Combine to ride 1,040 miles total, take five podium spots
Perhaps it was the loss of the rec league championship game by the Brick Oven-sponsored softball team, the Rasta Hairnets, that fired up the Brick Oven bike team.
Or, maybe it was just the opportunity to ride around for 24 hours at Hartman Rocks with friends. Sure beats working.
Whatever the case, the Brick Oven bike team rattled off a team total of 1,040 miles on their bikes, winning titles in the women’s duo and men’s four-person races and taking second place in the women’s four person, women’s solo and coed duo classes.
The men’s team of Dodson Harper, Jafar Tabaian, Logan Jones and Dale Kramer combined for 22 laps, battling several flat tires and losing the lead once to eventually finish with the title.
”We had no intention of winning,” says Harper. “We were just there to have fun.”
Tabaian set the tone early with a wicked fast pace and rode the fastest lap of all racers, covering the 14-mile loop in a time of 52 minutes, 22 seconds.
Four laps into the race the Brick Oven team had a four-minute lead and growing until a series of mechanicals sidelined the team, dropping them off the front.
“We lost the lead and continued to have mechanicals,” says Harper.
Once they returned to action and rattled off a series of flat-free laps, they started reeling in the lead team, overtaking them in the middle of the night.
“We just chipped away at it and got the lead back at around 1 a.m.,” says Harper.
The win earned the team bragging rights and got Harper a “straw hat and a bottle of cheap champagne.”
Brick Oven women’s duo team of Chrissy Oliveri and Michele Preston had a similar strategy to the men’s four-person teammates.
“We were both feeling like we just wanted to go out and ride and have fun,” says Oliveri.
Both women are veteran 24 Hours in the Sage participants and experience made the difference as the race wore on. After falling behind early, the two women remained consistent through the night to take the lead for good.
“That’s when the real race starts,” says Oliveri.
As dawn broke the next day, Oliveri and Preston continued to cruise in the lead, eventually completing 14 laps total, a full three laps ahead of the second-place team.
The coed duo team of Brynn O’Connell and Dan Loftus combined to take second place in their division due in large part to the efforts of O’Connell, who did a majority of the pedal mashing for the team and ended up firing off more laps than the women’s solo winner.
Speaking of the solo race, Brick Oven rider Lauren Bock tested the waters of the 24-hour solo experience and came away with a second-place finish.
Bock came into the race focused on personal goals rather than where she finished.
“I wanted to try to do 100 miles. It was more of a personal goal,” says Bock. “It was a success.”
Bock rode nine laps for a total of 126 miles despite taking a break and getting some sleep from 9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
“I just wanted to get some sleep,” explains Bock. “I knew that’s what I was going to do before the race.”
The Brick Oven women’s four-person team finished their 24-hour stint with a second-place finish as well.
Ultra riders are now turning their eyes to the annual Crested Butte Classic, a 100-mile tour of the singletrack in the north end of the valley. After a successful run in the sage, the Crested Butte Classic is definitely on Bock’s radar.
“I’d like to finish the season with the classic,” says Bock.