Saturday, May 30, 2009

24 Hours of Boyne

The 24 Hours of Boyne is quickly becoming a tradition, 4 years in a row now, and by the sounds of it, more to come. This year we would be defending our title from last year, the stakes were high, and this time we would have a fourth member. So let me introduce you to the 2009 Sofa King Fast team:

The Tough Old Bird, my dad Bob Bartlett.

The Newbie, my sister Kelly Bartlett.

The Seasoned Veteran, Nick Boswell.

The 4th man, myself Mike Bartlett

And the ones who keep us feed, happy, and pedaling, the pit crew (Caroline, my Mom Diane, and Melissa):

We were also joined by the single speed machine Steve Cain, riding solo.

The day started like any other, set up the tent, register, get the room set up, set the food out, fill up bottles, get dressed, etc etc, and lastly take the front wheel off my bike and head over with the rest of the starters for the LeMons start. They said go and we were running to our bikes to get the front wheel on and then hit the single track. I was able to get to my bike and install my wheel first and was off into the single track. I then rode a pretty good lap and was the first guy to complete a lap, completed two personal objectives for the race, now only one more, ride ride ride until noon the next day. After my second lap I handed off to Nick and he was out for two laps himself. He then tagged off to Kelly, who rode one lap and then she tagged off to my Dad, who rode his lap, and tagged me back in for two. This is how the process worked for the entire race, until the last few laps where we mixed it up a bit.

At the end of the day I rode 11 laps, Nick rode 9, Kelly 4, and my Dad rode 4 laps including the final lap for the team, which totals up to 28 laps, the same as last year. 28 laps ended up being enough, as our team won the race, beating "The Coolish" team composed of our friends Corey, Sean, Neal, and John, who rode an impressive 27 laps.

I must say Nick and I ran some hot laps, but Kelly and my Dad are the true heros of the team. With Kelly knocking off 23 minutes from her previous fast lap, and my Dad knocking off 10 minutes from his fastest lap the previous year, for times of 1 hr 2 min for Kel and 1 hr 3 min for my Dad. Way to go guys, and next year I am hoping something under 1 hour. I also hope Nick and I can knock a few minutes off our times, making Sofa King Fast that much faster.

Also congratulations to Steve, riding 17 solo laps, and winning the single rider class. I do not know how he does it (I think Melissa helps!), but what a ride!

The race was fun, but all of the spectators made it awesome. Grandpa and Grandma showed up, providing lots of support, it was great to have them out there. Also Uncle Jim and Aunt Nancy stopped by for a few hours, Uncle Jims a regular at this race now but Aunt Nancy made her first appearance. I really appreciate your support, and it was great to see you all on my visit back home.

Also, I would like to extend a special thanks to the pit crew, Mom, Caroline, and Melissa. My Mom was in charge of food, an enormous task, but she got us everything imaginable, and she also made sure we knew we had it (I think she had the entire menu memorized!). I would like to thank Caroline for staying up for 24 hrs with us, making sure we were up for our start times, making bottles and keeping track of our laps times, thanks again! Also Melissa was a great addition to the pit crew, and I hope that she will be here for years to come. Some "people" shots can be seen below.

Lastly I would like to thank my team. The Tough Old Bird was especially tough this year, I mean he forgot his helmet inserts, so he had to make due with bandannas, and he still ripped around the course (but next year please bring your inserts, and hmmm...... take off the bandanna!). Kelly made her 24 hr debut in excellent fashion, pushing through the tough morning ride and ensuring that we were able to stay in the race. Nick was riding strong, and made sure that I was going hard on my laps as well, knowing down some key laps. Some pictures of the "machines" doing some handoffs can be seen below.

Long live Sofa King Fast!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The New Fork and the First Race

Recently I have been getting used to the new bike; swapping stems, changing positions, playing with the suspension, tires, there are lots of variables. I also have a new fork, and guess what, its white instead of the standard issue red. I had some problems with the previous fork and when I got it warrantied I got a color choice, so I decided it would be cool to have a more custom bike, and white does look nice.

So as if trying to figure out the new bike was not enough, I had my first mountain bike race this past Saturday. The race was held on the UMASSS campus by the team here, so I got to be a part of setting, running, and also racing in the event. I must say, for the a small patch of woods and some field the course was awesome, and the race itself went off smoothly, so thanks for all that helped, participated, and spectated. For my race I was a little nervous as it was the first race of the year, and I am still getting bike figured out, oh yeah, and it had to rain, making much of the trail section wet and slippery.

The race started off great, I got the hole shot and was the first one into the woods. Then I started to slow down, and people started to come around me... I guess my mind remembers my fitness last fall, but my body does not. Either way, I rode 6 laps with 2300 ft of steep climbing and came across the line in 7th place out of 10 starters. Not a great result, but I got to race against three of my collegiate friends from the fall (Tom, Chris, and Sully) and some other pretty fast guys. I felt ok throughout the race, it seems that my base miles are paying off as my laps times were almost identical throughout the race. However I am now starting periods of higher training intensity, so I am hoping that in the next few months I will see those lap times go down, and my placement go higher.

Also congratulations to my good buddy Sean who took the victory in the Mens Cat II field, way to go!
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