Tuesday, June 7, 2011

24 Hours in the Canyon: 2011 Race Review

I know, I know. This is a long blog posting and YOU DUDES & DUDETTES don’t have time for it. Well, you know what? There are dudes and dudettes that make the B.P.R. blog required reading EVERY DAY - Not just “I’ll read the blog instead of watching ESPN” It’s more like “I’ll get to my work emails after I start the day off with the B.P.R. blog.” No Joke, Jokester. The Lt Col will verify this. Yeah, and ask our new buddy Will in Amarillo.

So quit crying, put your emails and work duties aside - and read this blog posting from beginning to end. You may learn something useful - OK, you definitely won’t learn anything useful. But you’ll learn something about the Back of the Pack Lifestyle.
SO.... to the race info...
24 Hours in the Canyon - What a Challenge! 
Yes. The trail is only 8 miles long with 520 feet of vertical. Simple. Right? Well, how about ~7.5 miles of technical and rough track,  some wicked leg aching climbs & some brutal west Texas heat. Tackle this beast on a rigid single speed - you’ll walk away with blisters - EVERYWHERE. 
24 Hours in the Canyon is ONE MAJOR CHALLENGE. And it’s a great challenge. It’s a unique challenge that we’ll face head on again next year.


A Lap Summary:
Lap 1: The Lt Col snaps his da Vinci drive side crank. Was his race over? Not really. He cruised into town in the B.P.R. pinto and found a spare crank assembly.
Laps 2 - 4: The Judd and The Morale Chairman rumble through the heat and put The Lt Col 3 laps down... then decide to take a siesta. The Lt Col returns and puts in 3 fast laps while the Brothers Rohwer drink Coca-Cola and eat baloney sandwiches. At around 6:30PM all B.P.R. dudes are in with 4 laps. The battle at the Back of the Pack is about to rage.
Laps 5 - 7: The B.P.R. crew puts in some tough laps around dusk. The Morale chairman decides a bedtime story is more important than Lap 8.
Laps 8 - 9: The Judd and The Lt Col battle it out. The Lt Col meets his match with a catcus. He’s out.
Lap 10: The Judd is in the zone & puts down a fast lap. At 12:50AM he stops in at the B.P.R. Motor Lodge to check on The Morale Chairman and finds the Lt Col pulling 1000 cactus thorns (spines?) out of his A$$. Game Over for the Lt Col?
The late night chaos: The Lt Col and The Tedd are curled up and counting sheep. The Judd? The desire to ride was long gone. The battle at the Back of the Pack was no more. BUT.... the Lt Col could be planning a 3am offensive. So... The Judd gets horizontal near the door of the motor lodge - just so any movements by the Lt Col would be detected.
Laps 11 - 13+: The sun rose ~ 6:30 am and so did the desire to put down some laps. The Judd and The Morale Chairman headed out. Fast laps... until the heat hit 100. Disaster struct the Judd on lap 14, but the B.P.R. championship points were secured. The Morale Chairman fought off a hard charge by the rejuvenated Lt Col. In the end, the 3 founding fathers laughed off the events and went on a mission to find all those empty calories that make life at the back of the pack so much better.
Great Time racing in The Canyon, dude.

And some Philosophy from The Philosofizer - in 24 Hour Back of the Pack Style:
Judd-fucius, like Confucius, says: IT'S not about dreaming of the ideal reality, IT'S about the pursuit of unworldly challenges to conquer.

before the gory details
how about.... a late night snack before the race
Jalapenos stuffed with Carne Adovada
The B.P.R. Awards:
  • The Judd: 3rd Place. B.P.R’s “I may be in pain, I may be in a battle with The Demons, but I’m in the lead and The Lt Col is sleeping” award. 13 laps + a major blowout on Lap 14.
  • The Morale Chairman: 4th Place. B.P.R. “I’ll walk when I want, I’ll sleep when I want, I’ll smoke The Lt Col when I want” Award. 12 Laps in 12 riding hours and 12 sleeping hours.
  • The Lt Col: B.P.R. 5th Place. “I’m done, I have 1000 cactus needles in my A$$ and I can’t get them out” Award. 12 Laps. Dead Last Doesn’t Mean Loser, dude.
The Back of the Pack Championship Series:

The Obvious - The Judd's dominating the 2011 standings. 


