Well for me actually it was the 9.5 hours or 6 laps or 90 miles of Moab. I won the solo women. I’m sure you have heard already the race was called at 8pm due to dangerous conditions. Flash floods, hypothermic riders etc. First thing Monday morning I followed up the race with a week on the Colorado River. It has been quite amusing upon my return to read other racers reports, their personal race experience out there on the course and their criticisms and opinions of promoter Laird Knights actions and decisions during the event.
Amusing because I had a remarkably different event experience than the majority. The rain and wet desert were incredibly beautiful. Riding in and out of cloud banks, rivers flashing and roaring. It was wild and intense and got moreso as dark fell. I loved every minute of it.
Today 10 days post race I started to clean up the post race mess which was hurridly packed wet and dirty into our camper and sent home while I lived like a puppy on the river for a week.
I was floored by how sandy and mucky everything is. The extent to which my bikes are trashed shocked me. All the bearings are gone, shifters frozen up, gritty grit everywhere. I had no idea things were so harsh out there. I was completely in La La Land! At the end of my 6th lap when I came into the timing tent and was told the race was over it was so far outside the realm of what I thought was possible I didn’t understand what they were telling me at first. I was thinking “how can that be” that wasn’t in my race plan and my race plan was so on track at that point. No little rain shower was gonna stop me. What were they talking about?
The fact I was so in La La Land is a true testament to the phenomenal race support I had. This was a race defined not by the riders but the support crew. Here is most of my crew at 2pm on Sunday when the sun had come back out to tease us.
Kathleen supported the wrenches, me, Andy wrench wonder 1, Steve did everything that needed done, Anna pit guru, Kong wrench wonder 2 and Dave. Missing are grandma and grandpa who were ensconced in a comfy Moab condo with the kids. A total of 8 people gave up their weekend so I could ride my bike in circles for 9.5 hours. Huge thanks to all of you.
Andy and Kong from Desert Cyclery came along to wrench for Dave and I. They were amazing and the major reason I thought everything was dandy and fun.
Every lap I switched bikes and went out on my next lap with a clean smooth working and shifting machine. Between laps they stripped my bike down to a bare frame and overhauled everything. They did the same for Dave too – they were busy!! On the course folks bikes were falling apart beneath them but I had no problems. Lap # 5 was the wicked wet one. I had a constant stream of water flowing off the end of my nose. This is what happened to brand new brake pads during that 15 miles.
Not only cleaned the pad right off but wore the metal down like a razor. This is my hand – like my calluses?
Kong and Andy kept a huge sense of humor flowing which was a great influence on our pit. They were throwing around comments like “we should support slower riders next year to give us more time to work on the bikes” right and left. LOL.
So that was that. The majority of solo riders voted not to re-start the race in the morning with the teams and Moab was over for me. I won the solo women by a large margin and feel satisfied it was a valid win. I still feel denied the full 24 experience – riding thru the wee hours, coming out at sunrise flying along on my big pink cloud in my own reality until noon.