Wednesday, October 25

What's Important

Here it is, in all my rested glory, my thoughts on the 24 Hours of Moab. Well that is after clicking on "Sorry Blogger is down for maintenance" for the past hour waiting for it to come back up.

I've hemmed and hawwed over what to write but the backlog of other stuff I want to blog about is growing and I must get this one out of me. The story of the race isn't far from the account of the other racers. Marni has already written up a nice account and posted some great pictures. Dave has also posted a bunch of great pictures. Therefore I've got a little bit differnt format in mind for this one.
Marni you are amazing. You got me through the week before the race and got all the bags packed so I didn't have to worry. Of course I still did and you took care of me anyway. What we learned together about racing this summer came in handy and I can't thank you enough. If it wasn't for the rain I'd almost have nothing to write about because you made everything go so smoothly. You raked our campsite on Friday so I wouldn't wear myself out. You made sure I had sunscreen on so I wouldn't burn. You kept our clothes and sleeping gear dry in hours of rain and a leaking tent. You learned to play hearts in your sleeping bag and didn't complain about our woeful lack of dry places to sit. You understood my disappointment when the rain stopped the race and you were disappointed too even though you worried about me out there in the dark in terrible conditions. You saw how strong I was and knew I was doing well and you even volunteered to come back for revenge before I brought it up. Plus when we got home you unpacked and washed EVERYTHING that was covered in muddy sand. I have an unfair advantage in supported races with you by my side. You know what I need and how to get it to me, sometimes before I do. Thank you for standing by my side at the race and always.
Dad thank you for flying out for the race. It was so great to see you and it's been far too long. I'll try to do better on racing closer to you. Despite it all being a new experience you were great the whole time. I loved racing in front of you just like the old days at all the triathlons. I loved talking with you in the car which you gladly rode in for 6 hours each way just to stand in the rain. You never failed to make sure I was fed and treated all my friends to some delicious meals. You stood at the bike wash in the dark after the race was canceled just to make sure the bike would be ready to go if they restarted it. You stood around with me in the morning listening to the chaos of the meeting and before the LeMans start with your umbrella. You even helped Marni wash all the sand off the car and bikes and clothes and bags and coolers and everything else that made the trip. All the 24 hour races can't be like this so I hope you can make it to another one.
Dave you did so much to help me get through this race. Before it even started you rounded up all the lights and batteries you could so that we'd easily have enough. At a race like this where an HID headlamp and 20w bar mount are still not enough sometimes, that means a lot. Thanks for preriding the course with me on Fuel#2. I know that the long toptube and gears made it pretty interesting but you never complained. Thanks for teaching us hearts while we holed up in the tent mountaineering style. Every lap you cleaned my destroyed bike and fixed it so I could destroy it again and repeat the process. You found the chainsuck problem and kept my driveline 90% useable in a conditions that shut most bikes down to only a single gear. Thanks for the sandwich after the race and the ramen after the 15 miles of flash flooding. You probably still have sand in your tent and hopefully your sleeping bag is dry by now. Our luck with rainy adventures has got to run out soon right? Every trip we go on can't be in the rain forever can it?
Thanks more than I can express to Scott. You handed over your Fuel so I could have a spare bike and you never knew what you were getting into. Sorry again for trashing the shit out of your bike. I know you told me it's okay but I promise I'll fix anything I broke. Plus you bought me a sweet carbon rockerlink for my Fuel. You helped Dave keep the bikes working every lap. You didn't complain about not finding our campsite on Friday night despite driving by it probably 5 times and parking in front of it. You drove all the way to Moab and back on a short timeline just to help out and almost hit a Mini Cooper sized boulder washed onto the road for your troubles! You even helped me tape up my shoes right before the start for my ingenious "muddy run, clean shoe strategy." Thanks again for making the trip out and hopefully next time the weather will be less biblical.
Melissa, thank you for coming to help and sorry I have such lame pictures of you! You probably didn't realize when you met Scott that some of his friends are insane and now you're willing to join the insanity. I'm sure Marni loved having another woman there so as not to be surrounded by all boys the whole weekend. Thanks for everything you did crewing and coming all the way to Moab just for the race. I hope next time we're all out there we can show you some of the great trails and beautiful Moab without the flooding.
Thanks to Lynda for letting me pace off her on the chaos of lap 1 and showing me some of Dave's secret lines! You kicked ass judging by the fact that you rode away from me on lap 2 and went on to win the women's race. Wish I could afford your coaching services because you've had it dialed this year. Amazing! Thanks to Dave too for yelling for me out there even though you couldn't tell who I was, just another solo on the flood lap. Sorry Adam that I couldn't tell it was you on your 4 hour walking lap due to multiple mechanicals.

