Other notable Events & Races

2008: UltraMidwest 24-Hour

Now thats what ultra cycling is all about!!! I love it!!! How much pain and adversity can you handle?How long can you stay on that bike seat and keep peddling that bike??? I managed to stay on the bike for 23 1/2 of the 24 hours of the Ultra midwest Bike Race. About 3/4 of that was in the Aero position. I usually stopped for only 1 to 2 minutes at a time to pick up water and food. My legs only came over the top rail of the bike to change to my other bike. I had zero sleep. I managed to Bike 376.5 miles in the 24 hrs!!! I came up a little short of the RAAM qualifying 425 miles. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

I would have had to have everything go perfect to make a run at the 425 miles on that course with its 12000 feet of climbing and hot and humid conditions and remember no drafting. And as often happens in these races that just doesn’t happen. I lost over 30 minutes on the first 66 mile loop due to mechanical problems with my handle bar coming loose and taking two wrong turns. Someone had gone out on the course and drawn bogus arrows the night before. So after only one lap on the big loop they moved us to the more difficult 20 mile loop. This was a double whammy. I knew it would be very difficult to make up the 30 minutes even with the easier two big loops. But with 6 of the hilly tougher 20 mile loops in place of the 2 bigger loops.( A race veteran estimated it cost us 10 miles off our total mileage.) It was going to take an Epic effort!!! 

Not that I wasn’t up for giving it a go!!! I brought my riding speed up to around 19 miles an hour for the next 140 miles. But with the refuel stops for water and food that were neccesssary. I was treading water and not gaining on the half hour I had lost. I hit the 12 hour mark at about 204 miles. And there was a price to pay as it got dark I was fatiguing. The 85 degree heat and Hilly conditions had taken a toll. I was slowing 1 to 2 miles an hour. I had to let go of the 425 mile goal and reset a new goal in my head of 400 miles. I always need a goal!!! When I hit 1:00am the fun really began. I had been going all liquids and gels to that point and my stomach said no more!!! It was giving me severe heart burn!! When I push hard I try to stay with gels and liquids to make it easier ! on ; ; my system. But after 17 hrs. I was in a quandary I couldn’t go to solids now it was to late my stomach wouldn’t tolerate it. So I just cut back and forced a few gels down here and there mixed in with a few Starbuck double shots. Less then half my normal calories. The lack of fuel then caused the quads to tighten and bring on some pretty intense pain!! I could no longer stand on the bike. My riding speed dropped to 14 miles an hour from 1:00am to 4:30am. That is a very tough time for me anyway. On top of that it got foggy and I had the primary light on my bike go out. I was riding with just my back up and not nearly as bright helmet light and missed another turn. This cost me another 10 minutes. The goal was rapidly getting reset to 390, 380 and finally 370 miles. Just an interesting side note I always ask myself ! ;when I h it the part in the race when I am doing the most suffering. How is my Happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. And the answer in this case as it always comes back a resounding 10!!!! Nothing I’d rather be doing!!!!

Fortunately with 2 hours to go and a few advil. I could smell the barn and the bleeding stopped. I reached in deep and got my speed back up in the 16 to 17 mile an hour range. My total of 376.5 miles was good for 6th place out of the 28 hard core ultra cyclist who participated. Only two riders broke the 425 mile barrier. 

I want to thank Loren for coming out and crewing for me and doing a great job of keeping me on the road and maintaining a great attitude through all hours of the day and night!!! I want to apologize to those of you tracking on the GPS. With the quick changing of bikes and camelbacks the GPS sometimes got left behind. We will try to figure out a better system next time.