Friday late afternoon it started raining. But it did not end up being just a typical UT afternoon thunderstorm. It kept raining. I was bummed that I would not get in my ride, but I was more apprehensive for the following day's 12 hour race at Sundance. If only this had happened 24 hours previously.
It rained most that night. Things were wet in the morning. Chris questioned whether we really wanted to do this. The early weather reports (5 am early) did not look too promising.We left the house before 6 and headed to Sundance. The two miles on Alpine Loop Road had several areas that were littered with rocks and/or mud confirming the area had been hit with its fair share of rain fall.
First word was it would be delayed an hour maybe two. I welcomed this as I HATE riding in the mud. Chris would do the first lap so things would be even better by the time I hit the course. We park the car and sit for awhile keeping warm. As light breaks we get out and mingle for a bit--bike talk stuff. Then head back to the car to get warm again. Official word is 9 am start. The 12 hours has been chiseled down to 10. Still a good day on the bike. We start to get ready. I start to eat a bit as I have more time.
Chris is fiddling with his bike and it is not good. Long story short, he needs to replace his dearailleur cable. So I will be taking the first lap to allow him to get his bike working. This is not our standard protocol. I rush a bit but was able to get ready and get on the start line. I had several people ask me why I was there or where Chris was.
That initial lap was in way better condition than I thought it would be. Yeah there were some puddles and a couple of slick spots but still good. And each lap it got better and better. The course of my third lap reminded me of the first time we did 12 hours of Mesa Verde. It got packed down perfectly. The weather was spectacular. There was an afternoon shower for maybe 30 minutes or so, but nothing too bad. (It was Chris' lap.)
Before Chris went out for our 12th lap, he said to talk to Matt He wanted to negotiated a truce. While both Josh and Chris would make it back in time for us to go out again, we decided to call it. I should probably explain that there is a friendly rivalry between them and us. They were ahead of us with no chance of us catching them. Jon (Russel) and Tyson (Apostol*) had called it earlier. And there was a four man team in front of Matt and Josh they would not catch. After some thought, I agreed to not go out again. Truce.
Chris got back from his last lap with about ten minutes to spare. He said he was going to wait until the course was just about to close and do one more lap. I said I called a truce. His response was I did, he did not. He had a huge grin. So just before 6:29:59, he heads up the road and yells down that the Holley's are going out for number 13. The course was announced closed. I was not there, but I heard Matt was none to pleased. As he was not looking Chris turned off the course not completing lap 13. It was a joke/false alarm. Chris (and many others in the area) thought his little joke was priceless.
For a day that I thought was going to be horrendous--I packed four different kits, warm gear, and a number of wash cloths and towels--turned out to be awesome.
*Yes, the same Tyson Apostol that was on Survivor Tocantins