Right now I am in a horribly uncomfortable, yet oh so sweet feeling, Moab Super 8 bed. To my right there are Chris and his dad (Pete and Re-Pete) making this really cute half snore/half sigh thing that I've come to realize is hereditary -- oh yes, there's a picture, but unfortunately the download cable is at home. I napped for a little while, but these two have outlasted me and I'm starting to think my quest for pie may be a solo adventure in a little while. Why could they possibly be so sleepy?
Seven hours ago, Chris completed his first 24 hour race. He's done longer and arguably harder before, but a sanctioned 24 hour event where you go around in big 15 miles circles for 24 hours is a whole different ball game. Let me remind you...
I take you to Moab 2006 -- The Storm of the Century. We hauled down Dave N, Dad2, me, and Chris down in the Element and were joined by Scott and Melissa. Once down there we anxiously awaited the start of the race, with high hopes of a first try, first conquest 24 hour race for Chris. Eventually the rains began and never stopped. Without any sort of Easy-Up and a couple of leaky tents, we ended up rigging four or five tarps between cars for a makeshift (and quite crappy) shelter. Eight hours into the race and it was cancelled. Chris had been doing well, and completed five laps in a soggy eight hours. Desert schmesert.
Discouraged by Moab's lack off desertness, we headed down to Tucson, AZ in February 2007...
Fast forward to 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo -- The Great Stomach Disaster. This time Chris and I drove down alone with the poochy and met Dad2 and Little re-re-Pete (little brother Nick) for a hotish, very windy, and quite cactusey second try at a 24 hour conquest. Chris was ripping up the course until around 1 am when his stomach lost all ability to process food and Chris regretfully and painfully pulled the chord on another race. Between the borrowed Easy-up blowing away and everything being covered in a million little cactus pricklies (claiming the life of a much loved pair of SmartWool socks and a lot of hunks of dog's fur), the environment wasn't exactly our friend on this one either.
So here we are, one year after The Storm of the Century, sleeping in the same hotel, smelling of the same Moab sand, with a smaller but more experienced crew, much happier and more tired. There will be many stories told by Chris and his fellow competitors that will go down in the epic record books. The greatest story of all is not my squeemish 2am application of cold Butt'r to Chris's shorts as he drowsily and unknowingly explained that he was "hot down there" to a giggling posse of friends, but it was rather Chris's conquest over himself. I'll let him tell the story and results, but I'm happy to say (once again and in my humble opinion) that I'm married to one of the top 10 mountain bikers in the region, country, and probably the world. I'm also happy to say that the combination of Dad2 and myself makes for a pretty well-oiled crew-machine. Only a Dad can spring up with that much urgency every two hours when his son radios in saying he's hungry.
The three of us are exhausted and one of us can hardly walk, but we're all relieved and exhilarated by Chris's performance on the bike. In addition to our happiness about him, we are so proud of the Feedback team who pulled down a 3rd place in the Co-ed Pro-am category, Bill and buddies who pulled off an impressive 2nd place in the Clydesdale category, and Nicholette/Steve/Dan/guy we don't know, but will probably know soon, on their excellent conquest of their first 24 hour team race. We had a great group of home, internet, team, and new friends hanging around enjoying Moab (which actually could've passed as a real desert this trip).
Pictures of action-Chris, sleeping Chris, the Hotelement, and our WAY cool and super dialed in pit setup to come. HUGE THANKS TO MOM AND DAD FOR THE EASY-UP TENT! Your mad shopping skills were the envy of Solo Row as everyone else probably paid way too much for theirs.
Off for my own solo conquest -- PIE!