How many miles does it take to put a smile on your face, how many more to make it dissapear? 24hrs of nine mile seemed to be the perfect race to try and get 200 miles. At least that was one of my goals. The other was to ride the same gear on the SS the whole race. After all some one had said that it would be bad karma to change during the race. Its amazing that a year ago I had no real thoughts about riding a single speed at all. I picked up a rig from John in November and started putting in some serious miles on it. After racing the Single speed at Syllamos revenge just because of the conditions, all I could think of racing was the SS. I finally got enough confidence to race it at St Joe, I didn't know how it would work out in a shorter 3hr endurance race but it all went great. I knew at that point I wanted to do something big. If it wouldn't of been for Granny gear being so expensive for the Solo open class I probably would of raced gears but hey the SS class was about 200 dollars cheaper and I was just looking for a reason to race it again anyway. So me and Mitch arrived at 9 mile forest in good enough time to set up camp get a awesome pre ride in and have dinner and relax for the next days pain fest! I think I slept better than I ever have that night especially in a tent. I was pretty mellow race day morning and wanted to stay that away. Usually I am bouncing off the walls and would rather take that approach just because I enjoy it and also love caffeine but for this race I wanted to save every amount of energy for the race and mostly for the middle of the night laps. The race started off with a Le mans style start, I DON'T LIKE TO RUN!! It went fine other than when I got to the bike racks I couldn't find my bike. Once I found my bike me and Mitch were together ready to shred some single track, red light! We were stopped at the first sign of single track waiting our turn to enter the single track behind at least 100 other racers making me regret that I ever put any effort into the run. So we got into a pretty good flow considering and things were moving along pretty good when I dropped my chain. It didn't take but 30 seconds and I was rolling again but I guess 50 racers had gone by and Mitch was out of sight. Its hard to believe that I never had a chance to ride with Mitch again the rest of the race. Once the first lap was out of the way the trails opened up, for a 14 plus mile loop it was amazing how many racers you were always passing are getting passed by. It seemed I was around the same group of guys the whole race. Being self supported got tiring going into the night my brain didn't want to think anymore. Trying to remember how much battery life was left for my lights, eating food remembering to get new bottles and putting that stuff on the chain, that one didn't happen very often! I didn't even bother to change clothes just put on a jacket at night. The night is always good everything changes the course seems different laps come and go and if your me what your really thinking is how can I get a pizza delivered here, pizza hut pan supreme would do the trick! man just sit there right along the trail and stuff your face. Anyway no such luck, I stuck with nutty butters, kids cliff bars a banana Mitch's famous can chicken noodle soup. If he didn't cook it I would just eat it out of the can cold, actually I think what was left in the pot was pretty cold. So anyway the night was going pretty quick and I had finally figured out were I was as far as placing. The scorekeeper had said I was in 4Th SS and the 3 guys ahead of me were not looking as fresh as me which was a good feeling. I was pretty dead set at this point to keep doing what I had for the whole race up to now, just to keep the peddles turning. At some point I had passed Mark it seemed like we must of passed each other a dozen times through the 24hrs. At the time Mark was sitting in third but I had no real idea how far first and second were up and didn't really want to know. I was already pretty stoked that I was going to get well over 200 miles in and that was my goal. The last 3 laps went by pretty fast. I finished up at 23hrs 50 minutes I had time to do another lap and if Mitch would of wanted to I would of done it, my knee was hurting pretty bad so I was pretty stoked when we decided to be done. I think the hardest part out of everything had nothing to do with the race it was trying to get our pit broke down, imagine not having any hand strength and not being able to bend over. It was weird I was fine when I was riding but once the race was over everything just kind of quit working, trying to palm my tent into the bag just had to be funny to watch. Me and Mitch stuck around for the awards and then headed out. I couldn't tell you how long of a drive it was other than I didn't get home until about 1am Monday morning. Still made it to work by 8am. Learned a lot at this one and other than a few small things everything went pretty great.