The 24 Hour Burn us one of the largest mountain bike races on the East Coast. Over 350 riders, solo and on teams turned out for a full day of the pain train. Last I (Cliff) attempted a solo ride. I had to abandon after 9 hours with saddle sores. This year it would be a team race with fellow Dire Wolf teammate, Quinn. To round out the team we had Chris Willis and Ben Waren. We had a camp setup with 3 teams and 2 solo riders. Friday evening, we needed all those riders to hold down our canopies as a huge thunderstorm hit the area. Very strong winds and driving rain destroyed a lot of other teams canopies and tents. After it passed, the weather cooperated for the rest of the weekend.
The race started at Noon on Saturday. It's a LeMan style start. A team memver has to run around the camp area and tag the first rider. Ben did our run and I was the first rider. After a trail mix-up that had us do the beginning twice, the first lap went pretty smooth. We would switch riders every lap and the times were all within 10 minutes from the fastest to slowest.
When it got dark we switched up and rode 1-2, 1-2, 3-4, 3-4 to try to get some rest. Of course the times got longer at night, moreso closer to morning when the dew made the roots very slick. On my 3rd lap, my battery died halfway through the course and i lost about 8 minutes.
When the sun comes up in a 24 hour race, it rejuvinates you. Amazingly, we all started pulling times close to the ones at the beginning. Our recovery surprized all of us.
In the end we were in 11th place out of 50 teams, with 32 laps. We were within 15 minutes of the top 10. It was tons of fun. Everyone had a good time. Special thanks to my wife Jess for cooking for everyone throughout the night and Richard for keeping us organized. Someday i will go baack and try it solo, but the team aspect is so much fun!
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