Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 National 24-Hour


One of my goals this year was to break 400 miles in this event. In the past I came close with 386 miles, but close just isn't good enough. This was going to be the year!

My good friend Justin Braathen and I drove to Grand Rapids MI and met my other crew member Jennifer Bixby who recently moved to Michigan. Justin and Jenn quickly established a good rapport and worked well together.

Riding off and on with a pack, the first 200 miles were done in just 10 hours--way too fast! Finding a more sane pace I hit 300 miles a little after midnight. Things were ahead of schedule and I was feeling good.

Then the thunderstorm hit! Fortunately it only lasted about an hour but it cost everyone precious time. After the storm passed, I stopped to change into dry clothes. Jenn had heated up some delicious pasta and Justin was standing by with chocolate milk. I readily consumed the fuel while they helped me change clothes. Revitalized, the rest of the night was uneventful. I crossed the above finish line with 405.7 miles.

This event remains one of my favorites. Besides the great race organization and good cycling routes, it's almost like attending a reunion since many of the same cyclists come year after year. It was especially nice to see my friends Rob Schaller, Rich Becker, Michelle Dulieu and Jim Hlavka. Rob is always a strong rider. Rich, Michelle and I rode together last year in New York at QuadZilla. Jim recently had surgery so he was unable to ride. Always a class gentleman, Jim came anyway to crew for another rider.

Special thanks to my super crew and good friends Jenn and Justin for a job well done--you were AWESOME!

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