Thursday, June 2, 2011

24 Hours of Spokane

Team Shredded Bits and the Funky Junk: 3rd Place!

For the 2011 Round and Round 24hr mountain bike race in Spokane, we combined a team of Green Line 6 and Olympia Orthopaedic racers to form The Shredded Bits and the Funky Junk racing in the 5 Person Co-Ed Category.  Team members were Derik Archibald (GL6), Michelle Kautzmann (GL6), Ann Mitchell (OOA), Brian Koder (OOA) and Brian Mitchell (GL6), we also had two awesome support people, Camp Bitch Karen Kimmel and Camp Bitch's Bitch Camille Terhune (Camp Bitch is what they called themselves, they even had embroidered aprons).  Our goal was to go out and have a great time camping and racing and that is what we did.

We determined that Derik would take the first lap which consisted of a 3/4 mile Le Mans run to help thin out the 200+ rider field.  The course was dry and fast and each lap was approximately 15 miles.  At noon the anticipation was shattered by a loud gun blast and the race was on!  Derik set the tone for our team by riding a smoking fast 57 min first lap including the run and putting us in 1st place!  Michelle took the second lap completing it in just over 1 hour, next was Brian Koder coming in at 57 min, Ann in an hour and 7 minutes and finally I got to race coming in at 1hr 4min.  This was a theme we would carry out for the next 20 hours, one fast lap after another.

The team was exceptional, we didn't have any flats or mechanicals and everyone stayed healthy.  There were a few hard crashes, lots of bumps and bruises, some failing light systems and a great deal of pain dished out over 24 hours but our team stayed the course and fought on.  At the conclusion of each lap we were met by a Camp Bitch holding a frosty beverage, for some it was Recoverite, for others it was beer or a bottle of booze. Back at camp there was always a hot meal waiting for the rider coming off a lap and lots of support and encouragement from the team.  We could not have raced as hard without our amazing support team.

In the middle of the night we were in second place in a hard fought battle for the top four spots.  We went back and fourth from second to fourth place through the night laps and into the next morning.  When the dust settled at noon on Sunday we were on the podium in 3rd place out of 16 teams, the top three places were separated by minutes after 24hrs of racing.  All three teams on the podium completed 23 laps in 24hrs.  Shredded Bits and the Funky Junk covered 338.1 miles at an average speed of 13.7 miles per hour!

It was a special event for me, we had an amazing team with an amazing support crew.  I feel honored to have raced as part of the Shredded Bits and the Funky Junk this year.  Everyone poured out everything they had on each lap, there was a lot of pain and a lot of fatigue but also a lot of fun. 

I saw two other GL6 racers in Spokane, Henry Gertje who was smoking fast putting in sub hour lap times and racing in a different category then me and Luke Brechwald who was camping with us and racing solo.  Great job to those guys who represented the team very well.

24hr racing is a very different experience, it is very difficult and painful but also very addicting.  For me, while racing, I cant stop thinking about how I never want to do this again but then when it ends I cant wait for another 24hr event.  Lee Peterson, Erin Roe and I will be representing GL6 in the 24hrs of Bend in September and yes, I can't wait.


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