Monday, October 27, 2008

2008 Hill of Truth Race (the festivites) Part 1

...and........ we're back!

When I started thinking about all of the stories I had to tell about this year's HOT I began to wonder how was I going to fit it all in one post and keep it straight. There was so much going on than just a 12 hour mountain bike race. I decided to break it up between two different posts. This one will be all about the festivities and the other will consist of the race stories which was a party in itself.

Friday morning Melinda and I watched the weather constantly. We were looking for a break in the rain, a window of opportunity to set up camp. We've camped and raced in the rain before so it really wasn't that big of a deal but we didn't want to have to set up in it. As we drove down to Oak Ridge for our 4th trip to the 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth we traveled through several bands of rain, on some occasions the sun even came out.

As we rolled into the venue it was pouring rain pretty steadily. We scouted out the best possible spot and waited. It didn't last long and so we jumped out of the truck and went to work setting up. As we were finishing up the rain started in on us again. We decided to head into town for a bite to eat and search for a new EZ-UP. Our old one still worked ok but it has seen better days and we were looking for something a little bigger.
As the day rolled on the rain came and went. It would stop raining for about and hour or so but as soon as someone new would arrive and begin setting up camp the rain would start up again. The weather man was forecasting the storm to finish up early that evening and it did eventually. At one point we thought the rain was through and some of the guys started up a fire only to have the rain come back in and run us all back under cover.

By the time everyone who was coming that evening had set up we had a small city built with all the EZ-UP canopies set up together.
It didn't take long for the festivities to begin and before we new it Brandon had out a jar of the mtn nectar. He had a little prodding but it didn't take much.

Before the seal was broken

After the seal was broken

The aftermath

Sat morning we woke up to cloudy but dry skies. The sun would come out and it would get hot then the clouds would roll back in and cool things down in a matter of minutes. This went on all morning. One minute I would be cold and the sweating the next. Melinda and I cooked up a rocking breakfast for the team, breakfast burritos. Brad brought some bagels with the weirdest peanut butter I ever had. It had sun dried tomatoes, pesto and garlic in it, tasty but very weird.

No rain to be seen!


This year GRT went all out and made some sweet looking shirts for the race. I failed to get the whole team in the picture but I guess this will have to do.

The Real Fat Tire

New Belgium gave away this sweet cruiser bike with their logo on it and all the proceeds went to a local club I think. I really can't remember I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention. I was too busy checking out the bike.

While Moonshine was getting cozy with Amanda, Jackson was making all sorts of new friends with all the kids in attendance. There were alot of dogs at the race and many were not on leashes which I don't have a problem with but we did witness a few scuffles which Moonshine seemed to find her way into even if it didn't originate with her. I guess she's just a brawler by heart. At one point I caught her with Elsa (Ritter's dog) pinned on her back.

Jackson the hippie

Jackson on the other hand is a lover not a fighter. He would rather just kick back and enjoy the scene sporting a new hat.

There were a lot of old and new faces at the race, some we haven't seen in a while and it was fun just hanging out sipping beers with everyone catching up on stories and checking out new bikes. I saw an awful lot of 29ers at this race. I think they are definitely here to stay and not just a fad. This weekend made Anthony's second jaunt on the KM and he hasn't said much about it but as my Mom would say "I know I've planted a seed."

There is a band playing in this picture, I know they're hard to see but it was dark and they did have a pretty cool neon light show going on.

One thing different about this year's race was a live band Saturday night. It was a pretty cool addition. I've been to a race where there were live bands before and even if the band is not that great it makes for a great atmosphere and gives the non-racers a little more entertainment. The year's event had more of a festival feel. I enjoyed it more than last year even though we didn't get on the podium and maybe that was one reason why, I didn't feel the pressure. I really enjoyed hanging out with friends, drinking a few cold ones around the campfire, and riding my bike in all kinds of conditions: muddy, dry, hot, cold, daylight and darkness. This race has been one of my favorites for sometime and this year proved that it will continue to be that way.

For those of you who haven't been or decided not to go I will only say one thing, you missed out. There was only one disappointment, no one got rowdy and fired off the cannon. Melinda and I had decided we were going to stay up late this year a join in on the mischievousness but it didn't pan out that way. Oh well there will be many more I'll guarantee that.


Alan Sparks said...

KEWL write up. Sounds like you all had a great time. Did not miss the weather though :-)

hurry up with da race report dog!

Riding with dogs said...

easy killer it's coming, maybe you should have gone with us?