The summer just flew by once RAW was completed. It seemed like there was no reason for riding/training anymore. I still had to ride RAGBRAI but it was a short year at only 442 miles. There is always the ride out which is a great time. This year Mike Doyle joined me once again and Bill Ford came back after missing a year. But even that ride was going to be short to Council Bluffs at around 300 miles. So I had to get my twisted mind thinking about the next challenge. A few things came to mind including a cross Iowa record attempt.
After some consideration I decided to hold off on any record attempts until next year. June would be a great time to try because of the longer days. The north to south (241 miles) and east to west (275) have never been attempted so just completing the ride, with an official in the follow vehicle, would guarantee a record. This is kind of cheesy but a record is a record. I also have kicked around the south-north-south. Since the south to north has a recorded that crossing could be pushed pretty hard in an attempt to break the record. Once up north I would take a short break and head south. The S-N-S has not been established either so I would establish two records with a chance to break the third. We will see what next year brings.
This still left me with not much motivation or big goals. I usually compete in the Ultra Midwest 24 hour race in Port Byron Illinois. Two years ago I wanted to do my first 400 mile ride and last year I wanted to get RAAM qualified (425) and made both those goals. I do not have a specific goal for this year and was worried that in the middle of the night I would just go home as I had nothing to prove.
Then I saw the flyer for the 24 hour mountain bike race in Boone Iowa and a new adventure started to take shape. This race is held Labor Day weekend, the same as the Ultra Midwest. I have not raced my mountain bike for about 3 years and have never done a race longer then 2 hours. This is definitely going to be a challenge. After committing to the race I talked to a previous winner and he told me the course was brutal. He says there is no flat spots and the entire race takes place in the woods so there is not much air moving. Needless to say this scared me to death.
Seven Oaks has an entire weekend of activities plus camping so we are going to make a family weekend out of it. The boys have even signed up for the 12 hour race. The race starts at noon on Saturday and finishes at noon on Sunday. They even have a free pasta party at midnight on Saturday.