My main project this winter has been to build some muscle back onto my legs after six years of hypotrophy and a side benefit of that is I’ve become ripping strong. Feeling like I could use this juice for something fun I slipped my entry into the frey just before the solo field closed out, so it’s a double Team HealthFX solo pit at OP – Dave and I.
This will be my second solo 24-hr effort.The last one I did a bit off the cuff and went with zero support. Let’s say I learned many things during that 24-hours. The biggest thing I learned was that if I want to win, a solo 24-hour race is not really solo at all but a team event with a mechanic, chef and anyone else that will tend to my many needs. I did the first 24-hr truly solo – no mechanic, friend, helper, cheerleader or masseuse. Just me, a tent and a couple of bikes. It was maddening to be in my pit working on my bikes during the race while the other ladies were out pedaling laps. The ladies who finished in front of me had clean bikes every lap, hot food handed to them at night and feedback of where they were standing in the race. I had bikes breaking, a stove that wouldn’t light when when the temps dipped below 30F and a dark lonley pit. Get the violins out now!
The race was Kona Sleepless in the Saddle 24-hr Global Championships. I chose that race primarily because Bike Magazine gave me a free entry but also because I knew there would be some fast ladies on course and I like a good horse race.
I ended up third. That’s me on the right wearing the hat to hide 24 hours of helmet hair. Check out this podium of ladies. You are looking at some small and fast chicks here. I’m 5’2″ and 110 lbs and was the biggest thing standing on this podium. Second is Team Maverick’s former 24-hour World Champion and ultra mtb bike racing legend Kristina Begy and defending her Global solo championship title was Brit Jen O’Conner who smoked us, and herself as she limped on and off the podium. Notice her in this picture weight bearing on her right leg only. She looked a little messed up after. She was gripping my hand in this photo like she was about to fall over sideways. I had her fingermarks imprinted on my hand after – or maybe that is an affect of the bloating caused by 24-hours of gels and Gatorade – ack!
The start list for Old Pueblo not out yet but it usually draws a competitive solo field. Last years female winner has announced her return in ’06 to defend her title – it should be fun.
I haven’t found a mechanic for OP yet and that is somebody I seriously, badly, desperately need on my team so all’s I have to do is pedal fast. If you fancy staying up all night watching Dave and I make ourselves very tired and tinkering with our rides let me know – I’ll make it worth your time :-) and anybody else too who wants to come on down and help with the Team HealthFX pit. Let me know and we’ll make a place for you and give you a job. I know Dave needs someone to sort his chammies…. The more the merrier, people that is. What else is going on Presidents Day weekend?