Oct 12, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

What a weekend!!! I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed an event as much as that one. For the last 10 years I have carted Peta all across the country to club races, state titles and national and international events and nothing compares to this. It's Tuesday now and I'm still on a high.

Now I have to be honest and say that I really don't know much about bikes mechanically. On Friday, Peta told me that there had been a few comments about her doing the race on a hard-tail and not a dually. I had to have the difference explained to me...that was when I started having some concerns about her getting around for 24 hours. Not to worry, Peta told me that if Jason English could do his first 2 24 hrs on a hard-tail....she could too.

We set up the pit on Saturday morning before the race and all I kept wondering was if I had everything that I would need. I kept sneaking a look into everyone else's tents to see if they looked similar to mine and started to feel a bit better about it all. The start was madness, I had no idea what I was doing and one of the guys next to me explained that she would just run and grab the bike and take off. It was scary watching them come at us....there were a few that took tumbles but I don't think that anyone was seriously hurt.

All went well for the first few times through pit lane, we changed bikes over at the end of lap 6 and she was set up with enough lighting to see her through till about 3am. I saw Jarrod come charging into the pit area at the end of lap 7 and couldn't believe that she had punctured a tubeless. She had rimmed it for the last 5k into the pits and sat and had a feed while Jarrod repaired it because we hadn't set up the other bike with lights. All ran smoothly until lap 11 when she took a big stack. Peta came in quite emotional having descended with no lights after they had been damaged in the crash. Jarrod was out on the bike in the team event and the lovely pit crew of Linden Bleijie came to the rescue and taped her light back onto the bike while I repaired a snapped seat. Everyone kept telling me that she would feel better once the sun rose. She was out on a lap with the sun rising when a lone piper began playing just as she neared him. Peta told me that it was a beautiful moment and you really had to be there to experience it. Daylight came and with it a new lease on life. Peta managed to pump out the 1st and 4th fastest laps in the women's for Sunday morning.

At the end of the day I looked at my pit and realised that I must have taken a truck load of stuff with me. I have enough jelly snakes to keep me going for a while, the grandkids will love them! I will now go away and make some notes of what worked and what didn't. Who knows....maybe she may do another one day.

I experienced most range of emotions throughout not only the 24 hours of racing but also the 6 hrs leading up to it and those following. It's been many years since I pulled an all nighter and I really thought that I would struggle through it. It's pretty hard to fall asleep though when there is so much going on, the no-doze helped as well.

Who said I only had to stay awake for 24 hrs??? More like 40 hrs!!!

I am so proud of Peta and what she achieved. If she asked me to pit crew for her again I would do it in a heartbeat. I feel very lucky to have been able to share in the experience with not just her, but also the other 400+ riders and their pit crews. I met some wonderful people over the last few days and it heartens me to see the encouragement and support between the athletes themselves. It was a weekend that I won't forget for a long time and I will treasure the memories forever.
ps....she did finish with a smile on her face.....mission accomplished :)

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Bike adjustments since last ride

- lowered seat a little
- shoe cleats back a little