24 Hours in the Old Pueblo: 2011 Race Review

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo can be summed up with one Picture
As Rodney the Rodent experienced 1) 1st you get plowed over, 2) when you’re trying to pick yourself up you get steamrolled, 3) when you want to die a graceful death in privacy, some jackass is taking a picture of you and and making fun of your last moment, your last expression, your last cry of agony.
The 2011 edition of the 24 Hours in Old Pueblo was one to remember and one to forget. Great race, as always. Great Crowd, as always. Great Times, as always. BUT the weather created a few challenges. Some dudes faced the challenges head on and fought through the elements. Other dudes (me) sat in the truck and watched the challenges from the warmth of the pinto and the luxury of a Ding Dong dinner.
Hey, mountain biking is an outdoor sport. I should be prepared. But I did drop out of Boy Scouts after the 1st meeting, so I’m still learning the ‘Be Prepared’ stuff. As with life, everyday is a learning experience. I’m slowly learning this 24 hour racing stuff. I have a good plan for the physical conditioning, I have a good mental plan for the ‘nominal’ race environment. But I need a mental plan for the ‘extreme’ race environment. Yeah, I’m learning and taking notes. AND I’m watching the super freaks. I’ll never be as fast or put in as many miles as the super freaks. I’m obese, remember. But I can put in as many hours as the super freaks. That’s the goal, dude.

The Link to all the Pics, Dude!
Race Awards:
The Judd: “I’m not Fast, I’m just trying to Lap Prob-eee” Award. 9 Laps ~ 150 miles. The Judd put down some big miles for the last 9 hours of the race. A quick 6 laps / 100 miles in the dark, in the daylight, in the wind. Easy stuff for this obese dude. Too bad the big storm put The Judd machine in standby after the 1st 3 laps, 50 miles on Saturday afternoon.
Rhino: “Ha Ha Ha. I’ll easily log 3 laps in this DAMP weather. Oh wait, this is a damn Hurricane. I should’ve hung out in the pinto with the crew, the brew & Ding Dongs” Award. 7 Laps ~ 117 miles. This was Rhino’s 1st outing with the Back of the Pack crew. Rhino may be a bit shocked with the Back of the Pack Ludacracy. But Rhino fits right in. The dude put out a good effort for his 1st solo SS race. I’m sure he’ll show up to 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest ready for a showdown with B.P.R.’s New Mexico crew.

Prob-eee: “I may be old, I may be slow, but I’ll sneak out at 12:30 am and ride while Judd’s sleeping” Award. 7 Laps ~ 117 miles. Yep, Prob-eee put The Judd to shame by sneaking out at 12:30 am. Prob-eee achieved a personal best in terrible conditions. Sweet!  AND there was no talk of retirement on Sunday night or Monday morning. Prob-eee finally found the inner single speed freak that lurks in his soul.

The Morale Chairman: “I don’t need cold weather gear, oh maybe I do need cold weather gear” Award. 4 Laps ~ 67.5 miles. The TeddNeck showed up with massive hours on the stationary bike. The TeddNeck did not show up with cold riding gear. So, 4 easy laps in the wind and sun. That’s about it. 
The Lt Col: “Uh, I’ll catch up with you dudes at the next race. I’m busy learning how to use my new smart phone” Award. Yeah. We missed the B.P.R. Elder Statesman. Oh well, the Lt Col will feel the pain and humiliation at Dawn ‘til Dusk in April.
Special Awards:
Rhino: Back of the Pack Brew of the Year Award. Black Porter Rhino is one AWESOME porter. Yep, Back of the Pack Racing now has an official beer – thanks to Rhino. 

Back of the Pack Championship Series:

This is serious, dude. The Back of the Pack Championship Series is ‘The What’ that drives us Back of the Pack Racers. The racer names are listed based on point totals from the 2010 race series. Yes, The Judd was triumphant in 2010… NO MATTER what The Lt Col Says. Point totals are simple. 100 pts for a victory, 1 pt for a ‘show’, 1 pt for a certified ‘AARP’ membership. 0 for a ‘no show’. 

The Weather:

Talking about the weather is like talking about the glory days.  No one cares and no one believes you. So, below are snap shots of the local weather conditions. Yeah. Rain & Wind. Wind & Rain. Gusts over 50mph. No Joke Jokester!

Course Info and Lap Info:

Do you really care about this crap? Well, I do. So deal with it.

The Bitches? Skip The Bitches?
If you’re plan is to ‘ride the race’ and not ‘race the race’, skip the bitches. The ‘skip the bitches’ is a fun, twisting single track that skips the bitches. The option is 0.2 miles longer but with ~ 140 LESS vertical. After a few introductory laps I actually rode the ‘skip the bitches’ faster than ‘the bitches’, like 1 minute faster. Yeah. I don’t ‘race’ down that backside of ‘the bitches’, like others do. So my data point is slanted towards my style of riding. Either way, it’s a killer option. More races should have options like this. Options add a bit uncertainty & a bit of fun. 

