Crazy weekend part 1 - 24 Hours of E-Rock

Back at the start of the year, my Mom got the idea that she wanted to try something new - a 24 hour mountain bike race. She'd had a good time helping at the 24 Hours of Colorado Springs last year and was really impressed by all the riders. She's also heard all our stories about the various races Nick and I have done together. So she decided to have a go at the 24 hour challenge at the 24 Hours of E-Rock. It was the perfect course for her to test the waters - flowing wide and mostly double track with nary a rock in sight. A few sand pits, but other than that a perfect beginners course. Mom partnered with Noemi, one of the CTS employees to do a two woman team. Nick volunteered to help out - thinking nothing would be going on that weekend. He was gonna do all the 24 hour support Mom  needed - food, bike maintenance and helping with lights.
The course at E-rock  - it didn't get much narrower!
 Then the Battle the Bear reschedule date fell on the Sunday after E-rock. Since E-rock is an unusual 6:30-6:30 Friday through Saturday, he would still be able to help - he would just be really tired for his race on Sunday! It also meant that Nick's bike was already single speeded, ready to go for Sunday when he got to the E-rock venue on Friday. Part of the fun of 24 hour racing is the atmosphere, and Nick wanted Mom to be able to enjoy some of that. He also had some friends racing in the Co-Ed 8 person division and wanted to have some people to hang out with while Mom was out riding or sleeping. But after getting everything set up, his friends asked him to join their team. Turns out one of their riders was sick and couldn't race and they really wanted the 8th person. Nick agreed to do four laps, but that was it. He was really there to support Mom - and that's hard to do while racing!
Mom out riding before the clouds rolled in
So after getting Mom all ready to ride - she was going second on her team, Nick got ready as well. He did the second lap, two night laps in a row (a great chance to get some time on the Exposure Lights in a race situation...) and one lap in the early morning. His team-mates picked up the rotation with only 7 riders after that so Nick could help Mom and not be too tired for his race Sunday. Even on the single speed, he had some of the fastest laps on the course. And this was not a single speed friendly course, with a rolling climb dropping down into a straight run at the finish line. The road heading back to the finish was a gentle decline with a tail wind most of the day. When I took a spin on the course on Saturday, I was spun out with my biggest gear! Brad, one of Nick's team mates said he was easy to pick out coming into transition - he'd wind up the cadence to about 200, then coast, then spin it up again... I can only imagine what times he would have done if he'd had a big ring!

Clouds building over Pikes Peak - more bark then bite...
Mom had a great time in her race - she did 12 laps and her team finished with 24 laps when the race was called due to weather at 2:30 on Saturday. Nick said it was funny - she was uber talkative and chatty for the first few hours, then gradually got quieter and quieter. She did a good job and was a good person to support - listening and telling Nick what she needed. He even got her trained to write what she wanted on the marker board in the Camper while he was out riding! I came up Saturday morning and it seemed like she was having a good time - but getting tired. I also noticed that the odd start time was playing tricks on veteran 24 hour racers - usually when the sun comes up, there's only 6 hours of racing left. Not 12 - kinda demoralizing to think about having to face the hottest part of the day just when you most want the race to be over.

Hanging out after the race
Photo Brad B
After the race, Mom headed home and we hung out with Nick's teammates for a while. The fearsome storm that forced the early finish of the race never materialized and it was a great afternoon to sit around the imaginary fire and tell stories. The team was pretty pleased that they were able to bring the title back down to Monument and were already plotting as how to defend next year... Then to the high class camping establishment known as Wally-World parking lot to get ready for Battle the Bear take two!


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