24 hours in the Enchanted Forest and Nationals.
By Paul B.
3 Rez Dog teams and a single speed soloist showed up to compete in this year’s
race. We had the 4 person open team of: Chuck, Andy, Kevin and Paul. There was
the duo team of Peter and Bob. Then Alan showed up with a five person coed
team including various medical type folks. Hard man Paul DeWitt went solo.
The duo team
Peter’s plan was to start with two laps in a row before handing over to Bob for
single laps each after that. Unfortunately, Peter’s constant trash talking of Chuck’s
tire malfunctions in the last few weeks came back to haunt him with a karmic
It took 4, yes 4, tubes for him to limp back to the finish and hand it over to Bob
after the first lap. They hammered on strong and steady for the rest of the
afternoon until Bob’s epic night lap in the mud, but more on that later…
4 men and a strategy
The Bobcat started the 4 man team off with a blistering first lap, handing off to
Paul then Chuck and then Kevin.
The strategy, conceived about a year ago in the ‘swirling whirlpool of philosophy’,
was to have a day team and a night team. The day team was to hammer hard in
the afternoon then rest up all night only to resume the racing in the morning.
The night team was to ride a day lap in the early afternoon then take the rest of
the day off and come back strong for the night laps with 10,000 Chinese lumens!
Well, all of that started off fine until the weather decided otherwise, but more on
Alan’s 5 person team
These guys had the right idea. Their pit/camp site had a couch set up providing
rider comfort and race viewing pleasure. They rotated through the riders until
Alan’s epic night lap in the mud, but more on that later…
Hot, Dry, Dusty, Cold, Wet, Mud
It can be dry around here between the end of spring and the start of the monsoon
rains which are usually around July/August. It hadn’t rained in months and the
course was dry and dusty but fast. A warm wind was blowing as usual and only a
20% chance of rain was in the forecast. We are all still worried about forest fires.
Well, all of that was about to change. A small afternoon shower brought welcome
relief to the teams and the temps dropped nicely. We thought we were done with
that when the sun came back out. Night fell and Chuck, Bob, and Alan went out
for their night laps.
The breeze picked up and the clouds moved in, no one expected that 3 hours
of steady rain was about to follow. At first it was nice, it settled the dust and
cooled things off. But it didn’t stop there. The dust turned into sticky mud the
consistency of wet, slimy peanut butter.
Paul got ready for Chuck to come in and was told that the race was put on hold
for a while. Chuck came steaming into the finish area with just his bike shorts on
and no shirt. His bike was covered in mud and must have weighed 50 pounds. He
looked like he had just slain a dragon or something.
“Dude, I almost got hit by lightning, it was like 50 feet away”.
I wonder if the 10,000 Chinese lumens attracted the lightning bolt?
We took the bike up to the cabin for a wash and used up all the water that the
clouds had just provided. An impromptu strip down and donning of an overcoat
followed, then a plate of nachos simply had to be consumed with great vigor.
Perhaps another dragon slaying was about to happen?
Bob made it in after a 2:45 slog fest in the mud. Alan powered his way through
the mud lap passing around 60 riders (including Bob) who were wallowing in the
mud – proving that Rez dogs are tough old geezers.
At first they said 2am, that was moved to 4am. The loud speaker then announced
that the race would resume at 6:30am. We tried to get some sleep while we
waited it out.
The Bobcat emerged from his lair bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited about the
early morning lap! He started off so fast that his race number couldn’t keep up
Peter and Bob geared up for their first lap(again).
The morning air was fresh and cool. Everyone blasted off in yet another mass
start. The course was shortened to remove the muddy clay part of the trail that
was the subject of the previous night’s tragedy.
There was time for only 3 laps before the finish time of 11am.
Andy, Kevin and Chuck went out for their respective laps and the 4 person team
finished the race with 12 laps total and 5th place in the category.
Bob and Peter finished with 11 solid laps which would have been good for
4th, but Peter’s night lap didn’t count in the official standings because he was
using his back up bike and forgot to switch out his race number. More karmic
Eight hard laps
Paul De Witt rode more than any Rez Dog by putting in 8 hard laps in the solo
single speed category.