Prob-eee is as Prob-eee does. And Prob-eee ALWAYS makes us laugh.
  • At the Saturday / 6:30pm debrief. Prob-eee says, ‘Man, these SmartWool knee warmers are great. You should get some.’ The Judd says, ‘Uh, Prob-eee. Those knee warmers aren’t authorized. I must report you to the Lt Col.’ Prob-eee says, ‘Come on man. These are great. Don’t report me. Can’t we keep this between us friends?’ The Judd says, ‘Nope. Founding Fathers before friends. You’re toast!’
  • At 12:30am Prob-eee misses the turn to ‘Skip the Bitches’. At the Sunday / 4:30 am debrief Prob-eee says ‘Dude, I have no idea where that turn is.’ The Judd says, ‘That’s funny, because there are 4 blinking red lights clearly marking the turn.’
  • At the Sunday / 4:30 am debrief Prob-eee says, ‘Man, I really hope Rhino picks up a quart of coffee from Starbucks.’ The Judd say, ‘Uh Prob-eee, Rhino & Family have a cabin in BFE. There is no Starbucks around and Rhino isn’t thinking of your coffee needs.’ Prob-eee says ‘Really, you don’t think Rhino will pick up some Starbucks for us? Damn.’
Quote of the Race:
Due to a random asshole (#469 on lap 1) The Judd was able to strike up a conversation with a nice lady (woman, female, hottie, foxy mama, whatever appropriate term you care to use.) The conversation started because we were in a train just cranking on the cranks. The asshole decided he was late for Lunch so he proceeded to run everyone off the road. Because of this I made a comment  or two to this lady – about jackass #469.
So, then the short conversation started after the wind blew me up to the parallel position with the lady – from which I jumped in front of her.
Lady: Nice Socks dude. (referring to the B.P.R. Single F’n Speed socks)
The Judd: Thanks
Lady: Solo single speed huh? Sweet!
The Judd: Yeah, thanks.
Lady: I’m solo & geared.
The Judd: Cool. 
The Judd’s Thoughts: ‘Damn, wish you were solo & single, if you know what I mean.’
Lady: Hey, I’ll want to pass you back once we get to hills. Is that cool?
The Judd: No Problem.
The Judd’s Thoughts: Oh, yeah. Right. Whatever you say. 
Attention All Geared People: Unless you are a super freak geared racer, chances are that a dude on a 32×18 SS setup will climb a hill much faster than a dude or dudette geared down into that TINY chainring up front and that BIG ASS ring in the back. Its all about the ratio. Just saying. 
Lessons Learned:
  • I need a personal sports psychologist and / or a personal motivational speaker. Yep. El Freako (Jeff Hemperley) has the solution. He ‘says’ he was ready to go horizontal and call it a race after the Arizona Hurricane hit. His wife Laura uttered a few works. Something like this, ‘Hey, El Freako, aren’t you here for a 24 hour race?’. El Freako snapped out of it and raced his way to 4th in the SS category. S*^T why can’t we all have our own motivational speaker, life coach, sports psychologist? Whatever the hell you want to call it.
  • So you think the weather is brutal?  There are always a group of psychos that think the weather is just fine. So toughen up Judd! AND get some decent riding gear for these crazy conditions.
  • The fixed gear training method is great for the cold weather / winter training. I’m a believer.
  • Race preparation must start in mid December. Ramp up to 150 mile weekends in mid January. (I started in early January for this race with a 100 mile / weekend goal.)
Lessons Relearned:
  • If you enter a 24 hour race with the goal of losing weight – think again. I only ate 2 official meals in 3 days and gained 3 pounds. Must be all the beer and Ding Dongs, dude.
  • Club Ride shorts are the ultimate gear in chaffage prevention. Add in some dznuts and there is zero probability of issues down under. The cool space-age material (still stylish though) allows for a zero friction interface with the saddle. 100% cotton cargo shorts create massive friction which results in massive chaffage – even with the 1st line of defense provided by dznuts .
  • If you’re cool enough to roll with an EBB, get some brains and figure out how to adjust the damn thing. Don’t understand what I’m saying? Don’t worry about it.
A Big B.P.R. Thanks to:
Rhino and The Rhino Family. The new B.P.R. recruit earned his keep. (Taking notes Prob-eee?) Rhino & Family secured a SWEET trail spot, set up a killer pit, hauled in wood, maintained the pit in the extreme conditions. Basically Rhino & Family made it all happen. Because of these actions that are above and beyond the call of duty, Rhino is elevated to a new Back of the Pack membership rank – somewhere between Probationary Member and Associate Member. The B.P.R. Operating Instructions will be undated soon to reflect this new team structure.
Nick and Tracy. This dynamic duo (2nd place coed duo) rolled up to the B.P.R. camp late Sunday. The duo provided interesting conversation, a good set of laughs AND the towed us out of the ditch on Monday morning. It’s always great to make new friends.

