24 Hours of Adrenalin Mountain Bike Race April 25/26 2009, Hurkey Creek Idyllwild California
Dr. Denis Iwamoto – www.drivisioncare.com
Mike Tiffany – www.dct-sd.com
Mike Larsson – www.blackmountainbicycles.com
Jim Watson (Joe Welder) – www.arc-zone.com
Start/Finish Elevation: 4400ft || Highest Point 5200ft
Total Climbing: 1394ft || Each Lap: 9.42miles
Terrain: hardpack/loose single track, sandy fire roads, technical climb, fast flowing, often loose descents
Weather – From daytime highs in the mid 60’s (20.0C) to vicious cold near 27 (-2.2C) degrees in the dark of night!
I’m an avid mountain biker and have a group of guys I ride with most every weekend. One of the guys said “Hey, let’s do the 24 hours of Adrenalin race.” It sounded cool, so we formed a team.
I had raced motorcycles in TT, flatrack, scrambles, and Gran Prix events like Hopetown and Barstow-to-Vegas but, that was a long time ago and I was not prepared for the events that unfolded. First off, I was shocked at how many completely buffed-out people had signed up for this event– men and women who take this stuff seriously. I had to train, Unlike my dirtbike I couldn’t just bolt on a new pipe or add some nitro if I wanted to go faster. I had to completely modify my diet, that meant no more In-n-Out Burgers! Instead of nitro in the tank, I found myself mixing different kinds of chemicals—fuel for my body. This is how it went down; A special drink one hour before, followed by another 15, and 5 minutes before I started my ride. Once racing it continued, 15 and 45 minutes into the ride, then immediately after my stint I mixed a “recovery” drink and ate some pasta. The rest of the time was spent trying to catch a few hours sleep and working on my bike and gear. I repeated the process four more times in the 24 hour event. I hope I never see another package of GU energy! Not even the Cappuccino blast sounds good now.
The race started at noon with a “Lemans style” 1/8th mile foot race to the bikes. After the runners made it through the start shack the next challenge was to get your bike off the rack at the same time as the other racers – let the racing begin!
Sometimes things happen around you and you may not realize the significance and the long-term effects. I think about things more now that I have a five year old daughter.
Take some of the changes apparent in the world of racing. I remember my Dad telling me that my Mom was not allowed in the pits when they went racing – she had to wait outside the pit gate — now women are winning races!
As an early teenager I remember racing AMA district 37 TT motorcycles at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The track was yards from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I lined up for the qualifying heat and next to me was a young (girl) women with long blonde hair hanging out of her helmet — she had bitchen’ white riding leathers with purple lettering “T&O Yamaha” which was her sponsor — I remember thinking to myself, What is she doing here?
My dad told me, “You better pay attention. I watched her practice and she is fast”
Dad was right. I ran second that day. I don’t remember who came in first, but she came in a very respectable fourth.
Here are some facts on some women pioneers in racing:
Shirley Muldowney broke the glass ceiling in the NHRA in the 70’s and now Ashley Force and Hillary Will are winners….
First World of Outlaws Sprint Car Race winner — 2004 Erin Crocker
Indy 500 Firsts: 1977 first women in the Indy 500 Janet Guthrie — 1992, First Rookie of the Year Lyn St. James and 2005, first women race leader Danica Patrick.
Though it is still very early in the season, 2008 is quickly becoming the year of the woman. Following historic wins by Ashley Force and Melanie Troxel, Hillary Will added her name to the short list of female Professional winners when she defeated Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel final at the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX at Heartland Park Topeka. Will is the 11th woman to win in the Pro categories. 2008 we had the first major open wheel race win by a woman– Danica Patrick.
And as I watch my five-year-old daughter tearin’ it up around the neighborhood on her bicycle– without training wheels, I might add– I wonder what the world of racing will be like when she grows up.