It's time for a new challenge. After a dozen or so 24 hour races all done with some type of support, why not do one self-supported? This silly thought has been rattling in the back of my head for some time...KTR leftovers? In any case, Anna, my longtime one person support crew, is a bit under the weather and good friends & Steamboat locals Murph and Jen are racing so fate has made the decision for me - I'll be doing the Steamboat 24 hour solo event self-supported.
This is certainly nothing new in the world of 24 hour racing...just new to me. Each 24 gets a bit easier, and now I'm at the point where I don't need much anyway, so long as the bikes hold together. Don't get me wrong - if you're in the area and are just itching to go through one of my bikes I'll accept help. I'm no purist.
Thoughts on streamlining the pits dominate.
- Hydration, I tend to use a small hydration pack plus a bottle. The Fuel's only have one bottle cage which is taken up by a light battery at night. This time around, I'm foregoing the hydration pack in favor of 2 bottles, and my fancy DIY lights have small battery packs that fit under the stem. Going with bottles means I can mix everything up prior to the event and put it in a cooler, ready to go. I do have 4 50oz packs that I'll have ready with water for the witching hours as it'd be hard to pick a water bottle up at 4am (I get dumber and lazier at 4am).
- Hot food is out. By the time the food got hot I'd be cold, so that's a no go. A couple thermos' of coffee & hot water for instant oatmeal, one of my personal faves...and last weekend during a 10+ hour ride I gobbled 3 oatmeal bomb cookes from Bread bakery. I'm not sure I want to know how many calories are in those monsters, but lets just say there was no hunger all day. I'll be showing up with a bunch of those for sure!
- Lighting - my DIY systems can go all night with a set of Lithium AAs, so futzing with lights should be minimal. I haven't tested them for water resistance yet, so I'll have the Niterider's on hand just in case. Steamboat was "moist" last year.
- Intel: the announcer at the 'boat is as good as they get. Don't know his name...but last year I knew where I stood each time I came through as I could hear his announcing for the first 5 minutes of the course every lap. Hopefully he'll be back this year - the registration form actually asks for some background info for he announcer, so I'll bet he is...
- Competitive goals: I'll have to admit it'd be nice to repeat. However, I am realistic and understand going self-supported will probably cost me a lap or two. *** just happens. I'll go in with a solid plan but an open/flexible approach, have fun and ride hard. Podium or not, it'll be a new experience in a familiar venue.
Should be fun. Besides, if a girl can do it...