The B.P.R. Morale Chairman. I can’t thank The Brother in person. Brothers don’t do that sort of S*^T. But the B.P.R. Morale Chairman drove the entire way home – just so I could blog about the experience. Pretty Cool. Hopefully this becomes a tradition!
OH S*^T! of the Trip:
The TeddNeck, The B.P.R. Morale Chairman, maneuvered the pinto to avoid a SMALL ROCK, so he high centered the truck in a BIG DITCH / Rut. Yeah. Last year The TeddNeck high centered his popup on this small rock. This year he missed the rock with the big truck, but high centered the truck IN a ditch. Monday mornings with The TeddNeck are so much fun.
Lucky for us, Nick and Tracy saved the day. Lenny and Nate showed up just in case a few more brains and horsepower were required.
The Reality, Prob-eee’s A Hero:

Prob-eee and this personal guilt saved Judd’s race. Yep. A simple text message pushed Prob-eee out into the dark, cold desert at 12:30 am. Prob-eee ripped a lap and returned with interesting information on the weather and trail conditions. This information pushed The Sleeping Judd out of the tent and onto the course. Without Prob-eee’s course report – Sleeping Judd would have waited until sunrise & wasted the opportunity to put down some awesome laps in the awesome early morning riding conditions.

Thanks Prob-eee, you’re a valuable dude on Back of the Pack Racing. BUT I’ll never admit that in the company of the 2 other Founding Fathers.
In Summary:
Excuses Reign and Local Knowledge Prevails. I used the cold & wet weather excuses to keep me dry. But Local knowledge proved that massive downpours are just a temporary condition. 
Judd’s psychosis said “It’s freezing and it’s muddy”. Reality said “It’s not cold and the trail is super fast.” 
Reality hurts. My 3am restart time could have been / should have been an 11pm restart or even a 9:30pm restart. Oh well. As I always say… NEXT TIME I’ll KNOW BETTER.
The Final Summary:
Overall, it was a good effort from all Back of the Pack Racing dudes… considering the weather and the limited hours for ‘country club’ riding.
AND, as usual, the B.P.R. crew had a great time with all the cool dudes & dudettes that populate these 24 Hour Towns and race the races. Brian Leddy / Melanie / Paul – The Gallup Crew. Lenny / El Freako / Nate – The Big Wheel Racing Crew. Nick and Tracy – The Colorado Springs Crew. The random beer tree gawkers. The random Black Sheep admirers. Every dude and dudette we run into is totally cool. Yeah, it’s a funny crowd that we hang with. 
And, aside from all this gibberish, all I really know is that I’ll train harder next year and I’ll be online at 12:01 am the day registration opens for the 2012 edition.

A Few More Pics:
Just a reminder: The Link to all the Pics, Dude!

And a sample of the pics, dude!

An 8 hour ride home can be summed up in a 2 sentence conversation.
The TeddNeck: Done with that blog posting yet?
The Judd: Nope.
The Back of the Pack Racing Pit

The Official Back of the Pack Racing Brew
The Back of the Pack Racing Beer Tree and Official 24HITOP Sunset
The Back of the Pack Colors

The Back of the Pack Racing 24HITOP Crew

The Padre flying the Back of the Pack Racing Colors

Yeah, The Wind

The Back of the Pack Racing ABQ Crew Waiting OUT the Storm




The Back of the Pack Racing Diet Plan  – while waiting out Arizona Hurricanes
A Few Videos, if You’re REALLY BORED:

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo – The Before

24 HITOP – 2011 – The Race from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.
24 Hours in the Old Pueblo – Just Race Stuff

And a 24HITOP Sunrise to give YOU that tingly feeling all OVER!

AND a Random 1910 Jail in Arizona

5 thoughts on “24 Hours in the Old Pueblo: 2011 Race Review

  1. Hey Cindy. Yeah. We had a great time. Would have been better if The Lt Col made it AND the #1 pit crew. Maybe next time. Oh yeah. Congratulations on the future addition to your family. That should keep you busy – but you can still crew at the 2012 Old Pueblo race, right?


  2. Awesome write-up!! Always a good time at these races. I should have had 3rd or 2nd or maybe even 1st!! Thank goodness for my awesome wife to get me back at it. I had to claw my way back into it. It wasnt pretty to get to the podium but does it really matter? Just the end result does. Nice job.
    Cya guys in Gallup.


  3. Thanks. Sometimes the posts get a bit long. But that's the way it is. Yeah. That was a crazy race. I'm impressed with all you dudes (and the dudettes) that braved the conditions. Doesn't matter how you make the podium, especially in that Arizona Hurricane. Wicked! I'll be prepared next year, maybe. Top 10 / 13 laps is my goal for 2012 – assuming decent weather and 24 hours of riding. Yeah. If you freaks put in 16 or 17 in decent weather – I should be able to put in 13. So easy to say that from the couch on a Wednesday night.


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