24 Hours of Allamuchy
This past weekend the Family Bike Shop Single Speed team did the 24 Hours of Allamuchy mountain bike relay race. It was held at a boy scout camp in northern New Jersey. Our team consisted of Timmy, Trevor, Bob and myself. We had the only single speed team in the race. Most people were riding geared full suspension bikes. This would also be the first time I was riding my moutain bike since crashing and hurting (breaking) my rib a month ago.
We had 3 goals at the beginning of the race. 1. finish in the top 5 of our class, 2. finish in the top 10 overall, and 3. complete 20 of the 10 mile laps. Well, we accomplished them all! We were 5th in our class, 8th overall and did 20 laps. That's 50 miles a piece for 200 total miles.
We arrived on Friday night and got camp set up. After an awesome steak and potato dinner that Trevor and his father (our only support crew for the weekend) prepared we sat around our campfire before heading off to bed early. Around 2:30 in the morning we were awakened by a crazy thunderstorm. It went on for about 6 hours and we all got soaked. Not a good way to rest before a 24 hour race. Thankfully, the rain stopped about 8 AM which allowed the course to soak up the water. It wasn't done raining for the weekend, though.
The way a 24 hour race works is the start is at noon on Saturday and you go non-stop through the night til noon on Sunday. There are solo racers, two person teams, 4 person teams, 5 person teams that must have at least one female in them, and corporate teams of 6-10 people.
Our planned order of riders was Timmy, Trevor, Bob, then me. We had a great start with Timmy turning in the fastest lap our team would do all weekend at 56 minutes. He was the 4th place rider overall after the 1st lap. Trevor was next and went 1:07. Then disaster struck as during Bob's lap his chain tensioner broke and he lost about 35 minutes trying to fix it and doing a lot of running. He came in at 1:37. This put us in a huge hole but luckily it was early in the race so we had lots of time to catch back up. I was next and my first lap was a 1:06. The course was a combination of fast smooth single track and agressive rock gardens with a good climb thrown in every now and again. On the single speed there were even some sections I had to walk.
On our second rotation Timmy goes crazy again and does his 2nd sub hour lap coming in 59:30. Trevor and Bob get the last daylight laps of Saturday. My 2nd lap gets to be a night lap. Everything is going well and about half way through my lap one of my lights goes dead. Thankfully, I have a backup, but it makes navigating the rocks a bit harder. I do a 1:17.
Third rotation. We all ride at night and the times get a little slower as we are beginning to tire. It is very difficult to get any sleep at all. An hour or two over the whole night is all we can get. Bob turns the fastest lap this rotation at 1:07. I do a 1:20 for my slowest time of the race.
Forth rotation. This will be the last of the night laps. Of course I get stuck doing three of them and this last one is in the rain which starts up again 5 minutes before I go out. It makes the rock very slick but my time comes back down to a 1:17. Bob once again fastest with a 1:09.
Fifth rotation. It is now a race to see if we can get to 20 laps and, boy, am I tired. At the beginning of this round I really don't feel like having to do a 5th lap. My team has other ideas though, and with the daylight everyone is feeling refreshed and riding faster again. Just my luck, when it is my turn the rain that had stopped after my 4th lap decided to start again and it was coming down even harder. I was feeling good, though, and did my second fastest lap at 1:10. Bob was once again fastest doing a 1:02.
Overall, a fantastic race weekend. We accomplished what we set out to do. The team was great and we all motivated each other and kept each other going.
Big thanks to Trevor's dad Rolland. He stayed up most of the time, made sure that the fire stayed stoked, cooked for us, and made sure that when we did get a little sleep, that we got up and didn't miss our laps. We couldn't have done so well without him.
Keeping the rubber side down,