Another great Rapture in Misery 6/12 hour event. Trails were in awesome shape and as always the events by Heartland are well organized and fun. And for the first time my wife Carolynn raced on my team. This morning before we left I watched This Video. Yes, I am ready for another 12 hours of Ecstatic Exhaustion.
Things started off well for our team with me leading the way to the first corner. My teammate Brent passed me on the way back to the bikes with a very strong run. As we approached to get our bikes I remembered last year that Cow Town also lead at the start only it was Tige and Shad. Neither Brent nor I are in the same league as them and we were both soon passed for the lead on the climb up to the Family Trail. I kept within myself knowing that I would have to ride double duty at night since Carolynn was opting out of the night legs. I fell back outside the top 10 for awhile, but once we started to approach the Wills Wonder and Rim Job sections of the course I picked up the pace. I settled in on Rim Job with Matt Brown, Matt Keevan of Mesa Cycles and newly crowned MTB National Champion Doug Long. On the way up to Tasty Goodness I passed both Doug and Matt and really put it down with only 2 miles to go to finish on my first lap. As we approached the Tasty on some very tight twisty stuff Doug went down and I could hear him cussing. Man that dude takes his racing serious :-). Ended up finishing the first lap in 52 min (5 th place) coming in along side Matt Brown (who was also our main competition in the 12hr 3 Person COED division). Jeff Winkler laid down the fastest first/overall lap with a 49 min time. Man that dude has really taken to mountain biking this year and lead the solo's for most of race before being passed by eventually 6 hour solo winner Matt Keevan.
Gerard took over for the 2nd lap duties and put in a good ride on his vintage Schwinn S10. We fell a few minutes back and sat in 2nd place in the COED division. This was Carolynn's first time riding at RIM and she was a little nervous due to the technical nature of the course. She did great to finish safely and hand off to me for my 2nd lap. I knew after my second lap that we were not going to be able to close the gap to the first place team from High Gear Cyclery. I decided then that I would take it easy the rest of the day and save my legs at an attempt at the fastest night lap and all the accolades that come with that special award :-)
Official night laps start counting after 8:00pm. Gerard went out for his 3rd lap a little around 7:30 pm which would mean my night lap would be in the dead of night - as it should be. I set out at 8:35 pm and quickly started pushing the pace and catching riders. As I approached riders I kind of scared them due to the quickness in which I caught them. This was good because most of them got the heck out of my way. Those that did not suffered a severe cussing as I passed :-). I was flowing really well and was very close to my day lap speeds. If you have ever ridden at night you know this is hard to do and makes for an exciting time. As I listened to Guns-N-Roses on my ipod I was feeling really confident that I was going to post the fastest night lap. By the end the lap I was spent but was happy with my 53 min time. In the end I beat out Matt Brown for the fastest night lap - The 2nd of my career.
We got plenty of awards for winning the fastest night lap and taking 2nd place in the COED 12 hour division. One item that was highly appreciated was a new Blackburn lighting system. Carolynn broke mine last Tuesday at the River trails during a crash. I was just saying that it would be cool if we got one. Funny how things happen when you put it out there.