Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Zealand: ETA October 15th


Well, the travel plans are set - in stone. The trip is paid for, sort of. I'm headed to New Zealand. Wanna go? Or... will you be there?


I have a boatload of homework, so many questions to answer, so many decisions to make. Below are the major issues that I need to address:
  1. Is there Internet access in New Zealand? Come on man. VP Gore invented the Internet. Who knows if his invention made it all the way to New Zealand.
  2. Will my GPS work in New Zealand? Hey, it's an honest question. GPS coverage is 'spotty' in Antarctica - so I hear.
  3. Is it meter or metre?
  4. I know I won't be 'Down Under', but I'll be upside down, so will I get a major head rush?
  5. I'll lose a day when I cross the International Date Line. Is this the 'time warp' that freaks refer to as the space-time continuum?
  6. Will I have a hard time finding Budweiser in New Zealand? I prefer Schlitz, but I can live on Budweiser. (Just a joke. Or is it?)
  7. If I see a Foxy Mama in New Zealand, what do I do? Should I yell, "Yo, Foxy Mama!" or is there a New Zealand term that I should use? I don't really want to give myself away as a 'cowboy' from New Mexico, do I? Maybe I do.
  8. What is the probability that I will be attacked by King Kong? Come on, it's a serious question. A run in with King Kong could (will) ruin my trip. Hey, I know the difference between reality and fiction? The Lord of the Rings is fiction, obviously. King Kong? Totally real.
King Kong is scary. Right?
Ok, Ok. I'm just joking. I do have some serious questions that I must answer before I arrive in New Zealand.
  1. I ride with my Stans Flow / Schwalbe Racing Ralphs at 40 psi. What the hell does this equate to in kg per square meter. Yeah, I know it's kPa (kilopascal = Newtons  per sq meter or metre).  But the question is relevant. I live in the world of psi - I'm not shipping my calibrated pump, I'm buying / bumming a pump in NZ, dude!
  2. If I want a 16 oz New York strip, what do I order? a  1/2 Kg Auckland strip?
  3. If I want a 1/2 lb hamburger with cheddar cheese and bacon - medium rare, what do I order? Or am I forced to down a mutton burger? Trust me, I've had mutton, I think.
  4. If I want a pint of beer (16 oz), what do I order? 1/2 a Liter? Or can I use the phrase I learned in Italy - Grande Bier, por favor. Yeah, that may be some spanish in the Italian. But you get the point.
Check out this KoRn video. When I grow up I want to be the Front Man for a Rock n' Roll band, just like Jonathan Davis of KoRn. (Damn, this video is old, the dudes look young. Yeah, we are all old now, aren't we.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

24 Hours of Moab: Going Back, But Why?

The Decision: I'm headed back to the 24 Hours of Moab. I wasn't going..... to go, but I must go. (Damn! Grammar stresses me out!) Why must I go? To challenge the Demons of 24 Hour Racing, obviously. The demons got the best of me during the last 2 (or 3) races. So, I'm going to pack my full arsenal of weapons - mental weapons - since this is a battle between me and the demons that lurk in my brain.

So, what are the real reasons why I am returning to the 24 Hours of Moab, especially since the race is a few days prior to my planned trip to New Zealand.
  1. Because I can.
  2. Because I can. Really this is a reason, a very good reason.
  3. Because I should.
  4. Because I'm tired of cartoons.
  5. Because I HATE cleaning the house.
  6. Because it is the only way I can beat down my addiction to Cheetos. Yes! I really want to live a life free of Cheetos. Yes, I am admitting that I need help. Someone, PLEASE help me!
Ok, enough of this foolishness. What are the real reasons why I'm returning to the 24 Hours of Moab.
  1. It's a race, end of story.
  2. I'll register for the Solo Single Speed National Championship category - it'd be hilarious if / when I get dead last. Big Miles and Dead Last - just what us Back of the Pack Racers live for!
  3. It's the 1st 24 hour race that I competed in - 2009, therefore I want to return and tackle the course with a strategy, a proven strategy. (Who proved out the strategy? That's the question someone needs to answer. I surely haven't.)
  4. I recently completed The Judd's 24 Hour Race Circuit. Time to start the circuit over. Eight 24 Hour races in 12 months.... it's the start of another 12 months. (Yeah, my race schedule is based on the fiscal year - not the calendar year. Don't ask - I won't tell.)
  5. I must keep racing, I must keep the cranks turning. There is no guarantee that I'll be in New Zealand on Oct 15th. The travel agent says the "plans are done, it's all set". BUT, I've yet to receive the itinerary and my credit card has not been charged. I'm starting to get a funny feeling. And it's not one of those 'good' funny feelings.
What are the reasons I wouldn't go?
  1. Uh, can't think of any.
The nutrition plan - the final farewell to a life of Cheetos:

