GrassMoots Racer Dave Gensch based in Carbonadale, Colorado made the journey with our crew to the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. These are his thoughts on the trip…..
Leaving behind waist deep powder, Jason, Matty and Alex arrived in the Moots sprinter van and picked me up in Carbondale as we headed west. Stopping off in Palisade to meet Ned and Ed, we picked up 6 cases of beer kindly donated from Ska Brewing and continued on towards Moab to ride the new Bar M trails, where we met Ruthie Mathis and got some sweet single track in the setting sun. Thankfully we brought some lights as the ride carried on a for a while…Even a bit longer for Matty and Jason as their topo reading seemed to encouraged a left turn option at each trail junction. After some Pizza we hopped back in the van and headed south into the moon lit desert. The lack off heat in the back of the van brought out our sleeping bags and Matty and Jason did a great job of driving through the night to land us in Phoenix at 5:00 a.m. Our Denny’s experience could not have been better scripted if it had been written for a sitcom as our bigger, more masculine waitress, proceeded to tell us about how her “muscles of steal” would break the ends off the bars of her ten speed back when she used to ride. A stop at Bike Haus and Trader Joes put us back in the van and on our way to the venue.
24 Hour Town is a culminating spectacle of the many walks of life that are loosely connected to the smile that rolling on two wheels bring oneself. Setting up both our camp and the demo tents at the expo site in afternoon sun was a treat after coming from the Colorado blizzard conditions of the past few weeks. We were quickly able to new make friends by passing out free cold Ska beer. The almost full moon rose as the sun lit the western horizon; the air was filled with dust and excitement.
Friday morning was fuelled by not only caffeine but the ever growing crowds as the venue continued to fill up. We each took turns working the demo and shredding the super fun 16+ mile course. As the sun set on a busy day the evening buzz settled in slowly. Rob and Patrick made it in just in time for the sponsors dinner and we were treated to a nice meal of tacos…although we had eaten a similar meal the previous two days, it felt natural as we were only 80 miles from Mexico. The early night quickly turned debaucherous as the drum circles and campfires raged on until the 4;00 A.M. hour.
Race day came with a dust-laden sunrise, warm temps and a great vibe, as everyone seemed very ready to ride their bikes in a circle. Matty and Alex each raced solo and we took some time in the morning to “punch in” and get the scoop on what they were looking for in us crewing for them. Fortunately, Patrick volunteered the info that he would run when he only had a short time to work out. So naturally we chose him to do the Le-Mands start for our corporate team of six…even though I lost the arm wrestle with Jason the night before which was suppose to determine this order.
My first lap was at 3:30 and it felt great to ride a lap in a race environment again. Both Matty and Alex each had a solid first few laps as well. The dry, loose, and cactus riddled course rides fast but begs for each rider to stay the course or result in great peril with the utmost impalement of every type of cacti. My next lap was at 1:00 in the morning as each rider had solid laps and most importantly, a ton of fun. I had a quick crash and unknowingly lost my water bottle in the first two miles. When I reached down to grab a sip at mile 3 and found no water bottle, I knew I had to settle in and just ride. Riding at night down here is otherworldly and very fun. Alex and Matty kept burning laps as we tried to crew for them the best we could. The sunrise again was spectacular and birthed another hot and dusty day and the early morning laps were a treat. After off the couching it, Matty had hit the wall…what a very solid effort and performance. Alex who had been at the front, had started to break down as well as his knee had started to sized…Oh yeah, he was riding a bike he never had and after some 200 miles he started to feel it. Our 6-person team had great laps and some quality trailside P.R. for Moots with flat tire assistance and cacti removal.
At the end of the day Each solo rider posted great results especially coming from snow country, our corporate team rode well and had a blast ripping the Sonoran Desert. Those of us who were finished racing broke down camp as the race came to an end. Dirty and Dusty, I think we all enjoyed the weekend. Sharing brews with strangers, Turning people on to the sweet ride that is a Moots bike, and getting to know new people all while riding bikes. After packing it all up we found, Yo Polly’s Pizza in Scottsdale on the way home and couldn’t have found a better authentic nightcap to an amazing time…”I’m Just Saying.”
So a special thanks to Jason for the invite, Matty, Alex, Patrick, Rob, and Ned for being very different but great people, Ed who did a great job of both crewing and bringing some great humor to our adventure, and to Dave T for giving the Ska beer to share the love. I really appreciate everything that you all brought to a whirlwind five days in the Sonoran sun. Thanks Guys