Lessons Learned:
  1. The B.P.R. Motor Lodge: Unless you want to be sucked into the Vortex of easy living, stay away and ride. Glory at the Back of the Pack cannot be earned while horizontal in the B.P.R. Motor Lodge. Just saying.
  2. Don’t do a ‘Pete Rose’ into a cactus: The Lt Col was slowly losing ground to The Judd, then around midnight he lost concentration - probably while thinking about a new way to count cards in Vegas - he lost concentration and lost control. The dude crashed right into a cactus field. Game over. His chance for a repeat ended in a cactus. Ouch.
  3. Head on with a Deer: The Judd almost had a head on with a deer on the 7AM lap. That was a bad idea. Stay away from frightened deer. 
  4. The open sore on the A$$: The heat almost ended The Judd’s race prematurely. But a massive ‘sore’ opened up on the ‘you know what’. And you know what.... it hurt. It hurt so bad that I had to take a picture to assess the damage. It was (is) bad. But I decided that excuses are unacceptable and the race goes on. And the lesson - once the pain becomes severe - the pain will soon go away. All the nerves shutdown due to the swelling and infection. That’s just the way it is. Now I know.
  5. When The Morale Chairman Gets Motivated: Not many things motivate The Morale Chairman, but when he gets motivated... watch out. The dude was 2 laps down to The Lt Col early Sunday AM. But something happened. The Morale Chairman jumped out of the sack and hit the trails. He quickly made up those 2 laps and crossed the finish about 10 min ahead of the Lt Col.  Yikes. Will The Morale Chairman challenge The Judd at 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest? Yeah, keep dreaming.
The Video & Course Data, Dude:

The standard disclaimer: 29 Inches, Single, Rigid = a rough ride and rough video. Just a warning. Go easy with the criticism.


just a cruise around the campground
Just a Cruise Through The Canyon - Palo Duro Canyon

 The Trail: Google Earth Style

The Lap: GPS Style


Demonoid Phenomonon:
In 24 Hours racing - solo style - it’s all about the battle with The Demons. AND The Demons are different for everyone. 
Examples:
The Morale Chairman: This dude doesn’t have many issues with The Demons. Why? because he scares them all off. Yes humonoids and demonoids ARE ALL scared of The TeddNeck that resides within The Morale Chairman.
The Lt Col: This dude has demons lurking in this subconscious, I’m sure. But the dude is a) a pilot and therefore deaf - he just doesn’t hear the demons most of the time b) flat out ignores the demons - because he is too busy eating burritos and pizza, scraping himself off the ground and/or repairing busted bike parts.
Prob-eee? Prob-eee & The Demons. Well. Prob-eee’s favorite move is “TAP OUT” thus he’s easy prey for The Demons. Enough said. 
Rhino? Hell. The jury’s still out. The Demons may be ‘tenderizing’ Mad Rhino and waiting for the inaugural onslaught at 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest. 
The Judd:carne adovada pizza, a cold burrito, a small case of hypothermia, a bee sting, a sore throat. Hell, The Demons can even show up as a Foxy Mama or a fellow Back of the Pack Racer. That’s right. The Demons are supernatural - thus they show up as anything and everything that can take The Judd of his game. 
The Demons at 24 Hours in the Canyon: Let’s just say that The Battle with The Demons was legendary at 24 Hours in the Canyon. During Lap 4 The Judd was ready to curl up in the desert and cry like a baby. The heat induced pain almost sent The Judd to the loony bin. But real men don’t cry - The Judd doesn’t cry. Thus the battle raged on. 
The Judd was almost victorious in his battle with The Demons. That’s right, at 1AM  The Judd had declared victory and assumed The Demons were history. So... The Judd cruised over to The B.P.R. Motor Lodge and saw The Lt Col pulling cactus out of his backside and The Morale Chairman reading a comic book. The Judd quickly realized that he was 1 lap up on The Lt Col and 3 Laps up on The Moral Chairman. Yep. The Judd saw no need to continue on with the 1AM lap and decided to chill out with the crew. Why take unnecessary risks out in the dark while the competition was taking it easy is the air conditioned motor lodge. Yep, The Demons pulled off the victory. B.P.R. glory was stolen again by those creatures that lurk in the subconscious of The Judd.

Link to Rob Zombie - Demonoid Phenomenon

Almost DQ'd - Back of the Pack Style:
There are a few (many) unwritten rules in the Back of the Pack Rules & Regulations. (Of course the B.P.R. Operating Instructions are well documented.) One such unwritten rule is Pukage. That’s right. If a B.P.R. dude / dudette pukes TWICE during a race he (or she - positive thinking) is DQ’d from the B.P.R. standings. It’s a simple rule to protect the environment and fellow racers.
So. The Judd (that’s me) was almost DQ’d during the late night laps. Violation #1 occurred around 10:30 PM near mile marker 6. It wasn’t a ‘full belly ejection’ but it was chunky. No problem, wipe the crap off the face and shirt - keep cranking. The next upchuck episode occurred near the same spot, the next lap. BUT I can honestly say that no biological hazard left The Body of The Judd. Just as a good college kid would do on the dance floor - swallow the debris and keep grinding away.