There are 2 things that you, the B.P.R. Fan can take away from the image below.
  1. The Judd is one hell of a good cook. Can you integrate Cheetos into your breakfast menu? I doubt it.
  2. The Judd really needs help, really needs help.
The Breakfast of Back of the Pack Champions!
The History:

Check out this link to the B.P.R. race review of 24 Hours of Moab, 2009.

24 Hours of Moab, 2009 - The Review.

Check out this link for data and pics of the 2009 experience.

Just a link to data and pics, dude!

What to expect:

24 Hours of Moab: The Course
24 Hours of Moab: The Profile
Some Motivation:

Dude / Dudette - if you are not a KoRn freak - then you should be!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

24 Hours of Colorado Springs: Race Review

The Race:
The inaugural race of the 24 Hours of Colorado Springs can be classified as a huge success - in my opinion. The race was very well organized, not a single problem. The race course was tough for single speeders, almost depressing, at first. But the course definitely grew on me, an average single speed freak. The race benefits the Wounded Warrior Project - great choice! Hopefully the race grows in size year after year, it should. I’ll definitely be there next year - to support the cause and smoke The Lt Col!
OK, enough of the formalities. Time to get serious, about serious subjects.
The Race Review:
It was a wild race, a race the defied all odds. What do I mean by this? Well, The Lt Col dominated the B.P.R. standings, The Judd caved in and became a spectator, The TeddNeck decided to sleep during the day and race at night, Prob-eee freaked out and quite the race (quit the sport?) after one lap. As always, there are many many small stories within the big story, but that will be left for when I belly up to the bar and you buy me the beer. (Just joking - I pay for my own beer - unless a beer is going warm and has lost his owner.)
So, you, the B.P.R. Fan, can pick out your favorite race summary, presented below: (I may figure out a voting scheme in the near future, until then send me an email and I will tabulate the results!)
  1. The Back of the Pack Crew, as a whole, consumed 32,631 calories via beer, burgers, pizza and Cheetos between Friday morning and Sunday night. The Back of the Pack Crew burned 18,073 calories during the same time period. Same story, different race.
  2. The Lt Col dominated from the back of the pack and brings home the hardware, 2nd Place! The Lt Col jammed out on a 34 x 19 and smokes the course for ~ 146 miles.
  3. The Judd and his 3 imaginary friends (The Philosofizer, The Hustorian, The Chick Magnet) dominated the 4 Man Single Speed division. 5 ‘real’ laps by The Judd and 12 ‘imaginary’ laps by his imaginary buddies.
  4. The TeddNeck, The B.P.R. Moral Chairman boosts morale at the B.P.R. Pit by riding at night - this was a major morale boost to those racers, I mean losers (The Judd & Prob-eee) who rested & sleep for 10+ hours.
  5. Prob-eee is forced into an intimate relationship with 'The Demons'. Prob-eee may never race again due to this new relationship and the responsibilities that go along with it.
The Race Awards:
The Lt Col: B.P.R. “Dude, If I don’t ride all 24 Hours my 10 year old son will kick my A$$ ” Award. 2nd place solo single speed, 10 Laps ~ 146 miles.
The TeddNeck: B.P.R. “I’ll ride at night but not during the day” Award. 5 Laps ~ 75 miles
The Judd: B.P.R. “Burnout of the Year” Award. 5 Laps ~ 75 miles
Prob-eee: B.P.R. “What, is this a race? I thought it was a BBQ” Award. 1 voluntary lap, 1 lap forced by The TeddNeck ~ 32.8 miles.
The Parents of the Brothers Rohwer: B.P.R. “Daytime Pit Crew of the Month” Award. Thanks Madre and Padre!
The Excuses of the Race:
Lt Col, why didn’t you waste the competition and bring home the championship? 
Ans: “Because dude, I was rockin the 34 x 19 and it’s hard out there man, it’s really hard!”
Judd, why did you cave in and become a spectator, a spectator with who spectates while looking at the backside of the eye lids.
Ans #1: “Dude, I’ve raced 4 times in the last 5 weeks. Three 24 hour races in 28 days. I was wiped out mentally, in great physical shape, just didn’t want to ride.”
Ans #2: “Dude, you ever been stung by a bee? I was stung by a bee right before the race. I had a wicked headache. (I think I had a fever, I must have, just because.) Check this link, Bee Stings - Allergy Guide! I couldn’t function until 6:30 AM on Sunday.”
Ans #3: “Dude, I was on Prob-eee watch. Prob-eee was acting weird. I was concerned for his own welfare and the safety of all those around the B.P.R. pit site.” 
Prob-eee, why did you quit after 1 lap and put a ‘For Sale’ sign up on your bike?
Ans #1: “Uh, can I use one of Judd’s excuses?”
No!
Ans #2: “Uh, I’ll get back to you on that”
TeddNeck, why did you decided to lounge when the sun was up and punish the course in the middle of the night?
Ans: “Well, I look better at night. I like riding at night. I own the night. Damn, what’s it to you! Get out of my face! You loser!”

