So I know these guys... Well they are more like freaks of nature really. They probably have two Y chromasomes a piece. They aren't particularly hairy, but the US Government wants to preserve and study their brains when they die.. if they die. See these guys like to race their mountain bikes for 24 hours at a time.
Conveniently there are events established to focus these powers on good instead of evil. The event that I attended was at the Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, California and was called 24 Hours Of Adrenaline. We arrived Saturday morning to set up the Chuter Camp and register.
Here's how it works, the race goes from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. There are different classes of teams from pro riders to corporate teams with twenty riders to amateur singles. The Summit Chuters had a team of 5 riders and Eric rode in the solo male category. These teams will race for 24 hours solid until they finish the race or explode in a cloud of testosterone mist. Each member of the five man team will take his turn racing on the mountain bike course and in the case of Eric, he'll bike the whole thing himself.
Each team needed to have a volunteer or two so Dave and I helped out but didn't race. We have been biking with the Chuters for half a year now and are still nowhere near catching up to them. These guys are fast.
Mark had the exclusive "distinction" of starting the race for the team. It's a Lemans Start where a member of each team sprints (runs) approx 600 meters to their bikes to begin the race. So as you can imagine, this person is already plenty tired before even getting on their bike.
While not riding, the Chuters would be chowing on pasta or napping or warming up on the trainer if their turn was up next. Mike, the fifth Chuter, showed us how to relax properly on the roof of his Land Cruiser. Meanwhile, there is no rest for Eric who is racing solo. His girlfriend Carol helped him with bike maintenance, food, and morale. It was a beautiful day on the racetrack.
Each lap was taking approximately 50 minutes to complete an 11 mile loop. After Mark finished his lap, Ken took the next and crossed the finish area at 1:38:37.
There were representatives from bike light manufacturers to help with lighting support (battery charging, maintenance, etc). At night, laps usually took longer because it was cold, people were tired, and less visibility made downhill runs more sketchy. In the photo to the left, Hokeness comes in at midnight after one of his laps. That blur of light is him.. you'll have to take my word for it.
Dave and I got some rest that night while the bikers did their best not to fall asleep on the trail and hurt themselves or others. We awoke in the morning and ate breakfast while Tim and the other riders filled us in on the team's progress during the night.
Ken finished up the race for the Chuters at only 9 seconds after noon. Tim was thankful for this because if Ken had been only 9 seconds earlier, Tim would have had to get out there and do another lap. The Summit Chuters had completed 27 laps and placed fourth in the 5 person Open Age 150-199 group. Eric finished 21 laps in 23 hours, 36 minutes, 12 seconds and placed fourth in the Solo Male category. It's definitely worth noting that Eric was competing with professional mountain biker Tinker Juarez who got first place. Unbelieveable.