The good, the bad and the ugly at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Twenty four hours is a long time to race and there are always trends durin the race. A few observations on this years event - outside of my race report.

The Good - Last year I was disgusted by the amount of trash, water bottles and gel wrappers carelessly discarded along the course. This year was completely different with much less trash and such on the trail. It was nice to see that riders were taking responsibility and being aware. We sometimes act entitled to the race and the trails. That's not the case - good stewardship of the land is the only way we can continue racing and enjoying the desert single track. Thanks to everyone who worked hard during the race and after to make it seem like we'd never been there. Hopefully next year will be even cleaner!

The Bad - One of the awesome things about 24 hour racing is the blend of people on the trails. But that can also lead to conflict between racers, riders and people there to have fun. While Nick and I fall squarely into the racers class, we still respect everyone out there pedaling. And everyone should encourage all participants in the race, regardless of speed or size or skill on display. Some of the people I saw riding deserved as much recognition as the racers. But that's not always what I was seeing or hearing while in the exchange tent or out on course. Let's keep mountain biking chill, fun and inclusive. Disparaging comments about fellow competitors does nothing to further the growth of the sport.

The Ugly - I don't care how fast you are or where your team stands in the race. There is no excuse to be a jackass while passing! I know there were a lot of people out on course this year and I was admittedly getting frustrated. If I was rude or made a bad pass - I apologize. There is nothing aerobic about racing 24 hours with the amount of passing required this year. But letting riders know you are back there, then executing a safe, clean pass proves much more then running a slower rider into the cactus. It's just a race and if the 10 seconds you have to wait to get around us that important, go ride on the road. To the rider in green and grey who passed me on my 4th lap - just because you yell rider back and ding your bell five times does not mean I have to stop that second. Yelling at me when I am waiting to pass the rider in front of me does no good. If its not safe to pass, it's not safe to step off the trail either. And then screaming at the next rider that rider back means yield and yield means get the hell out of the way does wonders for me wanting to support you or your sponsors. Had I gotten your race number, I would have reported your pathetic lack of sportsmanship to Todd. Back of the Pack Racing has a few more examples on their website of the jackasses in action, down at the bottom of the race report. (Back of the Pack Race Report) Hopefully the jackasses will stay home next year so we can enjoy the race!

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