The Race Data, GPS Data & Course Profile:
The Breakdown of The Judd's Race:


Check out this link for the 'official Judd' GPS data, some plots and all the pics. A subset is below in this post.


Total: 75.24 miles, 7986 ft of climbing

The Data: One Lap (Not the 1st Lap)

GPS Data: The Course - Looking Towards Pikes Peak, SW


The Videos:


The Video of Lap 1. Comments? Keep them to yourself!

24 Hours of COS - The Race from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.
Just some views from the course, dude!




Just a stupid video of the funny ride to the race. 
If you're bored, watch it. If you're busy - be busy.

24 Hours of COS - The Ride to The Race from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.
Just a Ride to a Race



The Lessons Learned:

  1. Riding in every race possible is not necessarily the best method of training. The Burnout could hit you, even on the 1st lap of a 24 hour race.
  2. Even if you have a good reason for not racing while the ‘race is on’, you’ll still get an unbelievable amount of S*^T from the B.P.R. dudes that are racing. (Ok, there is no good reason for not racing when at a race.)
  3. It’s just as hard to stay up for 24 hours and watch racers race as it is to race for 24 hours. (Yeah right! What’s The Judd smokin’ - or mainlining!)
  4. Preparing oatmeal & peanut butter in a crock pot, in a hotel room, is not easy and is not fun. (Anybody have a good recipe for oatmeal and peanut butter? Someone must.)
  5. If an ‘American Hunter’ magazine is sitting near a sink in Rosie’s Diner and a dude is taking a wizzard, don’t pick up the magazine and take it to the porcelain. This move creates and interesting situation when the ‘owner’ of the magazine want’s it back. This is a very simple lesson learned by The Lt Col, the B.P.R. Elder Statesman.
Crash of the Race:
The Lt Col lost control on the double track - the double track through the golf course. The Lt Col’s front wheel slipped out in some soft dirt and he went down. Nothing out of the ordinary, he crashes all the time, even on double track. But this crash was different. At the time The Lt Col and The TeddNeck were riding together and talking - so The Lt Col loses control and takes out The TeddNeck! Nice! Double track through the golf course!
Quotes of the Race:

