The next thing I see is the person in front of me belly flopping down on the ground. Hundreds of riders are behind, pushing, and I roll my ankle on the fallen racer. And just like that, in the very first second of 24 hours, my ankle is toast. Hobbling down the road gets me to my old steel friend and I start pedaling the Voodoo. Two laps in, I assess that with abundant amounts of pain killers and Tiger Balm, a push is still possible and a race strategy is enacted. With night settling in, things were looking good around the midnight hour as I hovered in 11th spot.
Then disaster struck with a string of mechanical mishaps. On lap 8 I double flatted. Somehow karma was on my side for that with many a helping riders stopping to assist. In fact, with the added trail side support, we were able to preserve the tubeless set ups with CO2 and extra Stans. A race miracle if you will. But the lap was not finished, and during the last climb back up to 24 town my drive train decided it had enough. I humped the bike up to the high point, then coasted back into town. Back at camp, the bike was worked on by a team of people, and with a new quick link and some love the bike was back in order, but not without a major sacrifice of time. The next lap proved just as much of a pain in the ass when the front hub had some pre load issues. Not wanting to kill the hub, I eased through the lap back to camp. Without a mechanic there to assist, it was left to me to get the hub fixed. It was now lap 9 and a little after 4am. The sun soon came up, and with the extra light I was able to get the hub fixed and back on the steed. I threw down another lap, still wanting top 10, but realized after doing some arithmetic in the saddle that it was just not possible. Too much time had been lost in the previous two laps. With that realization I decided that there was no point in furthering the ankle injury and backed off the pace. I finished with 11 laps, 178 miles, and in 23/98. Not too shabby considering.