Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Solstice 24hr race - Team BRR-Mixed

Fritz has already given you the highlights of the Solstice race for BRR-Mixed so I will try to fill in some of the details.

The team was comprised of Big Ringers Fritz, Zamboni and Papa G with guest riders Anna O'Brien (Tall Tree Cycles) and Leslie Greene (Chain Reaction).

Zamboni and Papa G arrived at Albion Hills Conservation Area on Friday to set camp at Chico's Fishing Hole along with BRR teammates Tobin (Coco) and Rick (Golonghardman), who were racing solo. The weather had been threatening all day and we feared the worst as rained started to trickle as we approach Albion Hills. However, things took a turn for the best. After we arrived and set-up camp and headed for a pre-ride of the race course, the grey sky turned blue and it turned out to be a beautiful evening. This was a weather pattern that repeated itself throughout the weekend, we didn't know what to make of the weather as it kept clouding over then clearing up.

BRR boys goofing off prior to the start at the BRR compound

BRR mixed - Giles, Zamboni, Anna & Leslie - Fritz missing as he was already at the start line

Fritz had volunteered to ride the first lap (to everyone's relief!) as he had not had a chance to pre-ride the course. At the start line, he was able to find a spot about a third of the way from the front; there were over 400 riders lined up. Fritz had an excellent start, he was among the first 20 riders to pop out behind the timing tent (about 3kms into the race). His lap put us in great position as the team settled in behind him with some consistent lap times.

Fritz @ the start line with Hannah

Our strategy was that Fritz would do 3 consecutive laps at night to give the rest of the team a bit of a break. Consequently, we switched to a 4 rider rotation after lap 10 to give him a long rest before his 3-lap stint. Things were going well for us, we were keeping up wit the first place team and we had a lap up on the 3rd place team. However, around 10:30pm, mother nature decided she was done teasing us, the thunder got louder and I started to feel rain drops as I was out on a lap. When I handed off to Leslie, the rain drops had turned to a steady light rain. As the night wore on, it rained harder and harder turning into an eventual downpour transforming some race course sections into water slides! I am not sure who got the worst of it, I believe it was Anna and Zamboni but Fritz also had to deal with rain for the majority of his three laps. Speaking of Fritz, his 3 night laps averaged just over an hour each and that included a stop before his 3rd lap to wake me up!!!

I was next rider up after Fritz, it had stopped to rain by that time. When I was at the timing time waiting everyone was talking about the treacherous conditions. In preparation, I gave my chain a health dose of Progold lube and lowered the air pressure in my Kenda Small Block8s on the Mammasita. I tagged Fritz off and gave him a big pat on the back. I have to admit I headed out with some apprehension expecting the worst. However, while the course was very damp, it was not sloppy for the most part, the ground had absorbed a lot of the water. The Small Block 8s had no issues with the roots or rocks, they were fantastic! As a matter of fact, it turned out to be quite an enjoyable lap as a lot of folks had packed it in and there weren't many racers on the course.

After I came in from my lap, I checked the standing to find out that we still trailed the first place team but we had a 5-lap lead on the team behind us!! Basically, we had locked up 2nd place by 7am, all that we had to do was another lap (which Leslie was already on course doing). We continued the rotation until 10am at which time we realized we could not catch the first place team. Following some debate whether to continue, Leslie reminded us that the result doesn't matter, rather we should follow through until the end. She volunteered to go again and I decided I would follow her. There was one thing we could still achieve, that is the most laps by a BRR-mixed (formerly Machine Head Racing), the old record being 22 laps. I had the pleasure of doing the last and 23rd lap and it was a lot of fun!!

On the podium

Proudly displaying some bling!

In the end, despite the bad weather, the team had a very successful race no mechanicals or flats, no injuries and Eload kept the BBR boys cramp free and of course, a podium finish. It was a great weekend of racing with some great teammates. Thanks everyone for making the Captain's job so easy!!


the original big ring said...

Great write up Giles! And what a wicked race you guys pulled off. Guess the name change helped you get faster eh?! ; )

And greetings to all from sunny Victoria. Off to the race later today.

big ring

fritZman said...

I'm jealous enough that you're out west and about to hit some primo singletrack, but it's sunny as well? That's hitting below the belt man. We've got 4 days of rain coming over this long weekend. :-(

Good luck BR!!!

fritZman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

Good luck to the Big Ringers in BC!!

It was great watching the Big Ringers kick butt at Solstice!

congrats to all once again!

The Vegan Vagabond said...

Go job Big Ringers!

Hannah said...

BTW, doesnt everyone love Manzoni's shorts??


Misty said...

Congrats guys! That's awesome!

Kari said...

Whooo hooo! Awesome riding everyone! Congrats!