  1. Some Random Racer: “You guys are like Clockwork Orange of the bike racing community.”
  2. The Madre: “If your camper is 1/2 mile from the race course, how Prob-eee’s going to sleep.”
  3. Prob-eee; “I still think a 23T is OK!”
  4. The Lt Col: “Dude, we need to throw Prob-eee a bone - let him know that we still care about him.”
  5. The Demons to Prob-eee: "Prob-eee, Prob-eee you must quit, you must quit riding your bike. This is stupid, this is ludicrous! You must go back to the pit and start drinking beer. Prob-eee, are you listening to us, we are The Demons of 24 hour racing. Prob-eee you must listen to us. Stop this nonsense, you are 52 years old!"
Question of the Race:
The TeddNeck: “How come a 44oz Coke doesn’t fit back into a 44 oz cup after processing.”
The Controversy: 
The Lt Col: “Dude I just got a text from James, the Stellar will be ready at 3PM”
The Judd: “So, did you call him back?”
The Lt Col: (No response)
The Judd: “You’re kidding me, right? You DIDN’T text James, did you?
The Lt Col (No Response)
Twenty Minutes Later.
Lt Col: “Dude, I’m not going down like those Senators and Politicians. The cover-up is way worse than the crime.”
The Lt Col calls The Lt Col’s Foxy Mama and explains that he does know how to text and that he texted James.  The Lt Col’s first ‘texting’ experience was with a dude that builds titanium bikes and not his wife. Talk about trouble!
The Summary:
Should I be serious? For once? Maybe.
The 24 Hours of Colorado Springs was a big eye opener for me, The Judd. I’ve been riding hard since mid May. I’ve competed in 10 races in 3 1/2 months. 5 of these were 24 hour races. Not a big deal. My body has held up fine, except for one broken digit that is now permanently damaged, permanently crooked. But my mental state is the question. Ok, my mental state is always in question. This last race I just lost interest in riding. It may have been due to the absolutely unbearable headache that I had. (No joke, I got stung by a bee and a massive headache developed.) Or my lack of interest created the unbearable headache. Psychology is a wicked field of study. Someone should study me. 
Either way 2010 turned into a year of traveling and racing. Traveling because I’m racing? Or racing so I can travel? Good question. Either way I’ve had a blast and now have a plan for 2011. I’ll probably scale back my race schedule in 2011. I want to focus on the mother of all races: a) The Back of the Pack High Altitude Championships - A Stage Race, b) The Colorado Trail Race. (The CTR? Yep, it’s a lofty goal, dude!) I’ll definitely hit up other races, such as 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest, Firecracker 50, SSWC11 and a few NMES races. But it’s time I get serious about putting in massive miles. You can’t put in massive miles if you spend two days a week on the road - traveling to / from races.
So, what’s next for me in 2010? Hell, I don’t know. I may go against my principles and race in the 24 Hours of Moab. ($350 to race in the solo single speed category? Damn, it was $130 last year. Like I want to be ripped off?) I may go race in 24 Hours of Frog Hollow - just waiting on The Lt Col and / or The TeddNeck to sign up. I’m not going alone.
Other than that? I need a VACATION! I haven’t been on a real vacation in 3 1/2 years. I have 7 weeks of vacation stored up - and I bet my employer wants to take it all away. So, I’m going on VACATION! Where will The Judd go on vacation? New Zealand Dude? Why would The Judd go to New Zealand for a vacation? Simple. The Judd’s going to New Zealand to race in a few mountain bike races, The Whaka 100 and The Single Speed World Championships. (That’s an obvious answer to a stupid question.)
A Link to the Data & Pics:

The Pics:
The Start - Prob-eee (Probationary Member) & The Founding Fathers (Lt Col, The Judd, The TeddNeck)
The Lemans Start: Back of the Pack Style
Does this really need a caption?
The Lt Col is Ashamed of The Crew
Beer for B.P.R. at 5PM on Race Day? A first, hopefully the last!
The Lt Col prepares for another lap, Prob-eee prepares for another beer
The Judd is Toast, The Judd Wants to Watch Cartoons
The TeddNeck - Trying to Smile. Ok, Maybe Not.
The Awards: Dan (L) = 3rd Place SS, Lt Col (R center) = 2nd Place SS
A Tired Back of the Pack Racer - Sleeping in Style, upright and with the colors on!

