My roommate rode her bike for 24 hours straight this weekend—well, minus a few stops for food, free shots of espresso and a flat-tire fix. And she wasn’t just cruising along, she was riding aggressively… for about 200 miles. Oh yeah, and did I mention that she won second place overall as a solo female rider? NBD.
The best part of this tale of victory is that she didn’t even know what the Riverwest 24 Hour Bike Race was a couple months ago, and then she decided to join the craziness on a whim. About a week ago, an acquaintance offered up her spot in the race because she couldn’t ride as planned. Most people don’t bike solo—they participate on teams and take shifts—but my fearless friend just went for it.
Because the Riverwest 24 isn’t your typical bike race, I’m going to give you a quick run-down of the rules. The goal is to do as many laps as possible in 24 hours. A lap consists of four checkpoints that riders have to check into. There are bonus checkpoints, too, where racers can partake in random activities to earn extra laps. And by random activities I mean playing bike polo, canoeing or getting a tattoo (there’s a different design for the event each year). The best part of the Riverwest 24 is that it brings the entire community out into the streets to cheer and drink beer.
So how on earth did my roommate dominate this race as a newbie? Well, she’s a tough chick. Plus she bikes a little over 9 miles to (and from) work every day. Fitness is a way of life for her, so she didn’t even need to “train” to pull this off. It’s incredibly impressive. I would share a photo I took of her holding some celebratory beer and smiling like a quiet hero, but I know she’d kill me, so I won’t.
This morning I went on a 14-mile run, and it was the best I’ve felt during marathon training so far. My last mile was my fastest, so I can’t wait to tap further into my energy reserve and push even harder next time. I like to think a little bit of my roommate’s badassery rubbed off on me.