The second annual Powderhorn 24 race started at 7pm on June 22, and ended at 7pm on June 23. My heart is full of joy at how many people came out to ride, race, spectate, volunteer, photograph, and support the race.
I was lucky enough to be on four-woman team: Big Brass Bell(e)s & the Copper-toned Calves! We had a small team so we could ride a lot, and our goal was to ride hard and have a super fun time. Mission accomplished.
Photo by Amanda Aranowski (Facebook: Used with permission)
The format of the race is meant to emphasize the Powderhorn neighborhood, and the rules encouraged respect for the community. For 24 hours, teams worked in relay or rode solo to hit four checkpoints in order, using whatever route or parking lot short cut they wanted. Each lap was about 5 miles. Throughout the race we were given Bonus Manifests that had stops that included community gardens, businesses and other places in the neighborhood. If you complete a bonus stop you got a point, and if you complete all of the stops on a bonus manifest you got an additional six points. If two teams rode the same number of laps it would then become a points race.
The bonus stops were one of the highlights of the race. They broke up the monotony of the course, and allowed you to stop and interact with community members. I loved making bee antennae for my helmet at the community garden with Beez Kneez Honey! I know where Bikes and Pieces bike shop is now! If I were going to do the race and I wasn't concerned with getting a lot of laps, I would try to hit all of the bonus stops, and not worry about the course as much. The bonus stops were the best!
The race organizers did a terrific job of putting on a smooth race, and organizing all of those volunteers! The volunteers... I can't say thank you enough for the animal crackers, running alongside me while punching my "mani" (manifest), giving me a push start up the hill on stops 2 and 3, smiling and being encouraging and positive at the odd hours when my energy was flagging. The spectators that set up along the course also kept me going with their smiling faces and cheering! A couple shared a bottle of wine while they watched us go by, kids made signs, blew bubbles and rang cow bells.
Photo by Carlos Espinosa (Facebook: Used with permission)
Our house was an open pit stop during the race, and we had a handful of people sleeping in tents on our lawn. We hung out on the porch cheering for our teammates and all kinds of riders- even some that weren't participating in PH24! Everyone was respectful and enthusiastic. You bet your buttons we'll be open for business next year!
Photo by Graham Olson (Facebook: used with permission)
So how did the Big Brass Bell(e)s & the Copper-toned Calves do? Each one of us rode our own race (rode when we were feeling good, rested when we were tired) but as a team we got third in the all women's category! Last year, Charlotte and I were the only all-female team category and I was SO happy to see five women's teams this year. It was an honor to share the course with so many cool people. It looks like overall we were 22nd out of 104 teams and solo riders (111 registered but 7 did not show), with 67 laps. I'm super proud of my teammates, Kat, Cayla and Ainsley- YOU ARE THE BEST. Thank you for pulling me around the course for the last lap, ladies. I savored every second of that victory lap!
Screen capture from the online leader board
I thought it was unusual and wonderful that every category got a podium! The organizers really honored the effort of the top three in every category by giving us our 2 minutes on stage. It felt really nice to stand up there with my team.
I finally slept on Monday night and I'm down to eating my normal 4 meals a day, so I guess my body is finally accepting that the race is really over. I can't wait until next year.
(Yes, those are unicycles! And there were tandem teams, too.)
I didn't get any photos during the race, but if you'd like to see more:
Cycle Twin Cities has a great recap with a nice photo set.
Read about the thief that tried to walk away with someone's bike during the race. And was CAUGHT!
Werstnet has a race recap, including all of the bonus manifest stops. (The bakery he couldn't remember was the Courageous Crumb at the Midtown Farmers Market! Ainsley is part of the collective bakery, and stayed up all night before PH24 baking treats for the market and racers.)
Flickr user ibikempls has a wonderful photo set! He really captured some fine moments.
Did you write a recap or have a photo to share? Post up in the comments.