Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time For Some Shakin’

Yup, it’s that time again. The Tree Shaker 12 Hour Mountain Bike Race is fast approaching. Last year, this very same event was my first ever crack at any kind of endurance race. My pals Doug and the Dirty Party Cycle joined me at Anne Springs Close Greenway for 12 hours of suffering, and we had a blast. Sure, it was difficult, but the experience got me into racing longer events. Our three man team fared well overall, but this time I’m looking for something different.

I enjoyed the fact that I could rest between laps last year, but waiting for each of my two teammates to do a lap proved to be a bit difficult. It’s not that they took a long time or anything, but doing one lap and resting two was probably not the wisest choice. Sure, it was a great introduction to endurance mountain bike racing, but I think it was too much rest (and too much time to drink beer.) This year, I thought about doing just a two man team. I talked to Doug about it, but he wants to redeem himself from his 6 Hour Grind On The Greenway experience. I guess he feels like he didn’t do well enough, so he’s going for the 6 hour option at the Tree Shaker, solo of course.

The Dirty Party Cycle is another option for my two man team, but I’m not sure if he’s down for it. He’s heading down to the Sunshine State the week before the race to follow in my tire tracks on the trails from my last trip down there. I don’t think he’ll be ready to race the day after he gets back from there, so I’ll probably be doing the race solo. Now comes the part where I hem and haw about how long to race.

Which race should I enter? The 6 hour or the 12 hour? I’ll list the pros and cons of each one and we’ll decide.

6 Hour Race


I’ve done a few six hour races now, so I know I can hang on that long and do pretty well (by well I mean not DFL.)

I’m probably good for about 6 laps or so in that amount of time, so I would be able to walk when I finished.

Racing for 6 hours instead of 12 cuts in half my chances of a DNF due to a mechanical issue.

I can drink beer a lot sooner, since the race will end earlier.


I really need to push myself to do longer distances on the bike.

I could still have a mechanical issue, but I would be tempted to tough it out/ruin my bike just to finish.

I’ll probably be able to walk when I’m done.

I won’t be able to ride at night.

12 Hour Race


I’ve never raced for 12 hours before, but I really like suffering on the bike.

Since there’s no chance in hell of me getting on the podium, I can take my time and even take a nap between laps (or drink beer, or both.)

I probably won’t be able to walk when I’m done.

I get to race at night.


I’ve never raced for 6 hours before, so I could end up dead, or worse.

Riding for 12 hours greatly increases my chances of having some kind of mechanical issue.

If I want to finish, I’ll have to wait until the end of the race until I can drink large quantities of beer.

I guess I’m looking for some feedback here. I don’t want to take the easy way out and race 6 hours, so I suppose I’m leaning towards the 12 hour race. One pro of the 12 hour race I forgot to mention? It could make for one hell of a story, which would give me a lot of shit to talk about. Coming up with even slightly interesting shit to say every day is difficult, so I can probably get a week’s worth of posts for just one race. Other than the beer, the tons of potential blog posts, and the suffering, I have one really big reason to race for 12 hours. I really want to ride at night. It is super fun, and doing it during a race would make it even more funner (yeah, I said funner.) By the time I head out on the course for some night laps, I will be so worn out that it’s hard to tell what will happen. That would make the race really interesting for me.

So, what should I do?


Spacecowboy11 said...

I would like to do the 12 hour solo as I enjoy the suffereing, but sadly I will be out of town.

I will gladly let you suffer for me for the whole 12 hours.

TheMutt said...

Well, that's a good argument. Instead of the two of us doing six hours each, I could do the twelve by myself for the both of us. Brilliant.

madSS said...

its like buy one 6hr race and get a 6hr race free if you do the 12hr

TheMutt said...

Buy one get one free? I'm all about a deal.