Friday, September 17, 2010

24 Hrs of Colorado Springs: The Before

How does a Back of the Pack racer prepare (rest up) for a major 24 hour experience? Easy, he turns a 6 hour drive into an 18 hour cross country trip - traversing all over New Mexico and Colorado.

What? Yeah... The Lt Col and The Judd are headed through Colorado Springs to Fort Collins and then back to Colorado Springs. Why? The Lt Col's sheep - Black Sheep Stellar - is in the shop for a major overhaul. Huh? Yeah... When a dude (The Lt Col) rides a wicked titanium machine like a possessed gorilla, the titanium machine needs an overhaul every once in a while. No joke, jokester.

Therefore, tonight, late tonight, The Lt Col and The Judd will roll into Colorado Springs. The TeddNeck is arriving sometime in the afternoon and he better have the B.P.R. Race Headquarters setup and ready to go. Why does The TeddNeck do all the dirty work? Well, read the B.P.R. Operating Instructions. The roles and responsibilities are clearly spelled out. Ok, I'll summarize it for you, the B.P.R. fans. The Judd, The Founder, The Leader, The Philosofizer DOES NOT setup up or take down the B.P.R. Headquarters. The Judd just hangs out and rides. End of Story. Oh yeah. The Judd also expects all meals to be of high quality & prepared on time. The Menu is not up for debate - breakfast burritos, Cheetos burritos and pizza will do.

The prerace strategy is simple - ride & ride & ride. I, The Judd, plan to take a break around dusk. This will be the 'fueling' break. One big meal should get me through the night and into sunrise. I'll have small meals throughout the night. But the goal is to stay on the bike - no sitting down, no resting, no conversations. During the race, we race. Except Prob-eee, Prob-eee sleeps when he feels like it - when the rest of us are racing.

Speaking of Prob-eee, Prob-eee may not even make the race. Prob-eee was a bit concerned about the travel arrangements once he heard that The Col and The Judd were heading up early. So here is a summary of the 2 conversations I had last night.

Judd: "Prob-eee, plan on riding with The TeddNeck."
Prob-eee: "Uh, I don't think that is a good idea."
Judd "It is a good idea, I'm The founder, I'm The Leader, I know what's best."
Prob-eee: "I'm scared of The TeddNeck. I'm driving myself."

Judd: "TeddNeck, Prob-eee's riding with you."
TeddNeck: "Can Prob-eee keep his mouth shut for 6 hours?"
Judd "Of course not."
TeddNeck: "Well, This could be bad, very bad. Prob-eee may not survive the trip."
Judd: "Yeah, you're right, again. Prob-eee better drive separately - if he wants to be breathing oxygen and not dirt."

Judd: "Prob-eee, you're own your own."
Prob-eee: "Sounds good, TeddNeck really scares me."
Prob-eee: "So, when and where do I meet you. I don't know where I'm going.
Judd: "Hell, talk to The TeddNeck, he'll be happy to help you out."

So, the life of The Judd, The Founder, The Leader, The Hustorian, The Chick Magnet is never easy. That's why The Judd just wants to ride & ride & ride.






When The Lt Col talks, nobody listens. When The Lt Col drives, we're all scared.

-- Post From My iPhone at 24 Hrs of Colorado Springs



Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Judd -> Headed to New Zealand? Of Course!

The decision was made, the trip plans finalized, the credit card....not charged... and the mind was changed.

Then I changed my mind again - for the 1000th time.

I had planned am now ready to embark on a trip of utter irresponsibility; head to the Single Speed World Championships - 2010 in Rotorua, New Zealand. But I woke up a day ago and said - no way Jose. Traveling 7500 miles to consume killer beer with killer dudes / dudettes during a killer single speed experience seemed like a great thing to do, it seemed like the right thing to do. But reality always hits me - directly in the face. And then it hits me again, directly in the face AND below the belt!


So here is the breakdown on the decision to go, then the decision not to go, then the decision to go!

