Leadwoman – 24 Hours in the Canyon (6/1-2/19)



The first weekend of June, I loaded up the girls and we went to Palo Duro Canyon for 24 hours in the Canyon.  This was a bike race.  I had done 6-hour event 3 years ago and won.  By a pretty big margin actually.  I was not in as good of shape on trails this time around so my goal was to ride 6 hours first day and 6 hours the second day.  As the name indicates, you can ride for 24 hours straight if you want.  I was so adamant about not doing too much at this event that I didn’t even bring my lights for the bike.  The weekend was pretty comedic, actually.  Friday was the girls last day of school so I took them out early to get a head start.  It was a little further than I had remembered.  We got there in plenty of time to set up camp.  It was the first time the girls had seen turkeys up close.

We ate in the dark which wasn’t smart because of all the bugs trying to dive bomb our headlamps.  And we saw a roach.  Needless to say, we called it a night early and were awakened by the gobbles of turkeys.  The girls played and climbed and took turkey pictures until it was time to go to the race start.  We had a big group there again!  So much fun!

Me, James, Sheila and Gary

Jello, Stude, Me and Gary

Send off!














Before the race I was rushing around (even though I had plenty of time) to get the girls ready for their day and me ready for mine.  I saw the rain prediction, so I didn’t close up camp, but I made sure everything was shut and put away.  As I was throwing some trash in the dumpster at the race start, I accidentally through my glove in there.  James help me dumpster dive to get it.  I was terrified they were going to drop me in there.  Thank goodness no photos surfaced after that!  I forgot to put sunscreen on the girls!  And myself!  Thankfully, there are sunscreen distributors all over Palo Duro.  I was just a mess waiting to happen.

I started riding and it was hard!  I hadn’t been on the MTB trails (because of all the rain) and it was kicking my butt.  I was out of breath and my legs felt heavy from all the punchy up and down.  I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest.  My loops certainly were not as fast as they had been a few years back.  I had to beg Kraig to come ride the last loop with me or I’m afraid I wouldn’t have done it.  I got 5 loops in and decided to call it a day!  I was just going to try and get 7 loops in the next day.

Meanwhile, back at basecamp, there was a lot of fun going down.  The girls met Cactus Butt (AKA Stude) who couldn’t seem to stay out of it.

It was HOT!

The girls and I headed back towards our campsite.  But first, I needed a shower.   We stopped at the shower and I told them to play outside and I’d be right out.  There were a ton of people because we were near where the road bike race was going on.  The next thing I knew they were sent in to get me and tell me to finish up.  I had heard sirens.  I figured a cyclist had been injured.  I hurried.  When I came out of the bathroom, we were told to evacuate.  I asked was it due to weather?  No.  Do I need to get my tent?  No.  Just evacuate.  We were really confused and I was trying to keep my composure so the girls didn’t get scared.  We ran by our campsite and just grabbed a few things and headed towards to Pavilion we were told to.

At the same time, we are watching the storms roll in.  We stopped off at the mountain bike race where our base camp was.  Most of our crew was off the course by then.  The storm came in and they ending up having to call it.  However, we also learned that we were being evacuated because there was “an active shooter” in the park.  I had to collect the girls and get them out of there as the lightening and rain came down.  I felt so bad to leave everyone there cleaning up.  We headed to the Pavilion but it was raining so hard, we could not even get out of the car and run to it.  We sat in the car for over an hour.  Finally, at 10 p.m., I called LP and asked him to get us a hotel.  There was no way we were sleeping in our tent that was getting dumped on.  We headed towards town.  I had not had any recovery.  I was hangry.  The only place open was fast food or a pizza place.  Considering I haven’t eaten fast food since college, pizza it was.  We were soooo exhausted.  It was way past their bedtime, but we finally got to sleep around midnight.  We got up early because I did not know they had canceled the race.  I was going to go back and see if they were going to let us ride.  No one had service there so I couldn’t get an answer from them either.  The event had, in fact, been canceled the night before.


We went by the campsite where everyone else was camping to check on them.  Everything was good.  Then, we dreadfully when back to our site.   I was completely expecting everything to have blown away and not be able to find everything.  Luckily, just the little bit of tidying up on our way out kept everything in tact.  Bin lids were still on.  Everything was soaked, but it was all there.  Our neighbors, on the other hand, had a huge mess of all of their things.  They were no where to be found.  We made a morning of it and I made sure we got to take in the Canyon.


On one hand, this event was a wake up call for my fitness, but on the other hand, Leadville was just about climbing for long periods of time.  Not punchy, fast stuff.  Missing the 6 hours of riding that day definitely wasn’t easy to accept.



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