Wednesday, August 10, 2011

July Music

Summer time means heavy on Brit Pop. It makes me happy!

Bounce by Calvin Harris
The A Team by Ed Sheeran
Still Life by The Horrors
Hawaiian Air by Friendly Fires
One Big Family by Temple Cloud
The Kin and All His Men by WolfGang
Down with the Trumpets by Rizzle Kicks* (2011 best of contender)
The Horrors by Still Life
The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala by Arctic Monkeys

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ride Report - Booty Time Again!

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite events of all time: 24 Hours of Booty. The Booty Loop is a 2.97 mile loop that runs through Meyers Park. The goal of the event is to raise money for cancer research...the riding is actually secondary. This isn't a race; any mileage goals are personal. You have 24 hours to do whatever you want; bike, camp out in Bootyville, eat, sleep or skip it all together. This flexibility lets you make the event what you want. We choose to ride, eat and hang out.

Mike and Mary Beth come up from Florida and set up our campsite which for Joe and I, is just a base of operations. This year Mike's friend Bob and our friend Chris Rohlfs also set up tents next to us. Chris, Bob, Mike and MB all planned on sleeping, but Joe and I just use the tent area to rest between laps.

So the riding begins at 7pm and as the name implies, is 24 hours. This year we skipped the first lap. There are so many people (1200 to be exact) and not everyone knows what they are doing. There are professional riders trying to get some speed and there are kids on tricycles. It makes for a slightly scary, very crowded ride. We did it last year; I'm glad I've done it once, but won't do it again. This year we also had Miller with us so we waited for dinner to be served back at camp.

It was hot. Really hot. I had heard all the heat warnings and had imagined it was hot, but it was hotter than I imagined. It was hot. The 24 HOB people did a great job with extra hydration stations and misting fans, but from it was still really hot. My parents braved the heat, hung out with us and we all had dinner together. Then they took Miller and left for home and I started my riding.

My goal was 100 miles this year and I had planned on finishing by 6am. I started my first lap a little after 9 and remembered why I do this; it's fun. Chris, Joe and I all rode together in a little mini pace line. The route is really pretty; super tall trees line the road that is mostly flat with one exception, a steep, short climb at Hopedale Ave. A group of people camp out in this area with a PA, playing music and encouraging us riders as we head up the hill. It might not sound neat, but it is such a fantastic atmosphere and does help as you climb the hill.

Climbing is my weak spot but I'd catch up to the boys on the flat parts and we rode most of the night like that, doing 3 laps at a time and then coming into Bootyville for drinks, snacks and a little stretching. I knew I had time but all of a sudden it was midnight. We headed out for 4 laps before coming in for midnight pizza...which though not really good pizza, was the best pizza I've had in a LONG time! I was exhausted but hit 50 miles at 2am. I was really off pace and really tired.

Last year I accidentally stayed up all night. The plan was to sleep but I was wired so while everyone else slept, I rode, hitting my goal of 67 miles by 4am. I thought this year would be as easy, but staying up all night was much harder than I thought. One by one Chris, Bob and Mike and MB all went to sleep. Joe and I kept riding.

Joe and I are still figuring out who we are as a riding couple. He is so strong on the climbs and really, as an overall cyclist. I am much stronger than I was last year, but still have a long way to go until I feel like I can ride comfortably with some peers. Leading up to Booty we've had a couple of rough rides where I wanted to stop at 20 miles, Joe pushed along til 40. Those rides usually ended with Joe waiting at a light while I struggled up a hill, silently (and sometimes not so silently) cursing him for making us go the extra distance. I feel badly making him wait for me and on the other hand, expect that if he is going to ride with me, that he ride WITH ME. I did so much of last year's Booty alone, I figured that would be the case this year. I was wrong; Joe stayed with me the entire time. It was fantastic. Sometimes I'd tuck in behind him and let him pull me up the hill, other times I'd ride next to him and chat. A few laps we raced on the flats. We came in together and rode every lap together.

I settled into the ride and concentrated on enjoying myself. I worked on my cornering skills, chanting my brother's advice on the turn (trust the bike, don't brake, trust the bike). Around 4am Mike and Chris gave up on trying to sleep (did I mention it was hot? 93 at night!) and we rode together, increasing our rides to five laps at a time. By 6am everyone was up and we all had breakfast together. I was at a comfortable 83 miles and knew I'd finish. It was either that, or the fact that I was punchdrunk tired and basically functionally retarded, but breakfast was the most fun. We were all there, all talking about different experiences we had over the course of the night, laughing at the inability of everyone to really sleep and just enjoying the experience. With the sun rising, we set out to finish.

Riding 100 miles in one setting seems like a big deal, and I am sure it is in some respects. But as I rode my last lap, it didn't seem so hard. It was great to see Joe waiting for me at the finish line and we rode into Bootyville for the last time. We had hit our goal. It was 8:20...later than I'd planned but still before the heat of the day. We packed up our things, sat down to wait for Mike to finish and fell asleep! Exhausted doesn't really cut it. We waited for Mike to finish his 100 miles, saw Cara and Chris (who had less than 20 miles to go) and we left. We got home, showered and slept all day. It was fantastic. Even better, neither of us was sore. At all.

I'm sure camping out in 100 degree weather and then riding around a 3 mile loop 33 times does not sound like fun. But this event is so much more than that for me. I love the cause and feel proud raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation as well as the Brain Cancer Fund for the Carolinas. I love that Mike and MB come up and I get to hang out with my brother who I really like as a person. I loved riding with Joe and having us sync up as riding partners. I love eating for basically 18 hours straight and then sleeping all day long and not feeling a bit bad about it! I am already shopping for a tent to serve as our sunshade for our patio for next year and Joe and I have already decided that we are going to stick with 100 miles as our goal, but try to get them done faster. No matter how it goes next year, I am sure we will ride and sweat our booty off!