Yes we are the 12 Hours of Temecula duo open series champions. What does that mean? Well we rode our butts off to and in all three of the SoCal 12 hour endurance races. That means on bikes and in the truck (I just got back so its fresh on my behind). We rode 42 laps total (most of any teams for the series)- finishing 2nd, 1st and 2nd respectively in the three races.
Carson and I made it down for the third time this year because its just a great escape and the weather is much better than here at this time of year. Which we realized when we got back to snow on the ground! It also is a fun series with great turnout and fun fast courses.
We headed out Thursday morning with idea of stopping in Vegas for a quick ride, but decided to stop in St George instead and rode Bear Claw Poppy. It was a bit dusty but really fast! If you haven't ridden it recently it seems to have expanded into a zillion options and turnoffs that meander in a red maze of rock and dirt but always takes you back to the main route. I'd recommended it to all levels of riders.The picture is of the trailhead where we turn around to head back to the start near the race loop.
After the exhilarating ride we cleaned up and drove on to Primm just south of Vegas to lose a few bucks at blackjack and to spend the night. We rolled into Temecula the next morning, set up camp and went for a pre-ride.I expected the course to be the same as last fall but was surprised that the course was changed. It did include combinations of the two prior courses we had done, so most of it wasn't too new. We still had the Dam Climb (And it is a Damn long hard climb!)
The above picture is Carson climbing the least steep part of the climb. It is deceiving because there are about 5 false summits before you make it the 1.5 miles to the top. Below is from the top looking back at the dam and lake.
Once you made it to the top the rest of the course was nearly all downhill with several quick steep "walls" that if you hit at full speed you could top with moderate effort. The "tunnel of love" is the funnest section that includes a long fast winding descent that goes on for a long time. There were a few changes that made the course seem shorter than last time but ultimately because of the time it took to do the Dam climb the laps ended up longer than previously.
THE RACEAbove is the paced start of the race. Carson is on the far Right. Our rule for the race starts is that if it entails a bike sprint then he goes but if it requires a run then I start. He got off well and I quickly got ready and anxiously waited for him to get back. To my dismay he returned third in our duo open category, but not by much. We were hoping for first or second, but it was early. I headed off and shortly saw the second place guy ahead. His name was Mark (sorry I forgot his last name) and he was racing for Racers here in Utah. We lost to a Racers team in the spring so I was concerned for a repeat of that. But by the time we got to the top of the Dam climb I had passed him and saw him no more on that lap.
As the times were posted several laps later we saw that the top three were within 20 minutes of each other which is pretty close for a 12 hour race. The worrisome thing was that Racers team was only 2 minutes back. Then as I waited for my third lap I saw, John (again- don't remember his last name), the other Racers racer come in ahead of Carson. I found out later that he was feeling sick and cramping pretty bad and got passed. Luckily I again was able to catch Mark on the climb and pass him. Carson's strength came back the rest of the race (thank goodness for me since he had to do the extra lap-13- and I wasn't keen on doing back to back laps) and that's what kept us ahead of third. Ultimately, we were able to widen the gap to about 11 minutes on them but were only able to close the gap to 1st place to 10 minutes by the 9 pm cutoff time. It was a very close clean race that could have easily changed with a minor mistake, injury or mechanical. But all 6 of us managed to avoid a mishap and it ended based upon our ability for the day- as it ideally should. I had a great time and felt great throughout the race. Each lap was extremely fun and even the Dam climb seemed easier than the last time I raced it.
I'll post times when they are available.