Monday, September 01, 2008


The 24 Hours of Seven Oaks as once again charmed with beautiful weather with temps in the 80’s and sunny skies. The trails were in near perfect condition and as technical as ever. The 2008 Rassy ‘A’ team consisted of myself, Andy Lueck, Jed Gammell and singlespeed maestro Kent Carlson. Andy won the lead off by default due to his youthful exuberance and love of running. Andy and soloist Ben Shockey were duking it out for the lead at the end of the first lap with Shockey coming through in first. Unfortunately, on lap five, Ben paid dearly for his early efforts and gave into heat exhaustion and had to pull the plug. Too bad because he was a very strong contender for the win.

The pits from above.

I took the baton from Andy and sped off in pursuit of the Shockstar. I caught and passed Ben at the bottom of the first descent and team Rassy never looked back from that point on. Our toughest competition was a team from Chicago and their 2nd or 3rd rider had some sort of blowout and ended up bailing out on his lap. As the race progressed so did our lead and we ended up winning by two or three laps. Nobody seems to know for sure what the margin was… doesn’t matter. Our goal was to bring home another ‘W’ for Rassy’s.
My first two lap times were 38:45 and 38:15. I wanted to do my first two laps at or near race pace to get a good couple of LT efforts in to help sharpen my peak for the big goal of the season, Chequamegon. I have no idea what other people were running for lap times so I didn’t have anything to compare against. My third lap was somewhere in the mid 40 minute range and by this time, we were already on conservation mode.

Feelin' the love, Seven Oaks style.

I think I had my boogie shoes on in this picture.

Seven Oaks sweetness.

Doin' what I love to do.

As the sun set, the temps dropped and the dew pretty much turned the entire pit area into a Minnesota wetland. As is the case with any normal 24 hour race, as the sunlight decreased, alcohol consumption increased and the drunkards were in rare form. Sea Biscuit took over as master of ceremonies. He and his band of hooligans did an outstanding job of taunting all of the racers, creating various obstacles made out of empty pizza boxes and beer cans for racers to negotiate. Just one of the many things that make a 24 hour race so much fun to be a part of.

The Rassy camp at 2:15am.

The Rassy camp at 2:16am.

The night laps were a lot of fun… maybe not so much when I had to crawl out of a very warm bed at 2 in the morning. Once I got rolling and made it to the top of the first climb it was all good and I began to feel the love again. As morning broke and the sun began to rise, so did the temperatures. After we had all completed our 7th cycle of laps, we still ended up having to do one more lap because Andy’s negotiating skills weren’t enough to coerce the other teams into calling it a day. So once again, due to his youthful exuberance Andy was chosen to do the extra lap needed to seal the deal.

Completing another lap, I was happy when Julie took this picture.

Some random highlights from the weekend… Frankenbike was once again up to his creative ways, he had his own version of a bento box (zip lock bags) taped to his bike frame full of green grapes and other nutritional oddities. Andy brought two containers full of his mothers chicken salad. Julie and I were kind enough to lend him a much needed hand by eating the majority of it for him. Padawan Gammell decided at the last minute to swap around tires between laps, only to discover the long, hard way that there are certain things in life that are impervious to the Force. Kent Carlson once again defied common mountain biking logic by doing all of his laps on a fully rigid singlespeed. Just thinking about that makes my nether regions go numb.
Yes, it was another great weekend of life on planet dirt! A huge thanks goes out to Singletrack Promotions for putting on another great event, my team mates Andy, Jed and Kent for putting up with my persistence in cutting fast laps around the clock and Julie for being a great sport and sticking out the entire event, all the while having a great time!

Next up is IMBCS #8, Chris Maharry’s annual time trial at the good ‘ole Science Center trails of Des Moines this Sunday. The last time that I rode at the SC, there was about 3 inches of snow and ice on the ground. So I’m looking forward to getting my tread onto some local dirt.

Thanks for reading,


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