apparently is/used to be a airstrip, which lends itself to some pretty huge plots. We promptly arranged the compound, set up for optimal efficiency and streamlined... Ya right. We just pulled in and cracked beers as fast as we could. After listening to scripture talk on the radio for the past hour and a half something had to bite.
Those GL6 folks hijacked my car pretty quick.

Lee wins at camp cooking.
Erins birthday cake. Pretty solid way of celebrating if you ask me.

Race day, its on! The event organizers were pretty stoked on our name/ marketing campaign.
Ian was our starter, so we headed up the hill to give him a little suport on the run and then the ride. Olympia style.

Well... It still was pretty loud. 

Run Ian! Run! Its hard to tell from here, but hes right up there at the top of the pack, Killng it. 24 hours of pain starts now!

Are those spoke cards? Ya they are! Lap one, looking fast. 

This is what a dedicated volunteer looks like. 

After Ian kicked ass on the first on the first lap (even with a flat) it was my turn. Given that we decided ahead of time that we were not there to try and win, we thought it would be fun to do the entire race on one bike. Lukes Surly Krampus. A 29 pound, full rigid, steel frame, 29er fat bike. Was it a smart decision? Yes. did we know that when we decided to race it? Nope.

After Ian blasted into the timing tent with poped tube slung over his shoulder, I grabbed the bike and took off. The course was 15 miles of mixed single track and double track. A 60/40 mix...ish. The trails were fast, and smooth, hard pack with plenty of set rocks. When I say plenty I mean it, several of the climbs were made up of wide swaths of set baby heads, with several different lines through, these sections made for some pretty tough passing opportunities. Where there weren't rocks the trails transformed into buffed single track, or wide open double. Nothing to technical if you didn't want it to be but certainly challenging if you were trying to put speed into it. 

The first lap was packed, no one had dropped out yet, and the field hadn't really been stretched out yet, so every opportunity to pass one person turned into an opportunity to pass 5 or 6. The solo guys were still pinned. It was a blast, and the Krampus absolutely annihilated the trail. The relatively slack head angle coupled with the big ol' 3.0's gave the bike just what it needed to conquer the couple downhills with ease. Contrary to what a few of us thought might happen, the fatty tires didn't add much in terms of drag, and what they did was countered by the lack of suspension. The bike was fast, and in my opinion the best tool for the job.. or at least the most fun.. and it was certainly faster then my hard tail. 

Post first lap. This was very necessary. I was gased. 58 minute lap. Pretty proud of that one.

Lee caught the Krampus from me after all my laps, it worked out pretty well, Ian, Lee and myself are all roughly the same size so there were n adjustments necessary in between laps, leading to quick switch offs. Lee had to pull this one pretty early before he was too fried. 

The krampus saw all 21 of our teams laps*
1 flat
1 slow leak
and maybe a bent hanger. Theres a slight chance I blew up on my last lap.
Did I mention we got 4th place? Pretty good for the team that showed up trying not to be competitive.
Post race.
I mean it could have been mid race.
I think this was post race. 

So when we showed up Reuben immediately pointed out to me that there was a huge screw in one of my front tires. I sort of forgot about it, and I didn't seem to have lost any air when I left so I figured I could make it back to Oly. What I didn't count on was one of my rear tires flatting out. Damn.  Go figure it was memorial day, so the only tire repair place was Walmart. And every one who had tire issues was there. I was like 8th in line or something. 4 hours later I was on the road again. 

At least there was a nice grassy patch to catch up on my reading. 

This is my new mantra*2

In the end the race was a blast, the places, the people, the riding, Needless to say I'd do it again.
Weird, I dont have single picture of Luke. Believe it or not he was on the team. Sorry dude!

Huge thanks to Luke for the bike that we all raced. Lee and Erin for the wicked burritos and Cake. Reuben for being one kick ass Volunteer. And Ian for getting us ahead of most of the pack on the first lap. That run looked brutal.

*short of the 5 miles were Lee had to ride my bike to save me at three in the morning when my light died at on course
*2 Category 6 Products Sold at all Joyride Bicycle locations in the Lacey area. 


  1. You won't be leaving town again without the ODC flag...

  2. this is a great write up!, i only caught the nibbets of it through the zuckerburg portal, glad to read the whole story!