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A Series of Unfortunate 5 Mile Loops -- My first solo 24 at The Churn N' Burn!

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
My first solo 24…what an experience! I came into the race hoping to finish (no DNF) and decided that I would just take my time on the first lap to get to know the course and then set a mental goal for how many laps I could complete.

My race day started bright & early at 6am with breakfast and jumping in the car to drive 3 hours to Ashford, CT. After a couple of small detours (wrong turns) and a long wait for the bathroom at the gas station, we made it to the venue at about 9:30am to set-up camp, check-in and attend the mandatory racers meeting.

At the racers meeting, we learned that the LeMann’s start would entail a run through the campground with our bikes. I knew that there would be some running involved, so I was set to finish the run last and take my time.

The first lap started and I knew I was in last and I didn’t really even care. I was there for myself and was the only female soloist who was lumped in with all the men. I knew I had no chance of winning and it didn’t matter to me because it wasn’t my goal.

The first rooty section of the course was fun, but REALLY slick and saw me landing on the ground a few times. I guess my skinny hard drives weren’t the best tire choice. After the rooty section, we dumped out onto the road for a short climb up to some more single track. This particular section of single track was a mixture of short climbs and descents that wound nicely and was pretty quick. At one point, we were literally running down a streambed and into some large mud holes. Then came the “parking lot” were MANY flats were had. After the first couple of laps, the race organizers actually took the culprit (large sharp rock) out and that made the section much nicer. Then came a twisty section of single track through the field and more ups and downs. The climbs weren’t un-rideable at first, but definitely took their toll on my legs after a few laps. There were quite a few bridges, one of which I saw lots of crashes on and LOTS of deep mud. There were a couple sections that became un-rideable overnight (hub-deep mud) and meant lots of wet feet. After a few laps, I was tired and wet and decided that the hot showers were calling my name! My legs were holding up fairly well, but I was mentally tired and not choosing the best lines which meant frustration and that frustration was added to by mechanical issues.

While I was out on my first lap, Sq-Earl set-up our humble accommodations for the weekend and managed to take some pics too. I am SO grateful to him for all of his support in this event. He is the one who first got me on a mountain bike, lived through me hating biking and then growing to love it. I definitely couldn’t have done it without his wrenching and support. Quofan was also instrumental in helping me out with mechanical issues during the race as well. And I can’t thank Douglas, Splat’s family, HOH & 4MAAB enough for all of their encouragement and cheers throughout the race…I really couldn’t have done it without them.

On my second lap, I ran a lot lower tire pressure to assist with traction…bad idea!!! I managed to roll my tire off the bead at one point and then pinch flatted a short time later. Then came the drivetrain issues. As the mud caked onto my chain and chain rings, the chainsuck took over and my frustration mounted. I was tired and not carrying enough speed on the climbs to defeat the chainsuck so that meant some hiking! For my third lap Sq-Earl changed my tires (Nascar style ;) ) and I was off to see how the Kenda Kinetics performed. The tires were a HUGE improvement, but the drivetrain issues were still mounting. After a couple more laps and much frustration, I decided a hot shower, some food and some love for my bike was in order. Sq-Earl & Quo-fan discovered that my chain was quite stretched and needed to be replaced as well as the horrible sharktooth developing on my small chainring.

After my rest, I headed back out for a couple of night laps and then decided to sleep. I only intended to sleep for a short time, but couldn’t remember how to set the alarm on my watch so I ended up sleeping for 3 ½ hours. I woke to embark on another lap and to Splat telling me that I was only 1-2 laps behind and could beat a guy! Off I went for another lap. Unfortunately, I was battling food issues (fell asleep eating my PB&J and couldn’t choke down my oatmeal) so I had to stop for some much needed fuel.

