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The weekend before AZT, Jen and I decided to give the 12 Hours of the Wild West a second go ’round. The inaugural year was pretty fun with a fast course, despite a nasty head wind on the final descent. We had a babysitter that year with my mom joining us for some help with the C-man. We took the win in the coed category that year and we were third overall.
This year Jen was pretty motivated to do this race again. I figured it would be a good, albeit late, tune up for AZT. With no babysitter and Connor in a pretty new cast on his lower leg, we were a bit nervous as to how this race was going to end up. When Jen registered us, she mentioned that she wanted to win the whole thing. I figured it would be possible as long as no 4 person male teams were too stacked and Connor understood that he wasn’t going to get much attention.
We got to the venue near Ft. Stanton, NM and set up in the gravel parking lot right near the timing tent. Jen got out for a pre-ride and I just chilled with the C-man checking out some of the other rigs at the race. The weather was perfect with only a slight wind/breeze. The course was much longer than the first year and we were looking forward to getting in a few miles.
Since there was no Lemans start, I went first. I put it in cruise control and let Paul Pacillas lead things out. I kept it rolling on the second lap and put in a chase for Paul’s teammate Jay. I was reeling Jay in when my chain started skipping on my cogs. Uggh. That’s what I get for thinking all my wheels/cassettes are worn about the same.
I held my position in the race and handed off to Jen. Jen came back with a pretty substantial gap on the leading team and I switched over to my Superfly 100 which was set up with a 32×21. It was a bit easy for the course, but I made it work. What sucked was that the brakes on that bike have been getting louder and louder. I cleaned them, lubed them, did a bleed on them, put factory pads in, tried different rotors….no difference. Howled like a wolf who had just smoked a pack of camels. Oh well….brakes only slow you down.
Our lead grew throughout the day and we ended up finishing up in less than 11 hours with the overall win. Jen put in lap times that were equal to mine….and where much faster than the slowest members of our opposing teams. The longer laps were definitely beneficial to us with lap times of 1:10 or so. Some riders took almost 2 hours to get in a lap. My suggestion to the race promoter was to stick with a slightly shorter lap in order to allow teams to put in more laps.
Connor did quite well and stayed occupied with all of his trucks. He even noticed when one of my tires went flat and immediately let me know. I had punctured through the rim strip. Luckily we both brought two bikes each so we were never stressed about bike related issues. Other than my howling brakes that frightened the bajeezus out of more than one rider, and my skipping gears, no major issues slowed us down. Notubes….NO FLATS!
Click here to see the official results.