Brendan’s first twelver

*****we interrupt your scheduled bloggage for a test of the Brendan Broadcast System*****
Warning- this was not written by Mary! We’ve switched roles for the weekend, racer, blogger; it’s all me this time around, give or take a little mascara. So I’m here to report on my first twelver… er, 12 hour solo. bust out the popcorn & EZ Cheese, it’s a long one!
The 12 hours of Temecula has been my goal for a few weeks, because of it I got on the bike more, ate better, and maintained a general buzz. Best of all, my “racer appetite” is back, which has been great. I love eating.

In the days leading up to the race I found myself having to deal with a virus that had managed to squat somewhere between my bronchials & throat. No riding. Felt pretty crusty all week, to the point that I was up late Friday debating the wisdom of starting at all. Add to that my beloved Trauco was upset with me, her drivetrain was hammered after after a “hike-in-cycling-shoes” outing the previous weekend. Long story short I “fixed” the derailleur with a hammer & pliers, and bled the rear brake the night before.

Fast forward to Saturday morning: Multivitamins on an empty stomach. Coffee gut. Great sunrise. Mary loaded the iPod for me.

Mary & Todd set up the pit while I went about my pre-race business– gabbing, schmoozing, catching-up, & tire-kicking. Jason called everyone together to the pre-race meeting. I hadn’t filled out the forms so he made a public example of me; thanks… I was “that” guy.

The registration forms had different categories, sport, expert, pro, etc. I’m a “pro” when it comes to eating ice cream, so I marked that one down.

Lineup- jitters, grab-assing, pondering how long it will take before it sucks.

Gun goes off- as if by automation, I’m in the big ring. Going faster than I should, which I know because I’m rubbing elbows with the fast guys. At least the guys in the helmets with no vents are behind me. Cool!

First big climb & I’m starting to feel it. Settle in, I think to myself, we might have to ride the whole time! Brett, Phil’s son, is riding Strong with me (pun intended, it’s his last name) and likes my pace. We decide to keep a moderate pace for a few laps then see how we’re feeling. We run into Idy Dave from time to time while he’s gettin’ his suffer on.

A few consistent laps went by, Mary & Todd (and Phil & Linda) kicked butt in the pit each time. I even asked for a few far-fetched items just to see what they’d do. How would you like your caffiene? Salt? Sugars? They took care of everything, short of the undercarriage lube, which is a DIY job.

Then I ran out of juice. A low calorie lap goes by & I’m hurting, plus I’ve got Elvis Leg on the climbs & the endurolytes aren’t doing their magic. I limped intot he pit battle damaged, the world spinning & alert lights on my internal cockpit flashing “danger!” I promptly gorged myself on pb&j, banana, yogurt, chicken broth, V8, Sun Chips, and espresso.

Predictably, my stomach hurt on the next lap. Bad. Walked a lot, prayed for flatulence… I wondered if

Mary managed to get me some ginger candy in the mean time, which helped a lot. Still, that lap cost me a lot of time. All of a sudden I felt better & started riding hard. For the remainder of the race I was able to push the big ring on the moderate climbs & railed the flat twisties. The “boneshaker” descent made my left hand go numb.. still is even now as I write this. Never again will I race rigid. (just like I said after the ‘Puff)

Night fell & my laps were still going well. On lap #8 I pondered Tri-tip sandwiches & beer, and rationalized all the great reasons I’d cooked up for calling it quits. Sometime around 7:30 I sauntered in, proud of myself & ready for hoppy beer… denied!

Lesson learned here- if you’re gonna quit early, go slow so as to preclude any opportunity to get another lap in. Mary & Todd did the “good cop, bad cop” thing and gave me a quick push back out into the cold, dark, beerless racecourse. One more glory lap, and it was actually the best one! Rode hard, had fun, came close to crashing a couple times. Turned in another 1:20 & called it good.

The sandwich was awesome.

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the race & sent me the good juju! Also, it was great meeting Jeni & Matt, Scott (hopefully we’re riding this weekend) and it was nice seeing all the SoCal homies– Dave, Chad, all the CycoPath guys & of course the Ranoas.
I’ll add photos as soon as I learn how.


