24 Hours of Big Bear... by Rainman Smith

We just finished riding 24 hours of Big Bear (24 hour Mt. Bike race), Morgantown, WV.

This was one of the coolest and most difficult races for which the Sonoran Pirates have put into port. I've never been more proud of our pirates.

This trail was 14 miles long and 1630 feet of climbing. The descents were RIDICULOUS. The climbes were up to 50% grade. The rock gardens were huge, mossy, muddy, and slippery. Lots of log-overs, jumps, ledges, mud holes, and a .2 mile-600 foot descent that nearly boiled our brake fluid.

Everyone did remarkably better than their own expectations; which was phenominal. We all took something very positive away from this experience. We are all better riders for having done this race.

Big props go out to Sarah and Alexis, who, both being somewhat green to Mt. Biking, rode like warrior poets; doing so much better than anyone expected that there wasn't even someone there to meet them at the finish because no one expected them to be back that quickly.

Alexis was the youngest female across all categories. She was the second youngest rider by gender.

Craziest ride award goes to Lacey, who, after having broken her light mount, rode at least 4 miles of this ridonkulous trail holding her light her left hand, and still managing to brake and shift.

Collectively, our 7 riders rolled 140 miles, and cranked their bikes up 16,300 vertical feet between 12:00am an Saturday and 11:10am on Sunday. If you add in the pre-riding from Friday evening, we did 210 miles and climbed 24,450 feet.

Huge thanks to J&L for dragging us from our banal history oriented D.C. vacation to shred the WV back(woods) country. It turned out to be the highlight of our trip out.

About WV: Holy crap! When Josh was out riding we actually heard gunfire! The guy at the toll booth for the park didn't have most of his teeth...neither did the gigatinc lady with him who also had no shoes.

Josh, having seen a bear and her cub while pre-riding, wasn't sure if he should be more afraid of the bears, man-bear-pig, or a hick playing a banjo and looking at him with wanting eyes. I think the later warranted the most consternation. At least Man-Bear-Pig would give you a clean death. But, not to be out-done by the local, Josh actually rode his night lap with a dagger duct-taped to the frame of his bike!