Tuesday, May 08, 2007

12 Hours of Lodi Farm

Since last year's race I've had the 12 Hours of Lodi Farm on my radar, but it wasn't until a few days before the event that I decided to race this year. I lucked into a couple of super teammates (Chris Perkins and Ricky deLeyos) that had also been on the fence about racing.

As a team we got along great and ran a smooth race. What makes for a good team performance in an endurance race?

*Solid and consistent lap times
*Seamless transitions
*Positive attitudes
*No mechanical or light issues

Check. That pretty much sums up our performance. And we had a lot of fun.

We finished 2nd in the 3-person Singlespeed class. The winners, a bunch of Spot Brand Whores, were on another level. Nobody else was close. fatMarc, Bob, & Matt are not only fast, they're great guys. Though Marc did give me a merciless beatdown going up the first climb sometime Sunday morning. 8-) There's no shame in losing to them. To quote the inimitable Walter Sobchak, "...worthy fuckin' adversary."

Behind them there was a tight battle all race long for 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place. We were camped with our buddies Jonathan, Trevor, and Bob from the Family Bike Shop team and Gwadzilla's team was also nearby. We kept close tabs on each other and engaged in some friendly bantering throughout the race. We were the beneficiary of some light and transition issues that those guys experienced, but that's part of endurance racing.

In any event, it was a good battle that had all of us riding hard from start to finish...and that really made things fun. In the end we all sat down to drink a beer and toast a good race.

Here are some random thoughts from the race:

Slips & negative splits
The rain made the first few laps slippery, but the course firmed up and dried out very quickly. In fact, lap times kept getting faster, even as the legs got more tired.

Bonehead deadhead
I forgot my helmet at home, but Trevor came through with an old school lid sporting a steal-your-face sticker. Thanks Trevor!

Field party
On the first part of the course there was redneck field party, complete with pick-up truck, trans am (camaro?), bonfire, classic rock, and a dog. I was chased by the dog on my first two laps as the revelers laughed their asses off. It was all in good fun. By the time of my sunrise lap the fire was smouldering, people were passed out in the cars, and the ground was littered with beer cans.

A moment of clarity
Hyperion Espresso provided coffee for the event and it was good. After the sunrise lap I was cold and my stomach was funky. I grabbed a cup of hot coffee, a roll of TP, and a few Cottonelle wipes and headed for the port-o-john. After building a cushiony nest on the seat I relaxed, worked out my stomach issues, and drank my coffee. When I opened the door the sun was shining and I had a bright new outlook!

I love my bike!
This race reinforced my enthusiasm for riding a singlespeed. I felt much faster with 1 gear than I did with 27 last year. There was nothing to think about but turning the pedals and driving the bike. The 29er wheels rolled over all the roots like a full suspension rig. The WTB ExiWolf 2.3 tires had no problem with the mud or slick roots. I just felt a seamless connection between me, the bike, and the trails.

The Vibe
The atmosphere at Lodi is just the right mix of competitive racing and fun. People are friendly and supportive. It just seems like everyone is on the same vibe. A big contingent of friends from the DCCofD were there kicking ass. They even had the trailer & Tom McDaniel running support. That crew is all about ~community~ and RIDING REALLY FRIGGIN FAST. They do things right. Hat's off to the promoter and everyone in attendance for creating a temporary utopian mountain bike village in the middle of the Virginia woods.

And lastly a gratuitous self-photo so Mom can see me racing my bike.

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Photo courtesy of Gary
Here is his gallery from the race.
And here is his blog.

1 comment:

rickyd said...

Chris,

Thanks mang, it was great racing with you! Hope I straightened any misperceptions of being a fast rider ;)

You rocked this race.

-rickyd