National 24-Hour Challenge: Bill's Report

Bill Lorenz rocked it at the National 24-Hour Challeng
by Bill “Guru of Shoe” Lorenz Bill Lorenz raced the 2014 National 24-Hour ChallengeSometimes the planets are aligned. Sometimes you get to exceed your expectations. Sometimes everything goes just right. That’s just what happened to me at the 2014 National 24-Hour Challenge Road Race in Middleville, Michigan. Everything was just right. The weather was perfect, I was sufficiently trained, my nutrition plan worked, I had no mechanical issues, and I felt comfortable throughout the ride. The entire day and night was never not fun and enjoyable. I set an ambitious but (I thought) realistic goal for myself of 200 miles. I had done two 100+ mile training rides: One was 135 miles, and the other 102 miles. I had also ridden quite a bit since the first of the year, totaling right around 2000 miles. I commute as much as possible from the south side of Des Moines to Ankeny (27 miles round trip), and those miles add up quickly. Kyle provided me with an amazing ride: a 2014 Specialized Roubaix Comp SL-4 equipped with Zipp Firecrest 303 Carbon rims. I had Profile Design Airstryke Aerobars mounted to it, and that turned out to be a great decision. I rode on the aerobars quite a bit, not so much for speed (although I do think they did make me a tad speedier), but mainly for comfort. On flat straight stretches without much traffic, I would switch to aero position, and that took a great deal of pressure off my hands and arms. The first 124-mile loop was uneventful, and I never felt like I was struggling. There were three checkpoints where it was possible to rest and refuel. I stopped for less than two minutes at the first checkpoint and for five to ten minutes at checkpoints two and three. By the time I got back to the start/finish area and checkpoint four I was ready for a break, so I was off the bike for about 20 minutes. There was a time limit of 12 hours to finish the first loop and I finished in less than nine hours. Bill Lorenz did many lapsThe second loop was 24 miles in length and could be ridden as many times as you wanted, provided you made it to the checkpoint at the far end of the loop before 8 p.m. I opted to ride the loop one time and glad I did. There was lots of cars on those roads, most driven by jerks. (Guru's editorial follows: I fail to understand the need for drivers to make dangerous and illegal passes when the most time saved is usually about five to ten seconds. Is that time saving really worth risking lives?) After taking another 20-minute break following loop two, I headed out on loop three, a 7.5-miler that we would ride through the night as many times as possible. I absolutely LOVED the third loop. It was mostly flat and straight, and the intersections and road crossings were all controlled. I rode 90% of the mileage on loop three in aero position which really helped me stay comfortable. I rode loop three a total of seven times before taking a three-hour nap around 3:00 a.m. I finished with two more loops after sunup, finishing with a total of 231.5 miles. That was good for 6th of 16 in my age group. Not bad for my first ever bicycle race. There were a couple of things that I did that I think contributed to my success and satisfaction. I kept a reasonable pace but never pushed myself to a level of discomfort. I kept well hydrated and fed. I thank our crew (Kyle Robinson and Dave Hammer competed in the tandem devision again this year) of Cindy Hammer and Saraleigh Monroe for looking after our nutritional needs with Subway sandwiches late in the afternoon and a delicious ham and pineapple pizza around midnight. I also relied on Skratch Pineapple hydration mix for electrolyte replacement. I also consumed four Hy-Vee brand nutrition drinks (like Succeed). At 350 calories each, they provided me with plenty of energy late in the day and through the night. They were all tired on the way homeI was and still am totally satisfied with my accomplishment and am also totally hooked on ultracycling. I’m doing an eight-hour race two weeks following the 24-Hour Challenge in Hastings Nebraska, and am looking at the calendar for other ultracycling events and saying "maybe." And I’ll be returning to the National 24-Hour Challenge next year. Can’t wait!
Full results from the National 24-Hour Challenge are on the N24HC Results Page.
7 years ago
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shawn bt
7 years ago at 9:25 PM
Great Job Bill!!
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