What happens when you merge summer weather, race-hungry cyclists, and a decrease in covid infections? The Bend 24-hour mountain bike race, of course! Eight team members road-tripped to Bend, Oregon for the 24-hour mountain bike race held July 10-11, 2021. With the help of a few extra friends, we fielded two 4-person relay teams and one solo 24-hour entry.
Our ladies did an amazing job. It was not an easy weekend of riding. The day time temperatures were HOT, the trails were dusty, and the nighttime temperatures plummeted to the 40s to add to rider anxieties about riding in the dark. In the words of first-time night racer Coral:
“Kamila woke me up at 12:30ish for my 1:30 am lap. I have never been a big fan of the dark and the past two times I’ve ridden at night were with Ben and I was still scared. I am so proud of myself for pushing through my fear of the dark and staying calm throughout the 11 mile loop, while still having fun!”
One of our two relay team finished 2nd in the ladies 4- and 5-person category. One of the keys to the team’s success was Brys, our dedicated bike mechanic who worked tirelessly through the night to keep the race rigs running smoothly and help support our lone 24-hour solo racer, Linda. According to Linda:
“My favorite part was riding at night when the temperatures had dropped, and the lights gave me the ‘tunnel’ vision; definitely, the best rides were from 10 pm -1 am. It started to feel weird around 1 am. I could ride the bike and had energy, but when I stopped to refill bottles and eat, I couldn’t walk in a straight line or think clearly about what I need to do.”
Around 1am, Linda threw in the towel for a few hours of shut-eye before resuming riding again a few hours later. In the end, Linda finished 7th place overall for the solo ladies category!