Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thoughts on the Weekend

Think what you will about the 24 Hours of Rapelje being a small race out in the sticks of Eastern Montana that has little meaning in the MTB community. Scratch that, if you think that let me be the first to tell you to piss off, give you the finger, then let my grandmother crack you on the skull with a wooden spoon, this race is TITS! The good news is that the fine folks over at Stockman Cafe are getting the love that they deserve. Head on over to a Barnes and Noble, Borders, or wherever the hell else Mountain Flyer Magazine is available, and the read the feature about Rapelje. Those who know me are well aware of my ability to bitch, complain, rant, go off the deep end on just about anything, but try as I might, I still can't find a way to complain about Rapelje. To top it all off, the fine folks over at the New York Times even published an article about 24 Hours of Rapelje.

24 Hour town
What makes this race so great in my mind, the people of Rapelje. One weekend a year, the people of Rapelje open their homes, hearts, minds, town to a group of rag tag mountain bikers, who set up a series of hobo camps, and drinking stations. These people don't know much about mountain biking, but they do know how to treat visitors well. In return they just ask that you pump as much money as possible into the Stockman Cafe over the course of the weekend. This is not tough because, its the only place to get anything within 25 miles. Last years when the rains came, and the race was put on hold until 5 am, the towns folk kept their end of the bargain, and treated all of us like kings. Win and your reward is a lifetime of immortality on the wall of the cafe. Big hitters like Killer Kerkove, Hellgate Hartman, Dolla B$ll, and Magical Meg have there photos on the wall.

Cory has more uniquness in this left pinky than most people have in their whole body.

I got my race food shopping out of the way yesterday, and my inner fat kid ran wild. Loaded up that shopping cart with Snickers (King Size cause I aint fucking around), potato chips, pop tarts, gatorade mix, peanut butter, summer sausage, bagels, fig newtons, chocolate chip cookies, marshmellow pies, and some other stuff I have forgetten. I got that on top of all the bars, gels, chews, powdered drink mix, and whatever else I have hidden away in a cardboard box marked "race food". Other necessities include, chamois cream, neosporian, and extra chamois, because lets face it, longs hours on a bike require a happy taint. The lights are getting charged, playlists are being made, and I have even tried to harness my chi in preperation.

Weather forecast

The weather looks like it should be good, but that was the case last year, then the biblical rainstorm swept across the plains. The course turned to peanut butter, there were a lot of close lightning strikes, and I finished up a lap pretty dam hypothermic. I have been looking up how to do some kind of anti-rain dance, and will be looking for people to join me for a pre-race dance on Saturday morning. You might ask what my race plan is, simple, go ride as many laps as possible in the 24 hours of time allotted. I stayed up till about four am last night figuring that one out. I was debating whether or not I should try to keep my heart rate at a steady 157 beats per minute for the entire 24 hours, then I remembered I'm too stupid to figure out how to use a heart rate monitor. Instead it will be eat, drink, ride, smile, enjoy myself, enjoy a beer, and smile some more.

I was no longer in showroom condition after the storm rolled through

Other plans include: hanging out with the Mules on Friday night, these cats are some of my favorite MTBers in Montana. They know how to have a good time, and Cory Hardy is never short on entertainment. I will also head on over to the Lone Peak Brewery and Gordon Lightfoot Groupies team area. This is a five man singlespeed team who will be competing, and Dave was kind enough to shoot me the invite, and told me there will be free beer. You know me, I'd sell my sister's kidney without her knowledge for free beer. Finally the last plan is to simply enjoy my final race weekend as a Montana resident. Its been three great years of living, riding, and racing in this state, with a lot of great people, and I'm treating Rapelje like a going away party, remembering the good times that have taken place over the years.

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