A quick thought about the things that worked for me during my CTR vacation….
Sram XX1. Been using this all season, got 4 good size races on it about 950 miles, plus many miles of training and it still is my favorite drivetrain ever. Simple, light, one shifter, lots of gears. Used the 32 tooth for everything up to the CTR, then it was down to the 28 tooth. Was almost easy enough and never felt spun out. Don’t think I will use a front derailleur again, ever.
SOL escape bivy. Second CTR with this simple little thing. Crazy and stupid but this was the only part of my sleep system. No pad, no bag, no down coat, stupid cause if something happens I am in trouble. But so light and simple and there is no over sleeping, none. Will bring a down/synthetic coat next year!
Pearl X Alp shoes: Last year I wore a pair of older shoes and put holes in them. The Pearl’s were great, stiff enough to pedal hard, soft enough rubber to hike a bike with confidence. Maybe a touch too much room in the toe box, but my feet did great in these shoes. The shoes look used but are still solid and ready for more, lots more. I also used Pearl Pro 4-D Shorts and Elite Jersey, solid and flawless.
Fenix LD-20 lights: Countless races and rides with these lights. Could have used a bit more light out there, but it was enough. One on the helmet, one on the bars lots of lithium AA’s, all good!
Navigation, Topofusion and Garmin Vista HCx: The past few years I went with no maps, no GPS, etc. Last year when I got super sleep deprived I began to get confused and paranoid about going the wrong way. So this year with the reverse, the Tarryall and the sleep monsters, I went with the GPS, loaded via Topofusion, magic!!! Helped me out, kept me on track, never freaked out. Perfect.
Acli-Mate Endurance: Started with a few big zip-lock bags of this stuff, enough to last the whole race. Really helped, never cramped and it was quite hot out there this year. Plus it covered up the nasty water that I was treating with iodine. Love the Cran-Razz flavor, good product.
HTFU and “I Never Saw A Wild Thing Feel Sorry For Itself…”, Motivation: When things go sour, hurt like hell, the sleep monster attacks you need to dig in and find some reason to carry on. Rule #5, always works well. But so does the wild thing quote from David Herbert Lawrence. Believe and achieve or curl up and die, it is really your choice!
Bacon Rice Crispies: Yep, food, had a eureka moment at 24 Hour Nationals when I ate some bacon and rice crispie at the same time. Magic, like PB and chocolate, it was meant to be. Made a big batch before the race and cut them into 3 bite chunks. Loved every damn one of them, so good.
Maxxis Tires: Ran an Icon 2.35 EXO on the front, Crossmark UST on the rear. No issues, none, good traction, no air loss, cornering and descending confidence.
Team Griggs Orthepedic, Team GO: No my team wasn’t out there on the course to help me (although Neil Beltchenko was out there racing his ass off too). Having such a talented(and fun) group of riders and racers to represent makes me dig deeper, try harder. They believe in me enough to make me part of the team and I want to give that back as much as I can, love being a part of this and hope to earn my place by racing at my best. Thanks to Rhett, Dave, Sarah and all the rest of you for believing in me!
Frankly everything worked out for me, my bike was flawless, no mechanicals only applying chain lube. My bags, mostly homemade, held up great and carried plenty. My nutrition was pretty solid with only a couple exceptions. I had a 3 liter bladder and one bottle and that was about perfect. Clothing was adequate, as always a bit more insulation would be great, but I always scoff at the extra weight and volume! Next year, well pretty safe to assume I will be there for next year, I will be on a full suspension bike, the hardtail is just too much beating on the hands, feet, but, neck. A bit of insulation like a down vest or jacket, would be a great idea. Other that that pretty happy with the gear and how it performed and held up. I have no secrets and would be happy to answer any questions about my set up, gear, bike etc. Thanks for reading!