This last weekend was another good time in the western Colorado desert. The race was held at Highline Lake outside of Fruita, and was the infamous 18 hours of Fruita. It was a good turnout with several teams and even a bunch of solo riders. Starting at midnight, the race kept going non stop until six in the evening on a 6.5 mile course around the lake. I had left thursday on my xtracycle to spectate and help run support for our own Darin Binion. Upon arrival, I was stoked to be in good weather with starry skies for the race night. Meeting up with Darin, Dave, Devon and the Stomparrilaz crew, I was immediately fed a big plate of pasta at the trailer. If you know the Stompa's, you know that the sound bike was there to pump out the music and great food and good times follow it wherever it goes blasting music loud enough to drown out everything else including the organizer's stereo. Yes, it was a bit of a party. And we were all there to give Darin support in every way.
Turns out, that support must have been pretty good, because it helped Darin on his way to becoming the new solo rider champion. In the start, there were ten solo men in an open class. At the end of the 18 hours, Darin was in first place with 28 laps, totaling 177 miles through the night. The next racer behind him had 25 laps, and a fully geared bike racing against Darin's single speed, and still couldn't quite catch him. The nearest competitor to Darin had to stop due to hydration issues four hours before the end of the race, we wished him well while prepping for our boy's next lap. Dave kept making sure that food, liquid and supplements were ready all night while I slept on the ground a few feet away, snoring and cussing in my sleep I'm sure.
My camera batteries had died on the way out from Glenwood, so I didn't get any shots worthy of showing off. I'm sorry for that, Darin, but a huge congratulations from everyone is in order. This was an amazing race, with good food and a lot of free beer from New Belgium. Darin ended up with a shocking $80 purse, little wooden 1st place trophy around his neck, and some cool swag from the organizers. Darin is one of the owners of The Gear Exchange, in Glenwood Springs, CO, so if you have a hankerin' for a new Banshee bike, drop on by and see him. If you know Darin, buy that man a cold one and don't let him play off that incredible performance. He got more laps by himself than a lot of the teams of up to 8 racers. See ya next time, NiraD!