Sunday, December 5, 2010

6 Hours of Your Own Backyard.

I was scheduled to do a 12 hour solo about a month ago....never done THAT before...but it kinda went sideways so I ended up not attending,  About that same time, I was riding out of our local network of trails and roads that have been groomed into a surprisingly good area to ride.  It occurred to me that we could have our own little endurance challenge right in our own back yard.

So the 6 Hours of Tapia was born, just like that.

The plan was to ride a pre-determined loop as many times as you could in six hours.  Six hours seemed about right.  It was enough time to stretch many riders abilities and yet allow for a later morning start and a before dark finish in Fall daylight hours.  Food at the local Mexican eatery to follow.  The loop was a mix of fireroad, doubletrack and sweet singletrack.  I am not sure of the elevation gain...maybe 1000' a lap...maybe...but it was 11 miles per and took about an hour at a moderate but determined pace.  We would ride by our vehicles every lap so support was easy. 

The invites went out and the responses were varied.  Some folks got it and others did not, but there were a few that verbally stuck their toe in the water by saying things like "I will come out for a few laps with ya...then I have to wash the hamster and take out the trash...blah, blah."  A few were stoked and were in for the long run.  You can show a horse water, etc.

The morning dawned and there were a lot of no-shows but I expected that.  We had great weather.  Cool and overcast, it was juuuust right.  I knew that my time per loop was about 1 hr 8 minutes, so thinking I could sustain a 1 hour lap for 6 laps was out of the question and I had decided that I really wanted to be done by 02:00 so we could all go eat together.  So my goal was 5 laps.

In the end, 4 of us completed 5 laps, one did 4, and others dabbled with 3 laps and then had to head home for honey-dos.  There were some that circled the course putting in some miles and it was great to see a face you knew as you were riding, even if we could not stop to chat.

55 miles and six hours...maybe 15 minutes of down time to refill bottles and stretch...THAT was a lot of fun.  Much thanks to FFW for hanging with me to the end.  Many others I never saw as we were like satellites, each on their own orbit, but never seeing each other, but Eric the Red, Joseph, and then FFW were the buds for the day and it was our version of the Rat Pack without the cool suits and Vegas Lounge acts.

I bet that many of you have a local area that would work for this.  Think up a fun but challenging loop, keep the time to an hour or 90 minutes or so, allow for a broad level of abilities and make it a challenge for those who may have never ridden more than a hour or two at a time, or for the fast guys to see what they can do.  Try to stay away from heavily used hiking trails so there are not too many conflicts with the riders.  Keep it social, make a few guidelines to keep it fair and even, then plan a gnosh afterwards.

Then, tell me how your 6 Hours of Your Own Backyard went.  I would like to know.


Randy said...

The key is to allow enough time for the killer Mexican chips, salsa, and meal, which, by the way, everyone, racers and riders, were able to find more important than any Honey Do list. BTW, how do you feel today Granny gear?

grannygear said...


I feel pretty good today. Was set to ride at 03:00 but the rain and some bike repair gave me another schedule.