My second time racing at “24 Hours in the Canyon”!
Great picture taken by an overhead drone of the start of the 24 hour race.
There are several race categories starting at the same time:
- 24 Hour Road Bike Competitive
- 24 Hour Mountain Bike Competitive
- 24 Hour Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Competitive
- 24 Hour Road Bike Non-Competitive
- 24 Hour Mountain Bike Non-Competitive
- 24 Hour Road Team
- 24 Hour Mountain Bike Team
- 24 Hour Slicks and Knobies
Of course, the category I was in (HPV) was required to climb up and out the canyon wall to first ride a 100 mile loop outside the canyon before returning back down the wall and doing loops inside the canyon.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Lets start at the beginning.
A few months ago Billy Younts facebooks me asking if I want to race in “24 Hours in the Canyon” with him with the velomobiles. Well, I commit and we work with the organizers to create a ‘Human Powered Vehicle’ (HPV) category. It’s happening. 24 Hours in the Canyon now has a HPV category. Wednesday I pack and load the minivan for the trip to Palo Duro Canyon.
After spending Thursday night with Billy and his wife Angie, on Friday we load up and head to Palo Duro Canyon to spend Friday night camping in the canyon. Being both overachievers we are one of the firsts to arrive and setup our tents at the campgrounds.
Friday night was full of thunder, lightening and lots of rain. But, we survived and Saturday morning found us readying the Quest and Strada for the race start at noon.
Lots of people stopped by Saturday morning asking many questions about the velos.
Almost the beginning of the race. People lining up. Much excitement.
We found out later at one of the rest stops outside the canyon that there were only 45 competitive riders that were brave enough to tackle the canyon wall. All the other 24 hour riders chose categories that kept them in the bottom of the canyon and avoided the wall.
Video of the start of the ride. A couple of good downhills. Mostly getting out of the canyon was all about going uphill.
At the 24 second mark the race winner passes me. I never see him again until the awards ceremony. He set a course record of 442 miles in 24 hours. Really good considering all the climbing involved.
The competitive mountain bikers started first with a 5 minute head start. We caught them pretty quick once we could start using the hills as rollers.
We were very close to the head of the pack when we got to the bottom of the big canyon wall. (then depression set in)
Close to the start of the ride there was a photographer taking pictures. A couple of good pictures of Billy and I as we cruise just outside of the starting gate.
The “look” (what is that thing? hmmm, must have a motor in it)
Yep, I’m pretty sure this one has a motor.
|At the bottom Billy and I got out of the vehicles, put on our 'running' shoes and proceeded to spend the next 45 minutes pushing the velos up the canyon wall. My heart rate was through the roof.|
One quarter of the way up the wall. The views were incredible.
Billy wasn’t having any problems pushing his strada up the hill.
Marsh-mellow man was having a very difficult time. This was one of my many rest stops.
Finally, out of the park and riding into the distance on a very gorgeous day.
Billy and I managed to ride the 100 mile loop in about 6 hours. Here is a video towards the end of the race heading back to the canyon.
Entering the park and then down the canyon wall. It only took 4 minutes to get down the wall. I was riding the brakes the whole way. Towards the bottom of the canyon I could tell the effect it was having on the drum brakes and my front suspension system. Twice I did not think the velo was going to slow down enough for the next hairpin corner even though I was squeezing the brake handle for all I was worth.
It is a long video but I wanted to capture how beautiful the scenery is while riding around the bottom of the canyon.
Finished the 100 mile loop. Back at the camp site. Originally I had big dreams of riding some laps around the canyon bottom but I was much too tired to even think of getting back into the velo again.
Greg Gross finished the 12 Hour Recumbent race strong taking first place and setting a new course record.
Podium finishers in the HPV category! Billy 1st, me 2nd.
I survived. This race is NOT recumbent friendly. The views are incredible. The challenge is difficult. One more thing crossed off the bucket list.