It's true that the Olympic MTB course in Conyers, GA
may be the toughest 24 hour course to race solo. It is anything but smooth, you are either on bumpy granite or rolling through roots and technical sections. And, erosion has definitely taken a toll on this trail in the last several years as the brake bumps on even the non-technical descents have the feel of a washboard.Eddie
and I were both having fork problems three days before the race and Vassago
sent us a brand new fork via 2-day air. We received it on Friday and I let Eddie use it since I really wanted him to win this race and didn't want him to have to stop b/c of mechanicals. I used Eddie's fork on my Optimus Ti
and had my Jabberwocky
as backup with the ODIS rigid fork (BTW, rigid is NOT the preferred choice for this race course).Cody
convinced me to do my first lap on the rigid bike because then the Ti bike with suspension would feel awesomely light and cushy, good idea Cody. After one lap, I happily ditched the suspensionless bike and went for titanium.
My first few laps were consistent at about an hour each and 2nd place was dropping further back. After a few hours, though, my forearms were really bothering me. I didn't realize that my fork was compressing but not rebounding, so all the little bumps on the course were giving me a beating. Hodge
convinced me that the steel fork would actually be a smoother ride so I took his advice.
Somewhere in the middle of the night I was near tears as I couldn't ride anything as my arms hurt so bad. Cody massaged them and him, Richard, and Hodge kept me motivated to get back out there even if I had to do a lot of walking. The problem with singlespeeding is you use your forearms A LOT even when climbing, so not only was I descending like a snail to reduce the jarring effect, I was either walking or wincing when I was climbing.
My lap times got slower and slower but I stayed out there despite taking a few hour or so breaks (I was always 2 to 3 laps up on 2nd place so I felt comfortable resting). I contemplated quitting several times, I even told everyone I was quitting. What really kept me from doing it, though, was the fact Hodge & Cody had done so much for us all day and night and I didn't want to let them or Vassago down.
I ended up with 15 laps and I can definitely say it was the most grueling 24 hour race I've ever done. As if the course wasn't hard enough, singlespeed and rigid made it stupidly hard. Now I have to live with a huge swollen right arm in hopes that this tendonitis (or whatever it is) does not ruin any of my remaining season. I do not foresee me being able to mountain bike anytime soon, though :( Too bad, I wanted to do some laps at the BURN 24 hour race
this weekend. Oh well, at least it doesn't hurt too bad to eat ice cream and drink beer.
I am SO proud of Eddie for finally winning at Conyers! I did support for him in October 2004, and that is how we met. He has been trying to win this race since then and this was finally his year. Now we NEVER have to race solo there again and I couldn't be happier about that!
I know I already thanked them, but I have to do it again:THANKS TO ADDICTIVE CYCLES, SCOTT HODGE AND CODY YANCEY ARE THE BEST MECHANICS AND BIKE SHOP GUYS IN GEORGIA! Why else would we drive an hour to go to a bike shop? Because we trust them and they are really cool guys.THANKS also to VASSAGO CYCLES, the Optimus Ti 29er is truly the perfect endurance racing machine!
If anyone has pics from the race, please email them to me..we didn't get any! Thanks!