Oregon 24 MTB in Bend, OR

In April a member of staff came across the Oregon 24 and thought it sounded like a great idea!  A number of us looked at it, got excited and vowed to put in lots of training and preparation to be ready for it months later in July.  The days, weeks and months went by with lots happening at the store, including opening the new store front; Needless to say, the hours of training promised had not come to fruition.

A late night meeting, with beer, was held in the days leading up to the event to tackle the difficult question, to bow out or to get up there and give it all we had?  Thanks to the enthusiasm of one of the riders the general conciseness was, “LET’S DO THIS THING!”

Preparations were made to the best of the abilities of those in question and the trucks were packed late the next day.

On Friday afternoon, late, we got our convoy in motion and set off for Bend, OR.  Arrival was late, luckily a local supporter of the team had staked out a camp site close the the race start and we made camp.  With overnight lows in the 40s on Friday night, sleep had not been comfortable or continuous however post coffee spirits were mid to high.

The course shown below was 10 1/2 miles featuring 1,000ft of climbing with a climb immediately out of the gate.

Lewis opted for the first lap to try and get a lap in before the temperatures came up, the race start was 11am.  The organizers had decided le mans start was in order and so the racers lined up to take a jog.

Lewis was at the very back of the runners and thus one of the last to enter the course and eat the dust, literally, of the entire pack.

Happy to finish lap one after flats, Lewis coming down the hill with the “baton” in his mouth.
A quick explanation of some finer points after Lewis returned from lap one, Kjell took to the course to put in his first lap.
Another pep talk with the third rider on the roster Kirk. Taking on the course rigid with nothing but smiles.
The team took to the bunks at midnight after three laps a piece.
Rising early they all got one more a piece in before the 11am cut off for a total of 12 laps for the team in 24 hours.
Post morning lap pancakes were provided for the racers.  Much needed sustenance. 
The team ended up taking last place by a lap in the team of four category, however they were a man down. So they opted to “Win the team of three category.”
Fellow Grammo mounted rider Tom Keller riding with Sappo Hill took his team to first with sub hour laps all night for a total of 28.  Tom enjoyed the ride on his brand new Grammo Pako 650b, first one in the country build fresh for this event the day before.  
May thanks to the team support and team photographers who turned up and stayed up late to make sure the riders were fed, watered and pictured.
Stay tuned for more pictures and gopro footy of the interesting bits.

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