Tuesday, June 19, 2012


By Bob
A solid four man team and three Rez Dog soloists did battle in this year’s 24HIEF in the lull before next year’s storm when Gallup hosts the 24 hour nationals. A report:
1.     ALL STAR CAST ON THE SIDELINES.  The depth of Rez Dog Racing hit home for many of us this weekend when we realized how good our four man team was doing even though four of our strongest riders – Andy, Chuck, Dirk and Alan – were on the sidelines. There were a whole host of reasons and excuses for these all-star no shows, but we’ll sum it all up by noting that Peter was making a serious pitch to find enough money in the team budget for a therapist.  Good luck with that Peter. 
2.     BREAD SPRINGS SHEEP OVERRUNS REZ DOG CAMP.  About an hour before the start on Saturday, Peter’s nemesis – the dreaded Bread Springs Loop Sheep – showed up, with a buddy, and found a perch overlooking the Rez Dog campsite (this year’s camp was in a prime location - not next to the port-o-johns like last year slum - thanks to Greg).  Hum . . . maybe, Peter – who some say is still struggling with PTSD from T-boning the Bread Springs sheep last year – is on to something. Maybe there is something to this team therapist idea.

3.     SOLO WARRIORS.  Three dogs did very well in the brutal solo category.  Paul DeWitt put in 8 laps in single speed male for 9th place and 131 miles.  Eryn Hannick put in 5 laps in solo female for 6th place and 82 miles.  Peter Tempest – who was only 10 minutes off the lead going into the night – put in 10 laps in solo male for 6th place and 164 miles. 

4.     FOUR MAN CHAOS.  The guys who did show up to race in the four man category this year – Paul Barry, Greg Cavanaugh, Kevin Zwiers and Chad Meekhof – were fantastic!!!  They hammered out 19 – yes, 19 laps or 311.6 miles – to claim a narrow (more on that soon) victory for third place over super strong competition.  And . . . they did it in the face of adversity including Greg’s wheel problems and Chad’s lighting problems that cost them around 20 minutes during the night.  They even overcame a botched transition when Greg showed up late (more on this later too) for the third lap exchange.

5.     OUR LITTLE BOY IS ALL GROWN UP.  We’re going to pick out one of the four man heroes for some special attention.  Chad has always shown flashes of brilliance, but this weekend he started the race with a 1:06 lap – four minutes faster than any other Rez Dog lap.  But it was not the beginning that was so impressive.  Let’s set the finish:  Going into the night our heroes were up by 19 minutes over Team 415 for the final podium spot.  In the morning, after the mid-night mishaps our guys were trading places each lap with Team 415 in an absolutely thrilling race and it was clear that Chad would be riding the last lap.  Kevin came from behind and put a few seconds on 415 on his last lap.  Paul rode a hero lap to stay on the wheel of 415’s strongest rider (an absolute beast!).  Greg – who had already put in four great laps and was feeling the pain – dug deep and stayed within three minutes on the next to last lap of the race. Chad – who had been peppered with advice from six different directions for three and a half hours – was nervous and distracted until a sense of calm and determination seemed to come over him in the last couple of minutes as he waited for Greg to come in.  An hour and ten minutes later, the staging area exploded as Chad’s orange Screamer jersey came blazing around the final turn. Chad made up three minutes and put another five minutes on Team 415.  He finished just ten minutes before the end of the 24 hours.  It was – without question – the most exciting finish of the entire event. And . . . it was a coming of age for a rider with a great racing future. 
A COUPLE OF CONCLUDING QUESTIONS:  So why was Greg late for the third lap exchange of the race with Paul?  Is there any truth to the reports that Greg was going around the staging area (while Paul was coming in) approaching complete strangers and telling them how he dropped Peter and Paul in the Road to McGaffey Challenge last week?  You know, I’m sold.  Peter is absolutely right.  We do need a team therapist.

Monday, June 11, 2012


McGaffey Challenge
By Bob 

The pack was in a frenzied, yelping state last week over a road biking challenge initiated by Lloyd Ellis and Jen Witt.  A report: 

  1. THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.  Lloyd and Jen came up with the idea of a time trial challenge that starts at the last light on east Highway 66 near  Denny’s before heading east, turning south on State Road 400 and making the sustained climb up to McGaffey.  The challenge ends at the end of the pavement.  Lloyd and Jenn posted a solid time of 1:06 and then threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the pack by posting their time on a sheet in Cabin 34 that described the terms of the challenge. 
  2. DIRK SHOWBOATS FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIKE CROWD.    Has Dirk ever passed up a dark side (road biking) challenge?  No. Never.  He couldn’t do it if he wanted to and, let me assure you, he doesn’t want to – especially when he is in good form.  The ink was still drying on Lloyd and Jen’s challenge at Cabin 34 and Dirk was plotting.  And as you might suspect, he picked a time to draw maximum attention to his feat.  Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, Dirk put his head down and started hammering the course.  As the fat tire gang was gathering for the weekly ride in the forest, the Hollebeast strode triumphantly into Cabin 34 (there were unconfirmed reports that trumpets were blaring as he entered) and penned a new record time of 56:30 (!) on the challenge sheet. 

3. ROAD ROOKIE PICKS UP A LIGHT SABER TO FIGHT THE DARK SIDE.  Within only two days of Dirk’s feat, an unlikely hero emerged.  Greg Cavanaugh (reportedly after staying up to 3am watching the entire original Star Wars trilogy) began making calls to borrow a road bike.  Greg Cavanaugh?  Has Greg ever ridden a road bike?  Well . . . he has now.  Late Friday morning, Greg - on an ancient 8 speed Trek borrowed from Peter - dug deeper than he has ever dug in his life and hit the cattle guard in a time of 55:55.  Yes that’s right.  55:55!  A roadie rookie’s time was 35 seconds faster that the feared Hollebeast!!! 

A CONCLUDING QUESTION:  Was Greg’s amazing feat totally legit or, perhaps, did he have help from a group of Rez Dog’s who were in such a frenzied state over Dirk’s showboating that they came together to form a drafting train to aide his victory?  We’ve thought a lot about this and come to a definite conclusion.  Greg’s ride was legit and here is why is has to be legit:  Clearly the only guy with the moxie, motive and muscle to orchestrate a group effort in aide of Greg’s record breaking ride is Chuck Van Drunen (aka Night Guy, Racer Boy, Terrain Billionaire, etc.) and anyone who has seen or talked to Chuck lately knows that he is completely out to lunch.  Something snapped in Chuck’s psyche after he put in 7 races (2 in Santa Fe, 4 in the Gila and 1 at 12HOMV) in only 15 days.  Since Cortez, Chuck has been flopping like a live fish on hot pavement.  One day he is talking about racing.  The next he is giving up racing and talking about adventure and epic rides.  The next he is looking forward to winter and snowmobiling.  With Chuck being totally and completely out to lunch, no one else could have pulled together such a successful group effort.  Greg’s ride is officially legit!!  Put it in the record book.