17 Comments Add yours

  1. Matt says:

    Congrats on the race Brendan! Great meeting you guys and getting a quick view of the Siren Bikes.

    Elvis leg? I’ll have to remember that one. Too funny.


  2. Dave Harris says:

    Nice work Brendan! A most entertaining writing style you have too.


  3. Lucas says:

    Brendan…Way to go brother! Love the Elvis leg. Definatley impressed with the Pro Ice Cream Eating decision to ride Pro! YOu are the man.


  4. Jack says:

    Nice first time post man. Maybe one of these years I’ll be able to get out there and ride with everyone.


  5. Mary Collier says:

    WOW! You got 5th instead of 6th – good thing we made you go back out on that last lap. Not that I didn’t think you could do it…but you really impressed me! Great job!

    I owe you a beer I think – I gotta work on this pit thing – darnit!


  6. Jack says:

    Nice pics. I do like the looks of that bike. I’m super impressed that you did it on a rigid bike. How beat up do you get on it? Or do the 29 inch rims make all the difference?


  7. Brendan says:

    Elvis is in the building!

    It’s a rock climbing term, when your legs are pumped and they shake & quake, like you’re doing the hibbidy-dibbidy!

    Jack- riding rigid is a lot of fun, that’s primarily why I do it. Performance wise, probably not the best.

    pro- steering precision is out of this world. Rigid lets you thread lines you didn’t think were possible on suspension.
    out of the saddle climbing- killer! Those moderate climbs at Vail were like riding on a road bike.

    con- rough, fast stuff beats the tar out of you. I’d compare the beating from the 12 to being stuffed into a trash can & rolled down a hill. (it’s happened)


  8. Lucas says:

    Stuffed in a trash can? Awesome! 5th place! It looks like you put it down…teach me how! When are we riding?


  9. Jack says:

    hmmm I tell you this resurgence of HT’s (not sure if it’s really resurgence but I’ll call it that) has got me really thinking. My squishy bike is a blast but not always practical for the trails/dirt roads I ride. Maybe its time to start saving again…


  10. Brendan says:

    Lucas- yes, let’s ride!

    Jack- hardtails are fast. let’s talk!

    trash can DH was my idea of “sport” in 6th grade…


  11. Jack says:

    I take it you ride HT’s? 🙂

    I just started a conversation regarding the FS and HT thingy at MTBR, for some reason it fascinates me that HT’s are still around and making a comeback. Please don’t get me wrong though I own an HT but it’s set up for more of AM (It’s a Chameleon that weighs probably over 30 pounds) and short 30 minute runs into the local hills or some fun off the curbs and stuff in the neighborhood while the kids play outside. I’m just not sure it’d be very fun on a long epic ride.


  12. Brendan says:

    err.. yeah, I ride a hardtail for the most part. There’s nothing like the precision & connection that a hardtail has. Love ’em. They’re not “new” and until recently with the emergence of new wheel sizes, there hasn’t been a lot of change to “sell” about hardtails. And bike companies are in the business of SELLING bikes, of course.

    That said, I know my way around suspension & you’ll likely be seeing more of my suspension ideas coming in the future. But it’ll be a gradual process, starting with the Song– we’re really aiming high. I’ll leave it at that.


  13. Jack says:

    Well I’ll be keeping my eye open, I love the bikes, keep up the good work. Maybe one of these days I’ll be in decent enough shape to keep up with you up the thin air of Idywild. 🙂


  14. ojulius says:

    It was great getting to meet the 2 of you! Brendan, great seeing you out on the trail for a split second or so. 🙂 I saw Todd running the course almost all day long with camera in hand. Quite impressive!

    Ginger candy…will keep that in mind for my next race!


  15. Matt says:

    Todd kicked some serious tail running the course. Dan hopw many miles did he do? AT least a friggin marathon.


  16. Cellarrat says:

    Very nice work!


  17. Brendan says:

    hey Cellarat-
    SSportsman brought some Stanahans with him the other day… very, very tasty stuff.


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