Our first time out to the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest was a success! We didn't successfully win anything, we ended up 4th place out of 5 teams in the 4 person singlespeed category. But we did successfully enjoy ourselves the whole time, and that was our only goal anyway.
We rolled in late, having closed the shop at 6pm like normal. Luckily, the trailer was already there waiting for us, thanks to Tony (not our Tony, another Tony), and beer was waiting for us thanks to Rick, who was rolling deep with 2 pony kegs. So we threw some tents down and got to business, race prepping for the next day:
In my hungover state the next morning, I volunteered for the first lap. This was a bad idea, as the course was extremely dry, and the tight traffic for the whole first lap meant I ate huge amounts of dust, which I think effected my breathing for the whole rest of the race. In fact, I'm still blowing sandy boogers out my nose all the time. It's lovely.
I should have tried to be more like our boy Alex, who finished the first lap in 2nd place overall. I'm guessing he didn't eat much dust.
I also decided that I should do the first lap dressed as Grover. I wore the Grover suit at Mesa Verde, but that race started at 7am. This time I was out at noon, and it was definitely a little hot. Still, riding through camp and lining up at the start (obviously I pushed my way near the front), all the parents were pointing me out to their kids, lots of smiling faces, it was worth the sweat. The headwind I could have done without though. That thing was like a freaking sail.
I don't have any pics of myself in the Grover suit, but if anybody reading this does, please send them my way via the shops email and I'll get them shared.
At one point, I finished my lap to find Danny eating a bowl of something or rather doing his best Monkey impression:
We were camping next to the Leonard family, and Alex, his brother Elliot, their Dad Andy, and our friend Rick were on a 4 man team together (Clown College was the team name, if you are looking through results). Elliot was only willing to race under the condition that he would do one of his laps on a unicycle. Here he is, suiting up for the Uni-lap, in his super suit:
His lap time was something like 2 hours. Average lap times for the course were typically about an hour and a half. Most people can't ride a unicycle period. So I'm gonna go ahead and say that was pretty studly. Also, he rode a unicycle frame and hub that he built himself. And it was nice looking stuff. 29" wheel. It was cool.
Here is a pic of Charlie, heading out for a lap. But first he asked Matt how his butt was looking. Matt said it was looking kind of big, and that Charlie wasn't really his type anyways, and that THIS IS A FREAKING RACE AND YOU ARE RUINING IT FOR EVERYBODY!
Here is a pic of Danny trying to blow himself up with our new tabletop grill that we assembled 3/4 of the way into the race. We initially attempted to assemble it without using the instructions (my idea) but gave up eventually when fear of being blown up settled in.
The race was a blast. The course was extremely fun, I was still enjoying it on my fifth lap out (which is one more lap than the rest of my teammates did, by the way). We raced hard but did a good job of never taking it seriously enough to not have fun (i.e. plenty of beer was drank in between laps).
The whole race was very well organized with plenty of fun perks, like free beer, free wine, free massages, free yoga class toward the end, free coffee all night and morning. The lap timing seemed to go flawlessly (at least as far as I could tell), and awards were up and running just a few minutes past noon, which is very impressive to all of us who have stood around for hours after a race waiting to see final results posted.
Those gals really know how to take care of their racers! We will certainly continue to attend and support all races put on by Zia Rides.
I didn't stick around for awards though. We weren't on the podium, and I was super anxious to get home after 2 days of not seeing these little guys:
They are so cute it melts my brain. Oh yeah, I was missing my wife too.
Lastly, I want to give props to my old man and his team, "Real Men of Genius" who won the 5 man category. He's like 90 years old, and was putting in lap times to keep up with the youngsters, and got to stand on the top of the podium. Hell of a job Dad!
Thanks for reading!