Why would The Judd travel to New Zealand...for a bike race or 2?
  1. Wants to, therefore should, therefore will!
  2. Needs a vacation
  3. Tired of work, tired of working, tired of contributing to society
  4. Must dominate the Whaka 100! I will train hard to be the fastest dude from NEW MEXICO. (Shouldn't be hard, I don't know of any other dude / dudette from New Mexico that plans to race in the Whaka 100. I do know that Lenny Goodell plans to race in the SSWC10. That's cool! Lenny and Claudia are cool!)
The Pros:
  1. Opportunity to 'enlist' killer New Zealand dudes to start a B.P.R. NZ chapter.
  2. Never been below the equator, but I've been close.
  3. Never been across the international data line. Oh yeah, I have, twice. I've actually been farther west (or is it east - depends on the frame of reference) than New Zealand. (Check out Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. What was I doing there? You'll never know! But I was haunted by ghosts in the Kwaj Lodge - no joke, jokester!)
  4. Could find a New Zealand sugar mama and never return to New Mexico.
  5. Could learn how to speak the English language - correctly.
  6. Could experience long range international travel - alone. Oh yeah, been there, done that.
  7. Could win the race and 'get' a free tattoo. (Probability is 0.000001, but it's still possible, it's still probable.)
  8. I may win the 'SSWC10 Blogging Competition'. How could The Judd win the Blogging Competition? Because B.P.R. Fan, I'm a winner, my mom says so.
The Cons:
  1. Would experience long range international travel - alone. Been there, done that, boring.
  2. Would find a New Zealand sugar mama and never return to New Mexico.
  3. Flying 6000 miles over the open ocean, that would be the Pacific Ocean.
  4. I'll miss the 24 Hours of Moab. (Yeah, like I care. The foolish promoter / organizer jacked up the solo racer fee to $350. Like he won't go out of business soon.)
  5. I'll miss the Zuni 100. Yeah, that actually sucks. The Gallup dudes / dudettes are bitchin'!
  6. Would participate in 'Judd style' single speed racing - which is dangerous without someone available to haul me off to the emergency room.
  7. I may not be able to find SKA Modus Hoperandi or Dale's Pale Ale. I may HATE New Zealand beer. Just joking, that would never happen.
The Ramifications:
  1. My addiction to titanium may kill me - I won't be able to add to my stockpile of the precious metal in single speed form, at least for the next number of months - like many, many months.
  2. I would spend months paying off the trip, not saving for the real goal - The Colorado Trail Race
  3. Can't enlist killer dudes to start a B.P.R. NZ chapter - at least in person.
Lessons Learned:
  1. I need to quit talking and start making things happen. What do I mean?
    • Need to sell my house and buy and RV
    • Need to quit my job and find a 'consulting' job
    • Need to cut the strings to responsibility 
  2. I need to migrate to a life of isolation and only 'reappear' when major sociological events require my presence - like The Single Speed World Championships.
  3. I need to just do the S*^T and stop talking about the S*^T. No one likes a 'talker'; I don't like 'talkers'.
Summary:
So that's that. I may change my mind again. AND I JUST DID! I may change my mind 25 times prior to Oct 23rd. But the travel rates will increase exponentially after today - thus it probably won't happen. If anyone knows of a 'consulting' job that pays $1 Million / year, let me know. I'm one smart MOFO, I'm worth it - and titanium is expensive. (Ok, I'll take $500,000 / year.)  Until I land that wicked consulting job, I'll continue to play the lotto and hope for the best.

