Race recap by Brian Roddy - Rolf Prima's Owner .. ..
If you like living on a little sleep deprivation, 24 hour mountain bike racing might be for you. While I like night riding, I prefer it before 10pm, but every now and again someone has an idea and I can’t say “no”. Apparently this was one of those times for not only myself but eight of us. Rolf Prima sponsors Mudslinger’s Oregon24 and this year Rolf Prima fielded two 4-person teams.
Rolf Prima, Team 1: Adam – Rolf Prima, Engineering, Kurtis – Rolf Prima, Wheel Building, Brooke – Rolf Prima, Marketing, Zach –Co-Motion Cycles, Purchasing
Rolf Prima, Team 2: Dan – Slocum Orthopedic, Carrie – Rolf Prima/ Slocum Orthopedic, Joel – Rolf Prima, Engineering, Myself – Rolf Prima, Bossing
While logistics, gear and food for any MTB race can be daunting, getting it together for a bunch of short mini-races over the course of 24hrs is a real task. The bikes, gear and food seemed to fill the Rolf Prima Sprinter van and while it was organized to start, it was a disaster pretty quickly with all the gear.
The course was outstanding – unmatchable flow which is great when you need to keep getting after it lap after lap after lap. It was a little hot, but there was enough breeze to take the edge off and it was otherwise perfect weather. After camping the night before, we were all itching to start. Joel for Team 2 and Adam for Team 1 rocked the lemans style start of a 200m +/- 200m run to the bike and after several hours the race for shop bragging rights was still tight. While there had been a lot of chatter and smack talk from Team 1 in the week leading up to the race, they were noticeably quieter when Team 2 took an early lead. Also in the mix was a strong team from Sunny Side sports from Bend, OR.
When the sun went down, the gap between Teams 1 and 2 was still close. The heat ebbed as the sun set, but the night never truly cooled off and it is a rare Oregon evening when you can ride in a jersey and shorts and still sweat. At night, a course that was excellent by day became better under the glare of headlights. All the soft sand and small rocks that we avoided during the day were out of the field of vision and we just focused on the lines. It was a great course in the dark.
I will say that for a group of pretty smart people, we got pretty dumb as the day/ night/ day went on. Keeping track of when riders went out was like astrophysics. You’d think we were building a rocket ship as we discussed plans, times and gaps. We eventually improvised a white board on the side of our dusty sprinter van, writing the times out with our fingers. And even with this it still seemed so hard to figure out who was out and who was on deck… but me managed as the hours went on.
Lots of junk food, Coke’s, Hammer gels and precious little sleep later, when 24hrs hit, Team 2 pulled off the division win. Team 1 edged a strong Sunny Side team for 2nd place after being neck and neck with them for the entire race.
If you like night riding or you’ve never done 24hr racing before, put this one on your calendar for 2015. It is a great race put on by a great company – Mudslinger events.