Missing the madness
Of 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo that is... For the first time in eight years Nick and I decided not to make the presidents day weekend pilgrimage to Tuscon. Six years of racing duo and one solo for Nick and it's time to take little break. It's been nice having the early season big race to keep our training focused through the winter, but this year we're just moving the start back a month - if you don't count the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series, that is! We've had our eye on True Grit for a few years, but haven't been able to swing two long trips that close together. Our trips to Old Pueblo were all race, but also all vacation with plenty of trail riding before and after we beat ourselves up turning laps in the desert.
So this year, I'm watching 24 Hour Town develop thru pictures on Facebook, seeing photos of friends heading out for prerides of that 16 mile course I know so well. I'm a little jealous of them, knowing that we are usually there, chilling in camp and getting ready to race. But only jealous of the chilling in camp part and hanging out with Back of the Pack and the rest of the OP family. I miss the chilly, early morning sunrises and spectacular sunsets. I miss the antics of the BPR team as Beer Tree develops (movies last year were awesome...) I don't miss the wind and dust from last year though - or the bone numbing cold of other years. I really don't miss the staring and the nerves as the race gets closer or the cut-throat attitudes in surrounding camps. The brutal start lap - either waiting for Nick to come in or like last year, having to sharpen my elbows for the craziest run I've ever done. I'm happy I got a chance to do the start lap - but will leave it to Nick if we return. And I'm happy to not have to be worried about the passing this year possibly dictating the outcome of the rsce - or getting run off the trail into a cactus. But I will miss returning to camp after and seeing the smiling faces of the BPR compound. I'll miss the nervous chatter of the exchange tent at 1:00am and the rebelling of ride stories Sunday night.
So good luck to everyone racing in Tuscon this weekend. Be nice, be smart, be fast - and keep the rubber side down and the pointy things away!