This past weekend I took part in my second race of the year. The first race was a duo with Jen in Ruidoso back in April. We were the 3rd place team overall that weekend thanks to the help of my mom.
This race was the 12 Hours of Old El Paso and I decided to try it again after a year off by nutting up and going solo on the single speed. I was a bit nervous as I haven’t really been doing much riding much less on the SS. I didn’t even get my bikes ready until Tuesday night and the full suspension Superfly was questionable due to some slight skipping. I set it and Dirty Girl (my custom ti hardtail) up with a 32×21 gearing, worn out Nanoraptors on the front, and fairly new Small Block 8’s on the rear.
I took the RV out to the venue on Friday and scored a sweet spot on solo row….about the same location I had in 2009 when I suffered like a dog to finish 13 laps. I headed back home for the evening and I loaded a cooler with 10 big bottles of Cytomax, 6 bottles of water, a couple Mexican Cokes, and topped it off with ice. Luckily the race didn’t start until 10 Saturday morning so I got to bed early and slept in until about 7:15.
I got out to the venue and did the final touch ups to my pit and headed to the start. Jen rolled in just as we were starting so I didn’t get to familiarize her to the set up of my pit.
First 3 laps were on the Superfly and the skipping started to get worse. Not sure if it was alignment or wear differences on the chain/cog interface. After 3 laps I switched to Dirty Girl and told Jen to adjust my left grip and flip the cog over hoping it would solve the problem. I came back in after lap 4 and had to change shoes because my left foot went numb and it kept pulling out of the pedal. I switched back to the Superfly, but it skipped worse. Came back in for the pit and changed socks and went back to Dirty Girl for the remainder of the race.
I was up about 20 minutes on fellow SS’er Lenny Goodell and down about 10 on Sem Gallegos, the only other solo rider ahead of me….but he was on gears. It started getting really hot laps 5 through about 8 and I remember drinking 2 large bottles on all those laps. Lap 6 I came through and saw Sem in his pit. Sweet! I was leading the entire solo field and I felt really good while climbing.
Jen brought me a sandwich from Subway, some pound cake, and cooked up a cheese pizza. I consumed pretty much all of the food she brought while out riding. She had to fill more bottles for me as I was getting pretty low.
Lap 10 rolled around and I had to run the lights. It appeared that I had the single speed category in the bag. So I made sure I put some nails in the coffin of the next solo rider.
I ended up with 13 laps in well under 11 hours and got to remove the grime with a hot shower and still had time to socialize before awards. A set of decent commuter or backup lights for the win and the satisfaction of still being able to race my bike for a long period of time a bit faster than everyone else here in El Paso.