Race Report: 12 Hours of Lodi Farms

yesterday I gave the dog a little bit longer walk in the morning before work
then I took a little bit longer ride into work than normal

longer in duration... not in distance
the walk and ride were longer due to the fact that I was sore and tired from racing on a 3 Man Single Speed Team at the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms this weekend past
my body is still a little worn... my arms are scrapped and bruised I think I managed to dodge the poison ivy

now it is time to get down a report....

Race Report: 12
Hours of Lodi Farms 2007
the monday before the race I realized that there was not much time to get a team together
so I started scrambling

not far into my efforts I emailed fellow Clydesdale Chris Redlack
Chris and I have raced together before at this event

I prefer to race with him than against him as he tends to be an unsuspecting powerhouse
sure enough... the email came bounced back with a friendly invite to join his old buddy John
for a 3 Man Single Speed Team


there was some thought
not too much tension

yet some thought about the race
saturday I went to Baltimore with the wife and kids for the Kinetic Sculpture Race
then returned home and started gathering gear then packing

once my gear was assembled I removed the rear seats from the Honda Element and loaded things up

two Single Speeds riding high ontop of the car
bags and bags of lycra gear for what could be five fresh changes of clothing

a morning email from DCMTB team mate Jonathan Wheaton had me pack rain gear
multiple light kits
cooler filled with red bull

and several therma rest mats for sleeping inside the Element away from the Elements

the weather was clear and cool in Washington DC with 20 percent chance of rain in the Fredericksburg area where the race was being held
I drove south through Virginia after dinner
not far into the drive the rain was coming down lightly as I got closer and closer to the race venue

I arrived just before dark to a wet and rainy campground
located Redlack and his crew... who interestingly enough all went to the same college as myself

there were handshakes and smiles along with the usual catching up
after I thanked Redlack and John for allowing me to join their team John told me that he wa
s defecting from our three man team to make the other team in our camp a three man team rather than a duo
which would leave me racing duo in the rain and mud
I was not pleased
not angered
yet not pleased

Redlack and I had raced Duo last year with moderate success
but... with the rain coming down my desire to test my personal limits on a duo squad just was not there
the rain had me questioning my desire to race at all
so I scanned the campground for a racer to convert our duo into a trio
with no difficulty I was able to get a third racer from Cargo Mike and Max's campground

these guys were camping with Joe and the BIKE LANE van

they had driven up with a guy named Jonathan

Jonathan had come up to hang out... he had his bike but had not intended to race
I had ridden with Jonathan once this winter past at Fountainhead and knew that he race
d duo with Cargo Mike last year
so I figured he would fit well into the equation
with little pursuasion Jonathan agreed to race with us even if he only had one pair of shorts for the event

with a handshake the deal was sealed

we went and registered before I backed down and drove home to the comfort of my warm dry bed

at the registration table we did not have it together enough to create a name

with no great inspiration I settled in on "THE TEAM WITH NO NAME"

not as clever or as fitting as last year's RIVALS AND FRIENDS
but... without knowing Jonathan that well I could not create something to sum up this racing trio

without arguement Chris accepted the first lap

I killed some time milling about the campground socializing

midnight came and the race started
there had been light rain from 3 in the afternoon until maybe 11:30 or 11:45
the racers started with some cool weather and a soggy course

I went back to my camp to get ready for my lap
watching the clock and listening for returning racers I was suited up
finishing my race prep

checking my lights and stuffing my face a little more I heard my team number over the loud speaker
107... 107... 107

I shouted back as I chased a GU with some Red Bull
then heard again... looking for 107... 107
I shouted back and galloped to the Start Finish
Redlack was gone... he could not wait

I looked at my watch and got a handle on the lap times
then figured that I best not be late for the next exchange
went to Jonathan's camp and told him to shift back his start time another lap

not having enough time to rest I spent most of
the time before my first lap shivering at the Start Finish area
Redlack came in with another fast lap passing off the wristband baton without any attitude
I took the baton and headed out towards the woods

with my NiteRider HID headlamp beaming I spun my Jamis Exile Single Speed towards the woods
curious how this new bike was going to treat me in its first race

