Our plan was "Don't burn everything on the big loop. Eat, drink, conserve for later!" In years past we have only finished two medium loops… this year our plan was three, putting us at 193 miles before the shorter night loop begins. We also took advice from our good friend Paul Black: Fewer stops!RaeAnn and Cindy were bringing us pizza at 9–9:15, so we rode the 7.6 loop a couple times before our pizza break! We needed 14 of these loops to make our goal! Argh, that's another century+! After what we thought was eight loops, I counted and we only had five done. DANG this is not going to be as easy as we thought! We sat a few minutes and ate and took drinks. Cooled down about 1/2 down time again! Decided we must move on. Because it's 60°F we put long sleeves on and went out for a couple more laps. Laps are approximately 30 minutes, and to meet our goal we must keep moving forward. I had put a Buckshot Bluetooth speaker on the bike and we enjoyed a old rock Pandora station. As the laps melted away one by one, we pedaled forward!
It's 7:20 a.m., we have one 7.6-mile lap to go, and in all my wisdom I say to Dave, "We are cutting it close but have plenty of time. Watch us have a flat!" As we leave the checkpoint for our last lap, we are thinking maybe we are the last to start a final lap as our speed is like 17–18 mpg and we are cutting it close! So about 3.5 miles in we had finished the long coasting refreshing downhill and just as we were ready to pedal again the other Mandem team came beside us from behind and say, "Hey girls, how's it going?" Game on. Hammer Time! Our cadence goes from zero to 110, we drop 3–4 gears, speed goes back to 25+ uphill, and voila the other team disappears in the rear view mirror!Our final lap ends with Mean Green Machine cheers from the volunteers whom we've had a great time with all night long! Goal met and we feel ok! I told Dave I feel like I could go farther but we ran out of time! LOL!
We ended the challenge with 300.3 miles. First place in our division! PR for us and proud of our accomplishment! Dave got his 1000 mile jersey for that many miles at this event. We got super cool winners medals and a pin that states we completed 300 miles. Until next year!The National 24-Hour Challenge is a very organized event. It's been around for quite a few years, early 1980s I think, and the 100-plus volunteers and organizers are awesome and deserve high fives all around!
Full results from the National 24-Hour Challenge are on the N24HC Results Page. Photo Credits: Kyle Robinson, the Green Machine wives, and friends.