Thanks to Moab for the amazing scenery, wet and dry. I've been there more than half a dozen times now and it never fails to beckon me to return. The stark contrast of the desert red against the snowy La Sal's is one of my favorite scenes in all of nature.

Thanks to my mom for the million phone messages checking on us after the storm broke and to Jessie for helping her watch the race on the realtime scoring thing plus figuring out that all the racers had stopped. Thanks to Marni's mom who had nightmares wondering if I was alright. You are all awesome. It feels good to be so loved and I'll try to limit the number of nightmare inducing activities. Thanks to Michelle for getting the awesome hoodies done in time despite a late request. Thanks to Bill and Becky for their e-support. Thanks to Jim B and the Feedback guys for the support and the tarps, Steven, Rose and company for the cheering plus Stephan G and friends too.

Thanks to Nick Martin and the other pros who shot the shit with me. It is still very fun for this amatuer to talk with the guys who dominate this sport. Also thanks to all the other solos out there on course and in the pits. Everyone was awesome to talk to and it was great to finally put a few names to faces from race results and blogs. Thanks to Larry at Mountain High Cyclerly for the overnight parts "from Japan" okay really just from BPI but I needed them nonetheless and you got them here on time.

I'm sure there are stories and events from the weekend I've forgotten. To experience the craziness of something like trying to drive out of the race site on the 4wd road with some awesome mud is something I can't even put into words. You're just going to have to come to one of the races yourself for all the little memories.

Well I'm about to wrap this one up. If I've forgotten anyone I'm really sorry. This race showed me just how much my family and friends care about me and the riding was really secondary at this point. I finished 16th despite not getting to execute my race and ride for all 24 hours. That was a 5 laps or 75 miles in 8 hours and 42 minutes, almost a short ride for this season. I felt amazing and despite the weather I was just feeling warmed up and ready for night when the race ended. There will be more races next year. For now I'll leave you with some action shots and shots of the carnage. If you've gotten this far you must actually like me so you might want to see them. :)

While I am on a short offseason, the blogging will continue from here on out. Don't worry though, I'll be back on the bike very soon. 2006 was a great season and 2007 will be even better. The fires are still burning hot...


jess said...

I like this blog and I love you!!! And I think you have an amazing "wifey." Miss you guys.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warm and fuzzyies before my racing this weekend!

I do wish I had that wonderful support like you have with Marni! LUCKY!

Marni said...

Thanks for the sweet words. You are wonderful too -- everyone should know how good you've taken care of me this week during conferences and being sick despite your crazy work schedule and itch-to-ride-syndrome. You are just as wonderful back. I don't do anything special, just love you.

Scott DL said...

It was definitely a race to remember. Despite the pouring rain, it was a great time hanging out with everyone. It was fun replacing your chain, I was hoping to get to do more of them... Dave had everything else so covered all I had to do was lube the chain and clean the fork stansions each lap. The rest of the time was spent trying to get a wet fire going, carrying firewood, and digging trenches with a rock to keep the crazy amount of water from pooling up all over the campsite. :)

The concept of a team 24 Hour race sounds like a blast, but this one kinda scared me in to rethinking that.. :)

Dave Harris said...

Classy post Chris, I really enjoyed reading it and the pics too. Congrats on a great season!

Adam Lisonbee said...

No worries Chris! it was dark, and i was coverd in muck up to my eyes. My own sister had trouble recognizing me when I finally stumbled into camp.

Nice write up, and great pictures. The race was a wash, but it will long live as a great adventure.

"...well sonny let me tell you about the great flood of Moab '06...."

Bill said...

Nice blog man.

Becky said...

Great job Chris,
I'm proud of you! Glad you didn't crash to your peril or something bad.

Anonymous said...

Love conquers all-Love of friends and family, love of sport, love of nature, love of life. I am so proud of you and so happy for you, Chris and Marni. You are both awesome and my only regret is that you are both so far away. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Todd Plesko said...

24 hours at Old Pueblo looks really nice. Are you really going to do that race?