Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quick note to post a link to the Velonews story about the race:
Tinker Juarez could smell victory at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin — he just couldn't see it.

Been recovering and my eyes are getting better every day. Still a little swollen and bloody looking in the right eye. Sure do appreciate eyesight now...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One ugly eye and the other one ain't pretty either


The Three Sisters greeted us at the race course early on Saturday morning. I was ready. I have been eating right, doing the right amount of training, resting, and mental prepping to defend my title. It meant as much to me or more this year to defend it and win than last year and last year I was hungry for it....and you've got to be hungry for it to get to that mental place where you know you can...and do....

The night before the race wasn't the best rest and I woke up several times anxious and worried I didn't get enough. When you lay there half the night thinking about not sleeping and then hours pass, it wears on you. At the race course I got dressed and guess I must have been nervous, too, since I walked around with my shorts on backwards for a little while!

But I overcame the lack of sleep and what got me was something much worse and nothing I ever expected.

Solo Pit Area

Go Marines! Ed - my good friend came up to support me and I wanted to show support for his two sons serving right now: Glen and Paul Kocina


The race started off dry and it was perfect riding weather. As the race went on, the clouds started rolling in then the rain, thunder, rain, and hail.

The course turned into a wet, sticky, peanut butter mud pit and it didn't just cake up on your bike but it flung up everywhere. The layers of it on my body were thick and I did not have the time to clean up.

I was on a mission.

And the competition was excellent. Kelly was there at the beginning. It started off as a flash from last year but he cramped up. Then a newcomer from Australia pulled away from me. He was strong and I met the pace. There were a gang of those Australians - and they came for business....they were ready. I was too and it was a great race and a great course, despite the mud. Mountain bike racing is all about being diverse and able...and this course was a true test of the best.

Then as the hours ticked by I noticed my eyesight was getting blurry. It started getting worse and worse and after night fall it just kept getting worse. I was literally riding blind. I had the best lights (Niterider) in the world but nothing would help. When I pulled out, I had the lead with a cushion of about 30 minutes but I had to ride slow because I couldn't see anything.

I was literally riding blind. I was about 3 miles into a 12 mile lap and realized I had no brakes. I couldn't even ride with anyone. I couldn't see what was in front of me, and I knew there were roots but I couldn't see them. I was riding on chance and trying to remember what was where so I could avoid crashing but without my eyes, this decision was not something I could overcome. I couldn't beat it and there was nothing I could do about it. It was only almost 10 hours into the race and there were lots of night hours left. It was suicidal and I feared forever injuring and loosing sight, or worse, forever.

When I got to checkpoint 3 I had a hard time getting to it. I walked my bike over because I couldn't see to ride it and asked for water to wash my eyes out because I figured I just had mud in my eyes. I had to stop to get some help because I couldn't see and the volunteers tried to help and rinse my eyes by nothing she could do to help worked.

So we called for someone to take me to the medic. Here is one of the Adrenaline videos about it: Mud in the eye

The volunteers were incredible. They were there to help and so whatever it took and I am so thankful for that. I don't remember the woman's name that helped me at checkpoint 3 and I didn't get a good look (smile) but will someone please thank her for me?


This photo does not give the feelings of pain or depict the lack of sight, but it shows how my right eye compares with my "good" eye. I had to hold my eye open with my hand or it was shut. Not the eyes of an eagle.

So, I'm on the road to recovery and the eye is healing but still not right. It will be a few more days of drops, wash, and rest.

Just a quick note of big thanks to my friend Ed, mom Rose, Troy Laffey from Cannondale, MonaVie Cannondale, and Stewart of the 24 Hours of Adranaline and all his gang. Also big congrats to the MonaVieCannondale team for kicking some big booty. Mike Cotty of UK Cannondale was there, too. It is always great to see him and he did a great job finishing 2nd in his class. Thanks for the double decker bus! Joshua loves it but he dropped it on his foot tonight and realized it's no plastic toy!

Knowing that I was riding as good as I hoped, and I felt good, this was the most difficult decision I've made in a race. But, now I am even hungrier. I know I could have finished and possibly had the chance of winning. I just hope they have the World Solo Championship there again next year - I will be ready.

God Bless all the racers out there - if you even tried that race you are a winner.