And:
Just in case you made it this far. I'll provide you with another opportunity to watch the following Korn video - the best Korn song ever!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Life isn't just about Single Speeds

Life isn't just about Titanium

Life isn't just about 24 hour single speed Racing

Life isn't just about Choppers

Life isn't just about shredding the POW

Life isn't just about surviving the Backcountry

A balanced Life must include Korn

Monday, September 6, 2010

24 Hours of Leadville: Race Review

This past weekend I loaded up the Yukon and headed north. The plan - race in the 2nd 24 hour race in the last 14 days. The B.P.R. schedule has three, that's "3", 24 hour races in a 28 day period. Yeah, educated coaching says massive 'recovery' time is required between serious races. Well, I'm educated, I'm my own coach, I'm never serious and the equation for Back of the Pack FUN says race as often as possible. By the way, 'recovery time' is for dudes / dudettes that 1) wear spandex, 2) are trying to make $$ on the circuit (The circuit? what the hell is the circuit? Is there big time cash out there?), 3) haven't figured out the FUN as defined by Back of the Pack Racing.

OK, I'll be serious for once. The real reason why I ventured up to north central Colorado is because I had to vacate The Judd's Pad so the cleaning service could do the deeds. The common B.P.R. Fan may ask 'Cleaning Service? What's a Cleaning Service? Who's the Cleaning Service?" Well, B.P.R. Fan, that's for me to know and you to find out. Good luck with that! Bet you wish you were me! (You probably don't.)

Damn (my new favorite word), did I say "I'll be serious for once". Well, that will never happen.

Anyway, 24 Hours of Leadville was an interesting race. Entering the race I had ZERO expectations. I just wanted to log some miles and check out the views. Well the race organizers declared that belt buckles would be awarded to Solo Racers that achieved significant mileage. Interesting? I started to pay attention at the racer briefing, since I am a cowboy at heart. (I'm into the lifestyle not the 'fashion, obviously.) Well, a silver belt buckle is earned with 7 laps and a gold belt buckle is earned with 10 laps. DAMN, you know what this means. My ZERO expectation race just turned into a strategy race. Just want I wanted to avoid. Oh well.

So, I was good to go, the race started at 10AM. The 1st lap was interesting. I didn't know what to expect. I was concerned about the altitude and the climbing. No big deal for a 50 mile race, but 24 hours? Ouch! Anyway. I tried to block out the 'Belt Buckle' and tried to limit my thoughts to cranks revolutions, like 1 million crank revolutions. I was doing good for the 1st 12 hours. I was maintaining a good pace, controlling my thoughts and the fatigue was minor, if not irrelevant. I was actually on track to cruise to a finish with 10 laps. Then at 11PM (13 hours in), near the end of lap 6, my racing world crumbled around me. The 'freeze out' hit me again, like it always does. I tried my best to dress light, control the sweating at dusk and limit the 'freeze out'. 

What's the freeze out? My own term = the state when a single speeder hits the transition zone after dusk. What usually occurs is a 'hot & sweaty' Judd arrives at the transition and almost immediately goes from race mode to survival mode. What? Yeah, Dude! When you stop riding in the middle of the night you cool off fast, so fast the head swells, the body shakes, the mind shuts down.

Ok, back to the story. I was wearing minimal gear but still was dripping wet at mile 10 at the top of the two major climbs - which was at 11,100 feet. The sweat turned to ice during the 7.5 mile coast downhill. (Ok, I'm exaggerating, maybe not.) I raced into my tent and quickly changed into warm riding gear. Well, I was too slow. I started to shake and I got a massive headache. The headache was probably due to my sopping wet hair and the 35 deg temps. I was hurting. As I laid there I tried to block the pain out and I started the calculations. I quickly realized I would not bag 10 laps. Therefore I made a quick decision. Screw the midnight suffer session, wait until the sun rises. An easy AM lap would get me to 7 total and the silver belt buckle. So, the ride was over until the AM. It was probably a good idea. I heard some stories about dudes really suffering. Some 'popsicle' was picked up by Search & Rescue. Glad it wasn't me. (I can't take those types of risks when I am scheduled to go head-to-head with the Lt Col in two weeks!)

So that's the story. 

Check out this link for the GPS data and the pics. (A subset is included below, in this post.)


Interesting Data:
I am now a believer in efficient lap transitions. Below are my lap splits and the transitions time. My transitions were a) OK for the initial laps, 1 and 2 - I prepared a number of bottles prior to the race, b) substandard between for lap 4 to 5, I was fumbling around with the lights, c) terrible for lap 5 to 6 - I was changing clothes for the 1st night lap, d) the 'freeze out' occurred after lap 6.

