Hello EZ Biker, as I compose this. my husband and me are in route to see the 12/24 Hours Of Sebring via bicycling! You have posted a lot about this event; so I’m wondering, do you have any significant special memories, from the Sebring Event you were in? Signed Monica and Eric.
OHHHHH Monica, I SO WISH I was on the road, heading to Sebring with you all! If you have followed my blog, then you know I have already posted stories about my Sebring Experience. BUT YES, I do have some wonderful memories of this event; which continues to entice me to come back and be part of it. Now for a few CHOICE memories! I remember arriving and seeing other cyclists already in the parking lot talking and meeting about the event. Registration went very smooth and the people in Sebring are some of the NICEST you will ever meet. Sebring basically pulls out all the stops, for this bicycle event, just like they do for your major sports car, GRAND AM races. I remember someone pointing out some alleged Lance Armstrong training team members, that followed the lead guy (Who was not Lance) in single file, matching his footsteps and following the lead guy like an army of ants in single file. The night before the event, I prepared my trusty steed, which was my Bacchetta Agio (Nick named the Predator) and attempted to get some sleep. Moring broke and I walked my bike from the room and got my first BLAST of 28 degree POLER Cold, that had rolled in to Sebring. WT…! C’mon lets jump back in bed! BUT NO, I was there and I had trained for this and was not going to WUSS out. The staging before the start of the event, is perhaps the BEST memory of this event for me. There I was, with about a couple hundred of other NUT Cases, riding bikes in 28 degree weather. BUT there was electricity (Static…? ;-) in the air! I was among (Not nut cases) but a unique breed of cyclists that do these kind of lengthy rides through out the year! I felt like one with them. We started rolling at 6 AM and took 3 laps around the Sebring track and then headed out into Sebring it’s self for the first 100 miles. I was basically last; but I didn’t care; BECAUSE I was participating in a unique event! The roads of Sebring are SO PEACEFUL and vehicle operators so courteous to you; I’d LOVE to live in Sebring for that alone. I remember heading back to the Sebring track (to do laps around the surrounding neighborhood of Sebring for the next 12 hours) and hit a 30+ mph headwind, that had me rolling at 5 mph at times, just trying to keep from being blown off my bike. Doing a loop around the neighborhood was fun, especially when you got close to the track parking lot and the crowds cheering you on. At 6 PM, those that would be doing the next 12 hours on the track; got directed to the track, and time to get your lights on. Sebring has no night lighting, so you better have a good light are you are at the mercy of rear blinking lights they have in the turns. Ohhh, and I did run over a few of those PUPPIES, ACIDENTLY of course!!! I remember taking it easy in the back turns of the track and them just HAMMERING all I could in front of the pits and cheering people. I remember being told, get off and back on your bike as soon as possible; don’t goof off; only to be PHYSICALLY Shaking on my bike, from the inner sweat that I was not riding into 32 degree temps! My main concern was that I would fall asleep and not finish; but 16 hours into the event, I finally succumbed to the now 35 degree temps, that were beginning to fall. I remember a fellow recumbent cyclist (I believe on a Strada) asking if I was finish doing laps; as he was wanting to quit to; but he wanted to make sure he had done more laps then me. (If I was not so &^%$#(*& COLD, I would have purposely gotten back on my bike and kept going! I got given a sleeping back and laid on the concrete, trying to get myself warm, when I heard voices saying, there was rain in the area and moving toward the track. 10 minutes later it poured. As the event wound down, the awards ceremony was close at hand. Humph! So what, I didn’t win anything; BUT I did! 1st. place in my age bracket! OK, so I was the only one in my bracket… I still got a medal! I was TIRED and a little setback that I hadn’t done the complete 24 hours, BUT I was equally amazed that I had managed to do 16 hours on a bike! SO YES, I’ll be up tomorrow morning doing my short little 30 mile ride; BUT my thoughts will be WISHING I WAS IN SEBRING!!!