THE FIRST, ANNUAL 12 HOURS OF PENITENCE.
After the 24 Hours in the Sage was canceled in August I began looking for another event and was so glad to have found this awesome event. I spent many days climbing in Penitente Canyon in my twenties and it was really cool to be back in this special place. Sydney and her crew did a great job with this inaugural event.
The course was a 17+ mile with 1850’ of climbing and was nothing short of demanding, punchy, and downright rowdy, a true mountain bike course with lots of fun technical features, stout climbs and spicy descents. I raced in the large solo category on my single speed set up with a 32 x 19. After my second lap I switched to a 32 x 20 and would have gone to a 21 if I had one.
The day started out with cool temps and stayed mild throughout the morning. There were some quick rain showers that kept the body temperature regulated and the mind invigorated.
My fourth lap was brutal! It seems there are always a few of these moments when you fall apart. The mind was weary, the body struggling, and mojo low. Mid lap, I watched a Goss Hawk play on the thermals of the ledgy rocks and reminded myself not to fight the forces but to “play” with them. It settled me down and at the top of the Witches Canyon climb I was rewarded with a Rainbow. It fueled my soul and put power back in my legs.
Jeff my good friend, colleage, and crew man had a fried egg sammy waiting for me and I savored my usual last lap beverage of choice, a real sugar Coke in a bottle. I rallied hard on my last lap moving up two positions and tried to come in by 5:15 so that I could ride a sixth lap but came in 7 minutes too late. It was probably better because I was destroyed and not sure I had another damn hard 17 miles in me.
I ended up 4th place in the solo category and was the first single speed rider. Missing the podium again by one place stings but I’m getting closer I suppose. I felt very fit coming in and although I am proud of my finish I was also a bit humbled by the demanding nature of the course. Big thanks to Jeff for crewing for me, Sydney and Brink for a kick ass event, and of course Moots for my most amazing ride and support. My YBB handled the rocky course with precisión, accuracy, and fortitude. I love my bike!
Thanks for reading.
— DAVID GENSCH