Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hours and light

I just wanted to write a quick update on the 24 Hours of Light for family and others. I'm not going to expand on it too much right now because I am in a pretty somber mood. The friend who I have been coordinating with on the Great Divide Race updates, Pete, was the first on the scene at a horrific bear mauling at the 24-hour race in Anchorage - which was going on at the same time as my race. The attack involved a young girl he knew. I hope everyone involved will fully recover, but that still remains uncertain. Also, Geoff is having pretty serious doubts about continuing with the Great Divide Race. I can only imagine there must be some deep and dark self doubt involved with the decision-making process, but I have as of yet been unable to connect with him to talk to him about it. A bit of a dark day, and I could feel it, I could, even as I was surrounded by the cheery festival atmosphere of my race in Whitehorse.

I won the female solo division of the 24 Hours of Light, which I did by simply showing up. I rode my one required lap and 14 extra victory laps, which netted me second overall in the solo category - 15 laps to Jeff Oatley's 18 laps. I rode about 200 km of rough trail - lots of tight, winding singletrack with ~16,000 feet of climbing in 15 laps. I didn't spend myself. I took lots of breaks and a long nap, ate full dinners and breakfasts and hung out with friends, broke my chain and walked most of a lap after discovering I bucked my chain tool out of my frame bag (the trail was rough. Really rough. My butt misses my softtail.) I could have done more to push harder to reach the private places I seek when I do extreme endurance races. But I didn't dig deep and I'm not necessarily disappointed about it. The race organizers did a great job; besides the chain breaking, everything about the race flowed perfectly; I had a great time riding with friends and netted about $400 or $500 worth of Pearl Izumi schwag for my "win." The fact that I now feel about this race in a similar way that I might if I just went to a fun party or saw a really good movie must mean something. I'm sure I'll explore it more after I have slept a bit and hopefully have a clearer state of mind.

17 comments:

  1. A friend just sent me a link to the bear attack right before I checked over here. I had a hunch you would be more than passing connected. She was able to make that call, and I dearly hope it saved her life. Tough times. Be good to yourself, your peoples need ya (and I don't mean us damn internet peoples.)

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  2. Anonymous12:52 AM

    Damn, that girl was only 14 years old, that's terrible news.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080630/ap_on_re_us/grizzly_attack

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  3. Anonymous12:55 AM

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080630/ap_on_re_us/grizzly_attack

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  4. That is terribly sad news. I hope she is able to make a full recovery.

    Great effort on your part Jill and I hope Geoff fares well.

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  5. jill if g wants to talk you can pass on my email....

    I'm only 55 miles from steamboat can play cheerleader between coughs..

    golly thats not somthing I wanna hear about on a 24 that sucks!

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  6. Heard about that bear way over here in WV. I think about that very thing during night rides in the woods. I hope everything turns out okay.
    On a lighter note. My official photographer, Lord MonkeyButt, got some nice shots on the last ride. Being quite the photographer yourself, you might enjoy them. You may want to spare yourself the narrative though.

    Here's the address so you don't have to click all over blogspotopia.

    tuesdaygrimpeur.blogspot.com

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  7. Man, that's going to be a life changing experience for that young girl. I lived just blocks from that trail system during my last 5 years in Anchorage. Cycled and dog-walked those trails countless times, and I saw bears there too, blacks and grizzlies both. I was of two minds about it; on one hand I loved knowing there were bears around, but I never wanted to meet up with one.

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  8. Congrats on your win Jill! Way to hang with the boys.

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  9. terrible news about the 14 year old.

    congrats on your win.

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  10. Clara ESther10:06 AM

    Congratulations, Jill!

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  11. I would guess that Geoff is feeling the altitude... that area of CO is really high up. Admittedly, I don't know how it compares to other parts of the divide and you'd think he'd be acclimated by now. I know I feel awful above 10,000 feet but fine at 8 or 9000.

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  12. Jill,

    Congrats on your great performance in the 24 hours of light!
    I have been impressed with the amount of riding you have done since the race despite living in one of the rainiest places on earth. I admire that.

    Kathi

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  13. I wondered if the Peter Basinger quoted was THE Pete Basinger. So sad. He's a good guy for waiting with her. My thoughts are with everyone involved.

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  14. Jill - I never got a chance to extend my sorries for that poor girl and your friend who came upon her. Like others, I can only hope that she recovers. It was awesome to see you in Whitehorse again - I hope we'll both be here next year. And, even if you didn't push yourself, 15 laps of that course impresses me mightily. I'll keep my fingers crossed for Geoff.

    My flickr link's below. I've got a couple from Carcross up now - 24 hours to follow later this week.

    Jenn

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  15. You are the first person I thought of when I read that story in the Empire this morning. Poor girl, that's my biggest nightmare. Thank God she had her helmet on!

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  16. Hi Jill,
    Just wanted to say that I have been following your blog for a while now and enjoy your posts. I live approx. 3,836 miles south east of you in Durham, Nc. Today one of my teamates posted the article of the bear attack, and I said "hey, I just read about that first hand from this girl in Alaska." Really sorry that happend to that girl and I hope your friend is not too shaken up. I just hope that bears are not like cars here. Keep up the great blogs.

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  17. I had all the same thoughts of all the above, when I read about that 24 hour. At first, I was wondering if it was YOUR race! Then I saw it was around Anchorage, and remembered where your race was. Although I don't bike in that type of terrain, I sure do hike and flyfish where those critters live. I am more than aware they are out there, and frankly, am a bit paranoid at times. Like other commenters, I had a feeling you had some connection with some of the folks in that race.

    Lets hope she recovers, physically as well as emotionally. That young surfer who had her arm bitten off by the shark, got right back in the water. This attack brought back memories of that too.

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