3.5 hours left in the race and I was ready to do a double so I could end with 10 laps and not finish last. The first of my final two laps went pretty well. I was tired, but able to spin through most of the course and came into a crowd of monkeys cheering me out for my final lap. :cheers:

About a third of the way into my last lap it hit…fatigue; a fatigue that I had never experienced before. My back was aching horribly, my hands were aching and fingers were going numb, my eyes were feeling heavy and my will to pedal was diminishing and FAST! All I really wanted to do was take a nap in the ferns. A couple of riders joined me. First came Splat…cheering me along as he gave the course all he had left to beat the team that was just a couple minutes behind. Then came the third place soloist on his SS 29er came up behind me on a slow grinding climb and was chatting with me, telling me how impressed he was that I was hanging in there. Next came the female team that 4MAAB were battling with and she was incredibly supportive as well (in fact all the riders on the course throughout the race were) and then, just as she was riding off leaving me in the dust, when I thought I was alone and that nap was sounding good to me again, I hear Douglas cheering me along from the woods. In fact, Doug ran into me a few times on the course as did Splat, cheering me on toward the finish. Finally to a fun section of course (past the last two bridges and out into the open), I felt a surge of proudness in my accomplishment! I was really going to do it. I pedaled through the last section, across the stream, up the muddy hill from hell and along the pond to meet Splat cheering me along and taking pics of me finishing my epic journey. I realized, as I rounded the last corner and headed into the last stream crossing that there was a woman right on my tail and I really wanted to beat her to the line so I gave it all I had to get through the stream crossing. I could see her running through it with her bike and I was pedaling all the way to the end. I knew that if I got off my bike I wouldn’t be able to run through the finish line, so I pedaled right through it to an enormous cheering crowd of monkeys, my husband and virtually all of the other riders! :cupidarrow:

What an amazing journey through the mud, through my feelings of defeat, aches and pains and determination to finish with such a loud cheering crowd there. At that moment, I didn’t care that I wasn’t the winner, all that mattered was that I had finished. :cheers: :happydance:
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
So, now some riding pics!

At the starting line:


Running along:



Still running:


Coming in from Lap 1:




Pit-stop for Tire Pressure adjustment:


Heading off for Lap 2:


Actions shots from Lap 3:



Rest while the bike gets love:


Lap 4&5 Action photos:






Heading off for Lap 6:



Coming in from Lap 6:


Heading out for Lap 7:




Returning from Lap 7:




Phil & I (after my 7th lap) feeling the burn!


Post-nap and ready for Lap 8:




Coming in for my big finish!






Post Race relief:


The Foxy Force Five ladies checkin’ out my mojo (Sq-Earl attached a picture of Syd to my stem to keep me going).


I was lumped in with the guys, but still managed to get a prize! All of the soloists got a Harpoon Hat, they also gave me a 6 pack of UFO too!!!
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
You rock so hard Treesaw!:banana:

Did you train for this event?
Not nearly as much as I should have. I have really only been able to ride 1-2 times per week throughout the summer and my longest ride leading up to the race was at Monkeyfest (about 4 hours for 22 miles with a 3 hour night ride for about 10 miles the night prior). I am really amazed at the outcome and am not really even wondering "what if" and this point.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,157
1,560
MTB New England
That's an awesome writeup, TreeSaw! You have so much to be proud of, and we are all proud of you! You kicked all our butts, too. No other monkey rider did 10 laps. :)
 

brungeman

I give a shirt
Jan 17, 2006
5,173
0
da Burgh
wow T,

that is super impressive, and very inspirational! when I heard that you were riding the C&B 24, I knew that there was no way I could wuss out on my end and had to race! You made all of us monkeys proud, and have inspired me more than you know!

Congrats! (I think Squirrel wussed out though) he only had to drink 10 beers? and if I remember correctly, I think I read he only had 9!:brow:
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
wow T,

that is super impressive, and very inspirational! when I heard that you were riding the C&B 24, I knew that there was no way I could wuss out on my end and had to race! You made all of us monkeys proud, and have inspired me more than you know!

Congrats! (I think Squirrel wussed out though) he only had to drink 10 beers? and if I remember correctly, I think I read he only had 9!:brow:
Yeah...he & Doug had 9 beers and I had to go and out-do them the next morning! Actually, Doug & I celebrated with a shot of Tequila after my final lap so really it was just Sq-Earl that I managed to defeat :busted:
 

Diane

Chimp
Sep 20, 2006
3
0
Hey Treesaw, that was me chasing you down at the finish. You had a great line through the stream, I hesitated at that for the whole event. I can't remount the bike quickly to save my life, esp with the eggbeaters so I figured my only chance was to run.

