Saturday, June 9, 2001 - Sunday, June 10, 2001 -- Snowshoe, WV
24 Hours of Snowshoe (iPO Event Id#: 4054)
Photos by Dana Harshberger, Julie Black, Don Parks and Justin Wimpey
by Diesel Powers (a.k.a. Mike Boyes - 3rd place Mens Solo)
What a challenge, what a test, what was I thinking? Going solo at 24Hrs of Snowshoe, this is not something to do half-assed.
Looking back, it went by quickly; after all it was only 24 hours. Look at how much time we waste each day doing things that we don't like to do, or just wasting time scanning channels on the television. This was twenty-four hours of doing two of the things that I thoroughly enjoy, riding and racing mountain bikes. I took each moment for what it was, but kept looking towards the goals that I had set for myself.
The night laps were more mentally demanding than they were physically. I had to reassure myself constantly that, as long as I was moving forward, at some point in time I would complete laps. Mini-goals where established at this time, the sound of a gas powered generator never sounded so good, as they signaled the last of the three hike-bike-hell sections. The feed station (expertly run by the West Virginia Department of Tourism) was such a welcome sight. The glow of tiki candles signalling the approach to their station where they provided assistance to all the racers. Even the climb up to the high wall was something to look forward to. I was surprised at the number of racers that did not even take the time to look to the right to take in the spectacular view was laid out before them. On the start of last downhill, there was a large man that that took up a vigil off to the right of the trail. On my four descents that I did in the dark, he was there with his candles, and, come daylight he was gone. When I spoke to him, he always replied in a low, reassuring voice. I have said that mild hallucinations are all right, it's when they talk to you when you need to be concerned. I am still not sure that he was really there or if I just imagined it.
The arrival of daylight brought a new challenge as my support crew first reported that I was racing for third place! This provided me with a focus to hold on for the final six hours of the race. I may have been racing solo, but we worked together as a team. Without the support of friends and family on the course and in the pits, I would not have found my way to the podium. They pulled me out of more than one of the low points during the race. Thanks to everyone that help turn this vision into a reality.
Team Hugh Jass
I would like to congratulate everyone who finished the 24 Hours of Snowshoe Race. Every year this race has brought on many difficulties for riders to overcome, this year it was the mud. It does not matter what place your team finished but that you did finish and hopefully that was your first and foremost goal. I know the spectacle that Hugh Jass can create, and hope that it help create a fun atmosphere when times were getting difficult. If any one was was offended or thought that certain antics were done to make fun of participants they are mistaken, and I appologize. I enjoyed every interaction I had with each individual and thank every person for making this years race a positve memory for myself and one that will last forever. To every rider who made it around that challenging course to their best of their ability, Congratulations! You should be proud.
Piney Flats Racing East Wing Rehab
This was my second 24 Hours of Snowshoe and I really enjoyed it a lot. I had made up my mind earlier in the week that it was going to be an epic "crapfest" and I was ready mentally. Last year, the evil terrain (combined with a couple of pre-ride crashes) had me so intimidated that I didn't ride very well. I came back with determination and some better technical skills and had a much better time and actually rode faster laps than last year in spite of the nasty conditions. On my night lap, I had the pleasure of being passed in Lower Beaver Dam by Chris Eatough. He was running with his bike and looked like a gazelle runnning through the woods - impressive. To me, it was a fun, challenging race and I'm already making plans for next year.