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Questioning a 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike Race

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Burn 24 HourLately when I race and people ask how it was I simply can’t answer as I don’t feel like I am really racing.  I feel like I’m riding around in circles, trying to find the next gear within my own.   I’ve finished mostly last for the past year of my cycling life.   I argue with myself that this place is better than not starting which I had been doing for the year prior.   I struggle with the mental piece, knowing I am better than this, knowing that I am the puppet master and only allowing myself to fall.

Racing for the past year has been motivation.  At the finish line when I knew I could have done better, that is motivation.  I pay the race entry fee so that the other girl doesn’t come in last, and that I get a small kick in the ego…large enough to want more, but small enough not to do anything about it.

Doing Burn 24 Hour was this.  There were moments on the trail I was questioning my sanity. Especially at 11:30pm when the roots were wet, my chamois was sweaty and my glasses were so fogged up from the humidity I was simply praying the whole 7 mile lap not to bust my face open.

I question why I slept for 5 hours.  I question why I didn’t bring my full suspension bike with more “wet root friendly tires.”  I question if I could have done 12 laps instead of 8.  I question if my pit crew thought I was a pain in the ass and realize how much I appreciate them.

Looking back at this event I question myself, my strength and my will to do better in life.

Maybe that is the point of racing?  To question yourself and everything that leads up to the moment.   How else can you become better if you don’t question and change yourself?


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  1. 8 Jun ’11 at 9:09 am — Reply

    I’m in total awe of your accomplishment, and I can’t help but be inspired as well. I have never done a race, thinking that I’m too much of a irregular rider to do it, but at the same time have put a 24-hour race on my list (with teammates). Of course, it’s mostly about ego and whether I’d make a complete fool of myself in the process. Yet I’ve run marathons and recently shed a few tears while watching a special on the Ironman. Why should a mountain bike race be any different? Ultimately, the only thing that stops us from trying things is that fear, and I think you used all of that to great advantage. Rock on with your bad self!

    • 8 Jun ’11 at 5:54 pm

      Claudia, one thing I learned from this event was to simply put one foot in front of the other all the time, at night, in the morning and keep going.

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