“The adrenaline kicked in and I kept going”
Well, it’s February and snow is coming down at a healthy pace—what better time to pack up the cars and head to Tucson, Arizona to compete in the “24 Hours in the Old Pueblo” bike race Saturday and Sunday, February 14-15.
At least that’s how a gaggle of local bike enthusiasts saw it, as the Mountain Flyer team of Brian Reipe, Dave Ochs, Stephen Mabry and Jordan Carr rallied south to compete in the four-person single-speed division. Travis Underwood raced in the men’s solo category and Dave Wiens raced in the five-person coed class with Team Ergon Corporate.
Competitors were treated to a 16-mile loop of mostly singletrack lined from start to finish with cactus.
“It was 16 miles of totally bad-ass track riddled with deadly cactus,” says Ochs. “You cannot go off-trail in this race.”
Reipe opened up a lead for the Mountain Flyer team in his first lap, scorching the course in a time of one hour, one minute and 37 seconds.
Ochs had a rough reintroduction into racing this season, stacking on his first lap over some rocks and suffering a severe contusion to his leg, among other random lacerations.
“There’s one rock move at the end of the course and I come in hot as hell all amped up, coming into this rock thing, and fall into this crack and just get this massive gouge in my shin,” says Ochs. “I cleaned it out, the adrenaline kicked in and I kept going. Good times.”
While Ochs was able to finish the race on his adrenaline rush, the team lost Carr to illness, leaving just three riders to carry the torch through the night.
The only time team Mountain Flyer relinquished the lead was during an impromptu flat suffered by Reipe, but Mabry took over to return the team to the lead for the rest of the race.
“Mabry was on fire,” says Ochs.
Carr returned to the team by daybreak and they cruised to the finish with 20 laps total.
Underwood finished his solo excursion with eight laps, and despite losing two of their five riders during the race, Team Ergon Corporate took the five-person coed title with 21 laps.
“It was totally kick ass,” says Ochs. “Hitting the dirt for the first time is always great.”