Me after the last Lap-yes another Darren looks like a Jack-Ass photo
On the way to the venue, Mike and I driving the FOX minivan, and the KC skyline
Well I was a last minute addition to the team for this race. I was feeling sick( I got a sinus infection) It wasn't until Saturday of the event, that I started feeling better. Mike K. and I had a crazy time with FOX car rentals, I will not get into the details, but I learned to keep my mouth shut when dealing with nut job that owns a car rental place.
We got to the race site on Friday, and saw the Athens Wrecking crew there, and ended up hanging out with them a good deal over the weekend. Mike and I got the bikes from a local bike shop where we had them shipped, got them together, and sorta setup camp until Matty and Joe got there around 10pm at night(they went to work on Friday) We got set up in Joe's nice big tent, and then went to bed. There was a storm that came through the area, that was a big help for the trail, and for the weather bringing temps from the 90's to the low 80's. The race order was Matt, Mike, Joe, then myself since I was not %100. Matt pulled a good first lap, but we were in 3rd expert and 15th I think.
Mike K. went out and busted the team's fastest lap(5 sec. faster then mine :-() Then Joe went out and did a solid lap.
When my turn came, I saw that the Athens Wrecking Crew's fourth guy was on the side of the trail. I then knew this was our shot, I pulled my fastest lap without having ridden the course. I wasted allot of effort in that first lap, since I didn't know how to ride the course. The race was the hardest technical course I have ever raced. I wouldn't have been able to do this course 2 years ago the way I did at the race. The training rides I did at Liberty Furnace were key for this race, the ridge lines at Liberty Furnace gave me skills in riding rocks. The rocks at Landahl were a little different in that they were large and flat, compared to being smaller and pointy. There were 2 small sections on the coarse that I never did cause they were danger areas to loose a deraileur or a pedal. After our first rotation we were in 2nd place in expert with The wrecking crew a hour behind us. The Athen's Crew are a faster team then us, but we felt we had a chance if we rode our race which was to be smart and consistent. At some point Joe was feeling ill and sat out, so it was Mike, Matt, and myself doing laps, luckily Joe felt better after skipping a rotation which gave him 5 hours rest. I had the one big mechanical for the team with me breaking my chain, and getting my chain caught behind my cassette between the spokes, also my light fell off. I thought this would be the end of us, but I only got a 15 minute slower lap instead of loosing allot more time like I thought. At one point the Athens wrecking crew was only 2 minutes behind us and we were only 6 minutes behind the first place team. I felt Joe's morning lap where he held off the crew a key point, because it was then just up to the other racers to beat the crew one-on-one. My last lap was actually fun after the frustration that I had at night. I wish I had the energy of the first lap with the expertise from riding the course. The last lap I was riding the rocks allot smoother, and knew where to push it and where to rest a little. From Matt-Athens drove themselves into the ground and would not give up. They started fast, and ended (with the two guys they had left) fast. I think that is what busted them. Had Matt Gentry a.k.a. Big Country, a.k.a. 'Roid Rage not gone out so fast every lap, he probably would not have ended up out of the race on a stretcher with a saline I.V. drip in his arm on Sunday morning. We played the game we play best (our only game!), we're not the fastest, but we're consistent. We turn out times that are within minutes of each other over and over.
Joe Finishing the Race for the team
This race was a good team experience for me and I hope to be able to race with some of these guys next year.
24 hours of Landaul 2007