I had raced Lodi a number of times over the past many years

but the course had changed again.... years past gave little insight into the course lay out
there was new trail
there were sections run backwards
there were sections removed
it was awesome!
quite characteristic of Lodi Farms... but a different course all together

I rode as hard as I could on wet roots through the slick mud
having not pre-ridden the course I was cautious at times
I finished my lap not being passed by anyone
there was one guy who I had passed and he passed me back...
but no one passed me
which had me feeling good about my efforts

I rolled into the Start/Finish area
turned off my ultra bright HID headlamp
and called out my team number
heart still beating fast from an exciting course and an over ingestion of caffeine my eyes darted around as I looked for Jonathan among the racers waiting to take the next lap
I called out 107.... then called out 107... again
in my mind I thought that I was going to have take my second lap immediately
not feeling good about that idea I called out my team number again
107... 107....
before I could call out my number again a racer came forward with his arm extended looking to take the wristband

I passed the baton and wished the racer luck and told him to ride fast and have fun

I marched back to the Honda Element and cranked the radio and the heat
twenty minutes later I see a light at the window and hear a rap on the glass
I recognize the face in panic
it was Jonathan
shocked and confused I leapt shirtless from my car
Jonathan asked for the baton
I asked back... I didn't give YOU the baton?
I threw a shirt on and we ran to the Start/Finish area

with a little explaination Jonathan has his lights on and is headed out onto the course

twenty minutes lost in that transition
actually 23 minutes lost in the botched transition

at the start my first lap I made a classic rookie mistake of a missed transition
on the return of my lap I made a mistake that may have never happened before in mountain bike relay race history

I gave my baton to a member of another team in the transition area


after Redlack's strong first two laps... then my first lap.... well.... we were in the second place
two minutes ahead of the third place team
after the 23 minute error we were several minutes behind the third place team


it is funny and all... but not when it is your own team
worse yet... it is me
I am tightly wound Type A Slacker!
I would not accept this error from a team mate
yet... there was no flogging from either Chris or Jonathan

the race went on
we were not yet out of the game

with Jonathan out I agreed with Chris to bump up in the rotation

to give him a little more rest after his back to back laps
that I would take the baton on the next rotation

come the next lap things were still dark, wet, and slick
but... the course was well pounded
I was a bit more comfortable with my familiarity
this meant faster more fluid laps

the laps went by and we fought hard to regain position

after some work we found ourselves in a battle for third...
we were fighting to get back in second...
but that was not happening
I also had the personal battle of breaking 50 minutes
twice I finished at 51 minutes
then bumping up again in the rotation for our team's final lap I chased the guys from Family Bike Shop hard
they had regained the 3rd place slot
I fought to break 50 minutes
I fought to catch the racer in front of me

I broke 50 minutes... but the racer in front of me finished in 46 minutes
there was no chance of me reeling him in

these guys should have been chasing us
it would have been a different race had I not botched things on my first lap

no... we would not have been able to threaten the Spot Brand Whores for the 1st Place finish
we definitely could have changed the battle for 3rd or even 2nd

the other teams were laughing all the way to the podium
my team mates were light on the ribbing
which was good as I already felt like an UBER LOSER

my times were strong
I had a solid race

the course was a blast
the bike and body held up well

Lodi Farms delivered again!
it was great racing
it was great hanging out with all sorts of old friends
it was great riding, racing, and making new friends

12 Hours of Lodi Farms

those photos are from gary
Gary's Photo Gallery from LODI FARMS
gary's blog

(sorry... some of those images are from BUTCH)


1 comment:

iconoclasst said...

Yo, Joel, nice write-up. Don't beat yourself up too hard, you put in one helluva performance and the stats don't tell the whole truth.

Good seeing you again; that was a great event! Got a good pic of you from the back going up the ramp over the barrel (opposite perspective of Gary's photo). I'll either post it or send it to you.