Drew and I headed down on Thursday. We had expected to be driving Bobke, our VW Westy camper van but once again, he was not ready. Instead, we took our trusty Toyota. We stayed at Christian and Milissa's condo in Moab, since ours was rented out. Friday we packed up early to get out to the race venue. We staked out and raked out our camp spot.
and made a makeshift bed in the bed of the truck.
and more mellow slickrock. The race course was not as bad as I remember when Drew and I rode it for fun a few years ago, but then I wasn't thinking of it with a race in mind back then.
Steve and Jim showed up at the camp while we were out riding. After a pre-race preparation beverage for some of us, we headed into Moab to have a super delicious homemade dinner of pad Thai made by cousin Milissa at the condo. It was so great to have our fill of race fuel and not have to deal with the crowded restaurants!
Back out to the "campground" for a restful night's sleep and up with the sun to do some final race preparations.
The race started at noon; Jim elected to go first. The start involved about 325 solo riders and teams in a LeMans start, running about 100 yards around a bush and back to the tent again before they picked up their bikes and headed out on course. Massive mayhem.
LeMans start of the 16th annual 24 Hours of Moab. La Sal Mountains in background. Photo by Lyna Saffel.
Here is a video of the craziness, which included a gorilla, superman, and a guy with a penguin on his head.
Jim turned in a 1 hour, 29 minute lap; pretty good considering the run and all the traffic he had to deal with. Steve was next up, doing well with 1:21. The transition from rider to rider at this race was well run and efficient. Here is a video of Steve coming into the timing tent, clocking out, and handing off to Christian.
Christian also turned in a great time on his first lap of 1:21. After those three, we were in 10th place in our category of 27 teams!
I was next, heading out for my first lap at 4:12 PM.
Now the hard part. Drew went out as dusk was approaching.
Night riding is by far more difficult than day riding. Even though we have good handlebar and headlights, depth perception is not what it is in the daylight. Technical sections are challenging!
Photo by Milissa Melle.After I came in, Drew went out for our team's last lap. The rest of the team had turned in their timing cards. Jim was ready for some relaxing.
Photo by Lyna Saffel.But Drew had other ideas. As he came in with an awesome time of 1:28 to all our cheers and jeers,
Photos by Lyna Saffel.he went out again for a 4th lap! He said he felt good and couldn't let 25 minutes of time click off the clock without racing. The way these races work is that any member of your team can start another lap up until 12:00 noon. He had come in at 11:34 AM. If we had stopped and any team behind us had gone out for a 16th lap after that, they would have passed us in the standings. Drew was determined to hold our middle-of-the-pack standing!
His second straight lap took him 1:37, not bad considering he'd run out of food and water. He finally finished up The Bucket List's run of the 24 Hours of Moab at 1:11 PM. We did a total of 16 laps or 238 miles and climbed over 21,000 feet in 25 hours 11 minutes. Time to celebrate!
The Bucket List. L to R: Lucy, Christian, Steve, Jim, Drew
We all chilled out for a while, then headed back to the condo for another delicious meal of burritos and ice cream while we watched Race Across the Sky, a movie about the Leadville 100 mtb race.
Monday, after breakfast, all of us including Milissa rode on Sovereign Singletrack. It is such a fun trail, but most of us just weren't into it after that ordeal. We cut the ride short and headed for home.
All in all, it was a great time, but I'm glad to say I can cross that one off my bucket list!