That was the challenge before me, as I camped in "Frogtown" and volunteered at the "longest 24 hour race in the world," so called because it goes from 10 am Saturday to 10 am Sunday, over the end of Daylight Savings Time. Thus it is 25 hours long in real time, and Frog-Time.
|Some "typical" scenery, mountain biking in central Utah.|
Practical benefit: I learned how some 29 inch mountain bikes will accommodate the 27.5 inch (aka, '650') wheels with 'plus' sized (wide) tires. I was leaning to the 650 Plus bikes for my next mountain bike.
Additional benefit: having my nose rubbed in the obsolete-ness of my 26 inch mountain bike. Will I even be able to buy tires for it five years from now?
When roaming free range over a wide group of people, it is so easy to begin categorizing creatures. Otherwise the human mind drowns in minute and fractured details. Here is a list of my favorite categories, stepping down to least favorite:
1. Dogs. Surprisingly my favorite was an uncropped male Doberman pinscher. I praised the owner to his face for allowing his friendly pooch to remain au naturel.
2. Cute little girls.
3. Pretty young mothers.
Then there is a huge gap in the likability ranking.
Negative infinity plus 2. Old crones who cackle.
Negative infinity plus 1. Young boy monsters. (These may be promoted one notch, depending on the upcoming election)
Negative infinity. Males 16--30, who speak half-intelligible English, composed of the latest slang; and who wear their testosterone-crazed egos on their shirt sleeve. My goodness, how did young women ever put up with us, back then?
The difficulty of riding all night cannot be fully appreciated until you remember how deeply a younger person sleeps. They are really affected by sleep patterns that are disturbed.
Although mountain biking at night sounds semi-suicidal, remember that all riders had two powerful headlights. These have become remarkably good the last couple years.
Perhaps this experience is like that of soldiers in combat. Visualizing it thusly, and trying to put yourself into the shoes of the participants, may be the trick to making the experience interesting for a non-extreme athlete, who would otherwise laugh off the race as useless. Perhaps William James himself would have appreciated races like this as the "moral equivalent of war."