The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

The Good: Club Ride Gear survived the west Texas test. The Crew started out with the classic plaid - 100% cotton... the control group. Then we shifted to the high tech plaid that protected us from the elements. Great stuff. The Lt Col’s gear survived a run in with a big cluster of cactus. The TeddNeck’s gear survived a nice quiet night in the B.P.R Motor Lodge.


The Bad: da Vinci cranks. Ever see a crank break in two. Yeah. I ditched my da Vinci cranks 2 years ago. I’ll stick with my White Industries Eno Cranks. Lt Col, he’s a loyal dude - loyal to his busted da Vinci cranks.

The Ugly: Ever blow out the bead from a Schwalbe sidewall? Cost me 2nd place. I was cruising on lap 14 with 15 easy laps in mind. Then BANG. It was a hot long walk to the road - after some unsuccessful trail side surgery. I’ve always known that Schwalbe tires are less than durable - but blowing a bead off a sidewall? I’ll stick with Maxxis from now on.

Quote(s) of the Race:

Lt Col. “You know what’s awesome about 24 Hours in the Canyon, you get last place and earn one awesome trophy. Come to think of it, my trophy - my piece of wood - is bigger than yours.”

Will & Rob. .... Censored by the B.P.R. Legal Department. The quote had something to do with Mini Me. (OK, I'm using a bit of artistic license. The conversation wasn't really about a Mini Judd. But it should have been.)  Anyway, now we have an idea for our next T-Shirt. Stay tuned. 

Summary:

1st of all. Congratulations to our friend Big Bad Joe Fortin. He pulled off the victory again - 21 laps to lead all solo racers. Unbelievable effort. Joe discussed with us his secret to success in the canyon. Next year... I'll give Joe a little competition. I hope.

So... What a crazy weekend. Three dudes, three sheep and a great time in west Texas with awesome Texans. Will we be back in 2012? Of course. How could we pass up one of the ultimate mental and physical challenges in 24 hour racing? AND one of the best organized endurance races this side of the Mississippi. 


Some More Pics, Dude:


The Cargo - The Precious Black Sheep

The Fuel of Champions: Back of the Pack Style @ 1AM

Will & Rob's Bungalow: B.P.R. Headquarters

The Night Before The RACE

The Night before the RACE: What else is there to do @ The Back of the Pack?

No Spooning in the B.P.R. Motor Lodge

21T? What the Hell? Did Prob-eee really show up in The Canyon?



6 comments:

  1. you brought couches?? you have really upgraded the BPR base since i was there:)
    looks like you guys had a great time!!!
    as always your posts crack me up!

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  2. That is quite a rolling caravan you guys got going on, LOL. Congrats on the effort and adventure to Texas. And there is nothing wrong with a 21t..either depends where you use it, or what you run up front!

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  3. Hey Cindy. I can't take credit for the couches. Our new friends in Amarillo are responsible for that decision. But I hope we adopt that pit decor for all future races.

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  4. Hey Matt. It was a great pit, but it was all due to the Amarillo dudes. We are just lucky to run into great people at all the races we attend. 21T? That is a funny story. El Freako got into Tim's head at Dawn til Dusk. Tim would not budge on his 34 x 19 setup UNTIL El Freako educated him on the philosophy of SS ratios. So. Tim rolled in with the 34 x 21. Interesting. The course profile is very similar to the N Foothills in ABQ. Then his crank snapped. He ended up races with 32 x 21. Wild. Anyway. It'll be interesting to see what Tim rolls in with at 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest.

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  5. Great writeup and great site! Just found you guys when searching for some 24-hour race info. Funny I was right behind Lt Col when he snapped his da Vinci cranks on that sandy-ass climb near the end. Awesome 'kits' you guys sported, and love those Black Sheep bikes. You guys are pretty F'in cool. I might be seeing you guys again at some other 24's and I'll be sure to stop by to chat and have a beer (or 6) with y'all!

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  6. Hey Jeff. Glad you enjoyed the post and dig the site. Do stop buy at the next race. We'll have the beer and the Ludacracy. We hope to 'participate' in 24 Hours in the Sage, 24 Hours of Colorado Springs and 25 Hours of Frog Hollow. Can't miss those races! Stay Cool. Judd

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