I must figure out a method / process to reduce the lap transition times to < 3 minutes - for all laps except the transition which requires mounting lights on the bike & body. The change of clothes is a major issue. I MUST figure out a way to get clean clothes without going into shutdown mode. I have some ideas. I won't share them, just because. 

The basic answer to fast lap transitions is support crew / pit crew that can do the dirty work between laps. I am absolutely convinced that the only way I can survive the night, avoid the freeze out, is to stay on the bike and stay moving. Thus I need a pit crew. I'll probably initiate an interview process. I hope to find a wicked hot female volunteer - but I'll pay if I must, like $100 or $200. Damn, that doesn't sound legal - a wicked hot pit crew that's working the night for cold hard cash. Oh well.


Lessons Learned & Observations:
  1. Over a series of races I've learned that it takes me about 6 hours to settle in and mentally commit to the 24 hr experience.
  2. If it sounds like the rear wheel is falling off... it probably is.
  3. A good meal is always overrated, unless you're starving to death half way through a 24 hr race.
  4. It's impossible to regulate the body temperature if a single speeder is tall, 'filled out', and wears plaid.
  5. I need a chef - or an IV drip hanging from the sheep. I refuse to cook, I refuse to prepare food. This will be my downfall in 24 hour racing. As proven many times, I can only race for ~ 110 miles before I run out of fuel.
  6. Don't forget the 'cream', again. Back of the Pack Racing suggests dznuts.
  7. Bud Light cans are preferred course marking. Why?
  8. 47 beer cans (44 Bud Light cans) can be found at Bud Light Alley
    • Lat / Long = 39.228991 / -106.2577506
  9. The answer to #8 above: Thugs in Chevy 4x4s, Bud Light in hand, aren't afraid to run bikers (me) off the 'road'. And these thugs won't drop an once of Bud Light during the process. But the thugs will gladly toss the empty Bud Light cans out the window.
  10. Wrist bands suck and the requirement for 3, yes 3, number plates / tags suck. (1 on handlebars, 1 on the frame, 1 on the helmet. That's 3, yes 3, number plates in a 8 cubic foot area.)
The Video:
Remember, my head 'bobs' on the hills. It's a single speed thing. Also, I included more material with the 'bobbing' because I wanted to make specific comments. So, take it easy on me. Save your criticism for something that matters. Actually, save your criticism for someone that cares.

Yeah, and I know that the videos of the hike-a-bike sections are tedious, if not annoying. But I think it's funny, especially at 400x speed. And that's all that matters - what I think. And I think it's fun to laugh (laugh hard) at stupid stuff like the hike-a-bike video - dude!


24 Hours of Leadville - V2 from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.
Just a few views from a single speed freak


The Course / The Data:
24 Hours of Leadville: The Course
Just the Mountains
The GPS Data: 1 Lap
The Pics:
The Camping, The Mountains
Solo Camping, Cool
The Start, The Hike
A Tired Sheep
A Dale's Earned with 7 Laps
3rd Place and a Silver Belt Buckle Earned with 7 Laps!
A Good Spot for The TeddNeck!
The Judd Races SOLO and Travels SOLO!
Clouds are Cool!
The Summary:
The 24 Hours of Leadville was a challenge. I learned a few good lessons. If I return next year I'm sure I can bag 10 laps. But will I return next year? I don't know. The entry fee is astronomical compared to most other 24 hour races, but equivalent to 24 Hours of Moab - which raised the solo fee by $200 this year = $350! And I was not thrilled with the solo area. This is the 1st 24 hour race that had substandard solo staging. There definitely was a solo area, but no cars or anything 'large' were allowed. My gear is in my vehicle, sheep #2 is in my vehicle, therefore I need access to my vehicle. Lucky for me, I squeezed my vehicle in Joe's RV site. (The race organizers wouldn't let me park in the area reserved for teams - go figure.) Anyway, there are so many options for adequate solo staging, hopefully the race organizers figure it out for 2011.