24 Hours of Adrenaline at Laguna Seca, Sept 2007

We might as well have planted a flag when we showed up on Friday. 24 Island was ours and the family of friends that filtered in over the next few hours filled out our ranks with enough laughter and beer to cement another weekend in the sweetest camp area at Laguna Seca. OK, that and the waving BR beacon light over the kitchen.

Thanks to everyone who made this weekend the grand time that it was. The heat and the course combined made for a hearty bowl of hurt that we all took heaping spoonfuls from. But the generosity of comrades and good spirit shared around meals and the fire made it as festive and friendly as ever. Thanks to folks who brought firewood (some by the truckload!), went on water and ice runs, kept the lanterns lit, and all the million things that you did that kept our half of 24 Island feeling like home away from home.

Here's how the Velonerd race went, from my perspective:

DJ unselfishly offered up his body just before noon to take the traditional place of the newbie (Scott) whose ankle was still recovering. At the start line, we kept him and Caroline company. Suddenly, everyone else was gone and DJ and Caroline turned on their heels to chase down the horde. Up the hill and around the flag they ran, and as the masses filed through, there was DJ near the front of the pack! What a sprinter, he took off and burned off a mega fast lap through all the dust and traffic. All I could think of, being next in the rotation, was, "What? He's back ALREADY!" That was an oft-repeated thought for the rest of the 24 hours.

I did a lap in the 90 degree heat and promptly began dehydration cramps, limping the last mile home. That would set the (whiny) tone for me the rest of the race. Charlotte did her level best to massage away the spasms and without her I would probably not have made it back to camp. OK, I feigned pain to get her attention -- who wouldn't?

Kyle was next in the rotation, the only rider on our team on a hardtail (but 29'er!). He set the standard for consistency and was --well -- consistently fast throughout the race. Even faster for his last lap, when he looked at his watch and turned on his afterburners to cut his time down and get us out ahead of Trailhead Cycles. He beat them back to the timing tent by one minute to get our next rider out the course. Did I mention he drove from and back home to Sacramento on his own?

Scott was our newest Velonerd, coming all the way from Reno to crank out amazing lap times. He'd never seen the course until his first lap and had never done a night ride. Totally amazing performance from Mr. Stimson. He was feeling so good near the end, he took my turn in the rotation, following close on the heels of Kyle's superman effort, and almost made it in by noon, really giving Trailhead Cycles a run for their money.

Alex was there to keep our drink index up and to supply amazing fire-throwing talent to the night. Even with a broken clavicle, he pre-rode the course with us and moved picnic tables around to create the kitchen. He's also been kind enough to post our results on the Velonerds website.

Way to represent, Pocket Protector Peloton!

Race report by Jun. More pictures available.