Recently one of our guys named Kevin competed in an endurance event called 18 hours on the farm. This is his tale:
Where to start?
I guess at the beginning. This is a smaller endurance race held just west of Richmond on a Boy Scout camp. The facilities are pretty nice with some good bathrooms and showers.
The start is pretty mellow due to the small field and we get spread out pretty quick. We hit the first hill and I noticed a few guys struggling already, they're in for a long day. It's really humid and hot and I'm going through water pretty fast. The course was good for an endurance event. No big climbs, kind of twisty and rooty. There are a couple of good fire-roads and dirt roads mixed in for recovery and good place for pounding gels and energy drinks.
First few laps are pretty uneventful, I settle into a nice pace and my pit times are pretty quick. The sun finally sets around 8 o'clock but it isn't getting any cooler. This is where the test starts for me. There is going to be a lot of night riding at this event, almost 10 hours. My plan is keep riding all night, this is the magic hour, seems to be the time when you can put laps on a lot of solo riders.
I'm doing pretty good up to about midnight and my brain starts messing with me. My whole universe is contained within a spot of light about 10 feet in diameter and nothing else exists. I start seeing and hearing things. I start singing to myself, whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith show, talking to myself, pretty much anything to snap me out of the funk. It works and I start riding strong again. I get to the start/finish line and see that I've moved up into the top ten.
I averaged 7.7 miles an hour. I *think* I got top 10 but my addled brain couldn't figure out the scoring table at the end of the race. I was pretty pleased with my effort. I still need to cut down on my pit times at night and it would be nice to be able to 2 laps in a row. I rode the hardtail for the whole race and it worked great. I was really glad to have it on some of those climbs, especially the last laps when I was trying to open gaps on the solo riders I was passing. I need to use chamois butter next time, My butt is pretty raw right now.
Next up - SM100
Kevin ultimately placed 9th in the men's solo division.