Sunday, August 26, 2007

24 Hours of Allamuchy, midnight report

I had the chance to spend a few hours as a soigneur for the combined Rutgers and Hermes (aka, Hermutgers) team at the 24 Hours of Allamuchy mountainbike race. Charlie, Jim, Mike, and Jay formed a 4-man relay team with enough experience and fitness to have a shot at the win.
Charlie finishes his 2nd lap

Charlie rode the first lap, starting at noon, followed by Jim, then Mike, then Jay. It was hot and humid, but Team Hermutgers set a strong pace.
Jim is at home on knobby tires

As of 10pm, the guys had ridden a total of 7 laps, and Jay was well into the 8th. Helmet- or handlebar-mounted lights had been mandatory since 6pm. Speaking as a roadie who shies away from the idea of night-riding, I would describe nighttime in the Allamuchy woods as dark. Like, really dark. Like, I-can't-see-my-front-wheel dark.
Mike, in the old-skool Rutgers jersey, relied heavily on the headlamp during his 2nd lap

Fortunately for Team Hermutgers, Miss O and Miss C have volunteered to spend the entirety of the race supporting the team. Braving mud, mosquitos, and sleep deprivation, these ladies are keeping our racers hydrated, well-fed, and sane.
Miss C and Miss O, soigneurs extraordinaire

When I last checked, Hermutgers were in 2nd place, trailing last year's victors by just a few minutes each lap. However, with thunderstorms rolling in, it seems possible that the world-renowned handling skills of Charlie, Jim, Mike, and Jay might allow a midnight comeback.
The forecast says rain, and the doctor says pain

It's the witching hour now, that ultra-dark, quiet period between midnight and dawn that will really test the riders' mettle. Our racers' strategy seems to be eating solid food, showering off the mud, and getting as much sleep as possible. Here, Charlie demonstrates the food and mud aspects of 24 hour racing.

Jay does some wrenching in the dark

Alumnus Ted was in attendance, repping Van Dessel and cheering Hermutgers

Once our racers have recuperated, I'm sure there will be a race report posted to the blog in the near future. Can Team Hermutgers pull off the win? Stay tuned!

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