You did awesome and what an attitude - every time I saw you, you had an ear to ear grin.

When's your next one planned? :cool:
 

douglas

Chocolate Milk Doug
May 15, 2002
9,889
0
Shut up and Ride
Hey Treesaw, that was me chasing you down at the finish. You had a great line through the stream, I hesitated at that for the whole event. I can't remount the bike quickly to save my life, esp with the eggbeaters so I figured my only chance was to run.

You did awesome and what an attitude - every time I saw you, you had an ear to ear grin.

When's your next one planned? :cool:
I found the secret easy line thru the stream, then shared my knowledge with a select few :biggrin: :biggrin:
 

Diane

Chimp
Sep 20, 2006
3
0
That last lap was the only one I was behind someone (TS) that made it look easy. So everytime I hit it, I said to myself, hmmmm.... is it worth crashing? Nope! I got enough bruises from the event!

I'm going to try her line at the Root66 race in a couple of weeks. ;)
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
Hey Treesaw, that was me chasing you down at the finish. You had a great line through the stream, I hesitated at that for the whole event. I can't remount the bike quickly to save my life, esp with the eggbeaters so I figured my only chance was to run.

You did awesome and what an attitude - every time I saw you, you had an ear to ear grin.

When's your next one planned? :cool:
Welcome to Ridemonkey Diane!
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
Hey Treesaw, that was me chasing you down at the finish. You had a great line through the stream, I hesitated at that for the whole event. I can't remount the bike quickly to save my life, esp with the eggbeaters so I figured my only chance was to run.

You did awesome and what an attitude - every time I saw you, you had an ear to ear grin.

When's your next one planned? :cool:
Hey there! It was great to see some women racing last weekend. Your team did great!!! It was my first ever solo 24 and I am hoping to defend my "title" next year as well. Who knows...I may even try another between now and then ;)

I'm glad you were able to see that line (that my wonderful friends showed me on lap 2). I got eaten up in that mud on my first lap and used up a lot of energy to ride through it. Trust me, after that the alternate line saved me!

Good luck at the Route 66 race and if you're ever in Upstate, NY drop me a PM and I would be happy to show you around some trails!!!
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,703
139
NORCAL is the hizzle
Good job!!

To anyone who has even considered doing a solo, do it. We all pass through many unremarkable 24 hour periods in our lives. A solo 24 hour race is something you will never forget!! :cheers:
 

Diane

Chimp
Sep 20, 2006
3
0
Hey there! It was great to see some women racing last weekend. Your team did great!!! It was my first ever solo 24 and I am hoping to defend my "title" next year as well. Who knows...I may even try another between now and then ;)

I'm glad you were able to see that line (that my wonderful friends showed me on lap 2). I got eaten up in that mud on my first lap and used up a lot of energy to ride through it. Trust me, after that the alternate line saved me!

Good luck at the Route 66 race and if you're ever in Upstate, NY drop me a PM and I would be happy to show you around some trails!!!
The mud last weekend killed me! That was not the same course as last year.

Hmmm upstate NY? Anything around Lake Placid? I've all but given up bringing the mt bike up there.

Oh, and where might there be another 24 hr race "locally"? ;)

Diane
ps - thanks for the welcome Mark :)
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
The mud last weekend killed me! That was not the same course as last year.

Hmmm upstate NY? Anything around Lake Placid? I've all but given up bringing the mt bike up there.

Oh, and where might there be another 24 hr race "locally"? ;)

Diane
ps - thanks for the welcome Mark :)
Well, I'm an hour and a half south of there and we have some great trails! I have only ridden DH at Whiteface so I don't really know the XC scene up there...sorry.

As for other "local" 24s...I guess it depends on what you consider "local". Relatively close (within about 4 hours of me) there's the 24 hours at Killington (VT); Hardcore 24 (Cutler, NY), Great Glen, NH and Allamuchy, NJ.