Honestly not much riding, but I did get to watch some awesome riding. I went to the 24 hours of Finale Ligure planning on riding a bit on a twelve man team. Yeah twelve folks doesn’t mean much riding, but it was supposed to be just for fun and lots of sleep. It was not much riding for sure, but not any sleep at all.
I ended up having one of my friend’s down from Germany, a super fast 17 year old named Isaac, and promised to support him which meant being up at 0400 to give him bottles of water or whatever, which I did. But I also inherited another great rider to help out, Rebecca a super nice, positive and fast Niner racer. As I have never really supported anyone, usually I am being supported in my vain attempts at a top 15 or so finish I didn’t realize how easy but stressful it could be.
Well Isaac was easy, his first 24 and anything he got he was stoked to get. He has also lived in Europe for a while so the food, although not German, was not all that unusual to him. Rebecca was also happy with whatever she got however she was eating strange Pringles (they do taste much different than the US ones) odd soups and along with something she called Wiki juice. I still don’t know what it was, but I may have to get the recipe as it works very well for her.
Well on with to how my charges rode, and both riders can have their performances summed up as amazing! Rebecca spent the whole race fighting with a German woman, who seems to have had some strange lap times, for first place. Unfortunately for her she ended up in second about seven minutes behind first. Throughout the entire race she rode with, at least reporting to those that saw her, a smile and a positive attitude. She never came close to stopping or really slowing all that much. If I can do as well as she at my next 24 I will be pretty happy. Regardless or her result I was really happy to have helped her race. Oh yeah she was riding a borrowed bike as she had not planned on racing and therefore had none of her own food. Man, there are a few riders earn the admiration of their peers but she earned more than admiration from the racers she earned a ton of respect for her great riding and great attitude. If she ever comes back to race here or if she needs help at a race in the States and I can, I will, and gladly.
Isaac had a little problem with cramping about eight hours in, which hampered his results a little. This was due in part to his blazing fast pace and lack of prior 24 hour racing. He seemed to get a lot better when a really nice fellow rider named Angello (sp?) let him use some of his secret race drink. It was some type of Enervit product that really helped him. About midnight he decided it just wasn’t as fun as it should have been to ride at night on a rigid bike. Oh yeah kind of left something out, Niner Bikes Italy let him use a demo for the full 24 hours, coolest thing I have ever seen a company do. Mauro, the Italian distributor, is one of the best reps for his product ever. BIGGEST EVER THANKS TO NINER BIKES AND MAURO. He just laid down for about 3 hours and recharged. He went back out around 4 AM and rode like an animal for next ten hours and finally ended in 17th well ahead of many who did not sleep at all. He will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. He just smiles and rides and goes faster and smoother than I ever will. If he ever needs help again he has it here, and with the Los Lobos guys. We are all impressed with his great ride. Bad thing for everyone else in New Mexico, he is coming home in about 2 months so get ready to fight real hard to win.
I also met the 4 niner riders Deejay, Cameron, Fuzzy and Mark. Okay, so I really saw four really fast blurs who nearly dominated the entire field. They finished third overall behind two eight man teams. Deejay and Mark brought me a beer which was really tasty and a kind thought. I have got to say watching those four ride makes me realize how fast bikes can go. Oh well, mine never will, but it could. Nice guys and great riders.
I need to really thank the Niner folks for having Americans at a race in Italy. Chris and Steve are both awesome guys with great bikes, Niner, and really make me want to buy one of their bikes for my next ride. Mauro for everything he did for Isaac and last but not least the two solo riders who made me staying up such a great experience Isaac and Rebecca.