24 Hours of Old Pueblo...fast tracking on kitty litter
Back in the fall I inquired to a couple of friends in the bike industry, if there might be a little sponsorship available for a person like me. I wasn't planning on coming out of retirement and conquering the world, but I wanted "help" to get to some of the great, though expensive, races that I like to do. And really, I wanted to be part of a team again. I missed the friendship and shared experiences of being on a team. And, as you know its hard feeding a bike racing habit without some great equipment easily available.
Lucky me, because Stan's No Tubes Elite Women's Team was looking to pick up a diversified rider like myself. The team is filled with really great gals who will be at the biggest races in the country. They are true journey women of the sport. They are racing and training for the sheer passion of it. Its so great to be surrounded by women with that kind of drive. But its a balanced, healthy drive that you see among female mountain bike racers in this country. They are happy to put in the training work, work their jobs, work for the sponsors and work for their families. Its a positive influence for sure. And I'm really honored to be part of their family this year.
A contingent of the team met at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo. I've done this race before on a 5 person team and on a female duo. And had a winning streak going! And of course the girls wanted to win and win we did. It was a solid win for February, most of the girls coming from cold climes. It was such serendipity, that Susan De Mattei, needed a team to be on, and we needed a rider because of illness.
Every year the race gets dedicated to someone in the mountain bike community that has made an impact or difference. This year, "Sue Demo" was the honoree. Todd Sadow asked me to say a few words about her. I was happy to recount the time that I first met Susan in Slatyfork , WV in 1997. She was doing a women's singletrack weekend and I was a guide and helper to her. She was the first pro rider that I had ever met. She gave me tips and encouraged me to turn pro. She encouraged and mentored all the women there that weekend. She was exuberant. And she still is. And she is still really fast, cranking out a fast lap of 1:11! She thought that she might only have to do three laps, but the course was fast, that she ended up doing four and most were night laps! Sorry Susan!
It was a cold night and the shivering and tense muscles had me questioning why I was doing this again? It never changes for me...the night racing laps are brutal. Its not that I don't like night riding. I actually think it is a magical experience that has so many benefits. And our light sponsors, Light and Motion, gave us some really bright and lightweight lighting systems, so seeing was no problem. I'm a creature of comfort and crawling out of a semi warm tent to crank a fast lap, is just uncomfortable. But never the less, it got done and I had the fastest night lap! So its a reminder, its okay to be uncomfortable and the quicker you go, then the quicker you will get it done!
The 24 Hours of Old Pueblo is a great opener season race for all. There is great melding of industry supporters, regional fast pinners, and members of the tribe of the wheel. The course was incredible fast this year, with the fastest time for 16 miles, being 54 minutes! That is so fast for flat tracking on kitty litter.
I look forward to getting equipment from sponsors, especially the wheels from Stan's No Tubes, bikes from Cannondale, tires from Kenda, energy from GU and Elete, packs from Ergon, trainers from Jet Black, air from Geniune Innovations, Adidas Sunglasses. Also check out our website