6-12-24 Endurance Cycle Race
Last updated 11/14/2018 at 1:37pm
On any given warm Fall day of your choice, get on your bicycle at exactly 5 p.m. and head for San Francisco. You've got 24 hours to get there, 531 miles north, and you can stop only infrequently but not sleep. That's slightly less than the distance world class Austrian cyclist Christoph Strasser covered in his 31+ laps around the 18-mile Borrego Springs 6-12-24 World Time Trial Championships circuit on Oct. 26 – 27; he averaged 24 mph and outdistanced his nearest competitor by nearly 55 miles. The time trials are part of the lead-up to the Race Across American (RAAM) event in the Spring, also passing through Borrego.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Haddock, along with our new Honorary Mayor Andy Macuga, put out the Borrego Springs welcome mat at Christmas Circle for 183 cyclists, plus their support teams, in many cycling categories and age groups: 6-hr, 12-hr, and 24-hr events; men and women from 20-70+; solo or as a team of two; and recombinant (reclining) and fixed gear entries.
These incredible athletes gave it their best efforts in what is becoming yet another signature Borrego Springs event.
Some races were closer than others.
World class 24-hour Canadian cyclist Meaghan Hackernin, competing in the women's solo, age 30-39 bracket, covered the same distance, 456 miles, as did age bracket 40 – 49 soloist Jennifer Orr. But Orr was a scant 3 min-31sec faster reaching that total, so Orr won the Women's overall 24-hour solo category.
On several occasions during the heat of the day, said a grateful Hackernin, "My mom sprayed me down head to toe with sun-block."
In the same women's solo event, age 30 – 39 bracket, there was one unfortunate incident out on the course. British champion cyclist Crystal Spearman, a favorite in both her category and age group, was the first out of the gate in Wave-1 of the 24-hour event at the 5 p.m.
The next day, feeling the heat on lap-21, she lost consciousness, and Spearman drifted slightly off the pavement into the sand. The front wheel stopped and turned sideways, and with cycling shoes locked into the pedals, she flipped over the handlebars onto the ground.
Although injured, she made a valiant effort to continue, and she did finish doing 402 miles in the 24-hr, thus qualifying her for Race Across America, a truly valiant effort, and made it worth while traveling the 6,000 miles to get here.
World class cycling such as the RAAM event is expensive, she said, given the complicated logistical support required from crew members. "I need a sponsor," she added with a laugh.
Every rider has a story to tell, and we at the Sun plan to cover as many as possible for both future time trials and the upcoming RAAM event.