Tinker

Sunday, July 27, 2008

About 12 Hours of 24

The good news is that Tinker is comfortably sitting in a restaurant right now about to devour some fresh hot coffee and a wholesome meal. His good friend Ed and mom Rose are there to brighten his deflated spirit after he had to withdraw from the 24 Hour Solo World Championship race last night close to midnight. Tinker badly wanted to win this race and focused his training and preparation even more than last year knowing it wouldn't be easy. Tinker was leading the race when he pulled out and headed to the medic tent. Here is what was posted on the 24Hr blog:

Tinker Juarez Withdraws from Race
2007 World 24 Hour Solo Champion, Tinker Juarez withdrew from the 2008 World 24 Hour Solo Championships. Mud from the course impaired Tinker's vision. Medical staff flushed his eye and recommended a cautionary visit to the Canmore Hospital. At the time of the incident, Tinker was leading the Elite men's category.
Posted by AdrenalinLive at
12:50 AM

He woke up this morning with blurry vision in one eye - the other swollen and sealed shut.

He doesn't know it yet but it looks like teammate Matt Ohran finished top 10 in the solo-speed category. I know he will be happy for him and his UK friend Mike Cotty who unofficialy finished 2nd in his age group.

We will keep you posted on Tinker's condition.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

24 Hours of Adrenaline Live Updates

Tinker is in Canmore defending his 24 Hour Solo World Championship title right now. Tune in to the live updates on the 24 hours of Adrenaline blog - complete with race updates, results, and video.
We will post Tinker's progress later tonight.

GOOD LUCK TINKER!!

We are all routing for you!

Update:
10:00PM Video - The wind brought in rain and cool weather. Here is a 24HOA video of a pit right before the nightfall: Pit Video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cannondale holds its annual dealer's meeting on local trails

It's been a busy month, but wanted to update you on what's going on. After returning from the BC7 Bike Race in Canada late Saturday night last week, I headed up to Salt Lake City, UT for the annual Cannondale Sales meeting. ParkRecord.com summed it up pretty good. These are always great meetings and we get to see all the latest products. I will try and put together a story later this week and also post the BC7 report.
Ciao,
Tinker

Cannondale holds its annual dealer's meeting on local trails
Jason Strykowski, Of the Record staff
Article Launched: 07/11/2008 04:25:51 PM MDT


After hosting the International Mountain Bicycling Association and the National Mountain Bike Series, Park City continues to cement its reputation as a premier cycling destination with a visit from American bike manufacturer Cannondale which began earlier this week and should wrap this weekend.

Cannondale, a specialty bike builder based in Connecticut, brought virtually its entire workforce as well as 250 bikes to Park City. The company also invited several hundred dealers from throughout the United States. This conference marks Cannondale's largest gathering of the year and its biggest opportunity to demonstrate its newest products.

In many respects, the meeting most resembles an auto show in which manufacturers parade the latest designs in front of an audience of businessmen who make noises of pleasure or displeasure after each spec is mentioned. Bikes are introduced with video preludes and Cannondale personnel even go so far as to analyze the buying trends common to the purchasers of each bike. Some bike buyers are known to be avid drinkers of Diet Coke, for instance, while others repeatedly shave its legs.

Cannondale dealers see these products in continuous sessions that last from around 8 a.m. until the early afternoon. Following theses sessions, both dealers and Cannondale employees hit the trails around Park City. To test, and comment, on the new year's models. For Cannondale employees, this is a unique opportunity to both see the fruits of its labors and to discuss what changes might best fit the bike for next year. Many of the employees look forward to these rides all year.

Many of the decisions that influence which bikes ultimately wind up in stores are made on trail. Virtually every model in Cannondale's production line was on display and loan near Prospector Square for dealers to test ride. Cannondale even hired the services of White Pine Touring to both ferry cyclists and to lead rides on the local trails.

Although Cannondale has held its get-together in other locales, Bill Rudell, director of marketing, said that Park City is probably his favorite venue for the event. Park City, he continued, allows Cannondale clients and personnel to go on trail and road rides difficult enough to really gain an appreciation of its products. He wants people to ride by the Cannondale motto and "feel it" while testing its bikes.

Dealers felt its rides in the mountain trails surrounding the Rail Trail and on a long road loop out of Park City and through Kimball Junction. To promote its road bikes, Cannondale brought in team professional road cyclist Ivan Basso while Tinker Juarez, professional mountain biker, went on the mountain bike trails. Dealers seemed to gravitate toward its personal styles of riding as they took demo bikes onto the roads and trails.

The newest bike that people tested Cannondale's week long foray into Park City was its new commuter model, "the Quick." In response to high gasoline prices, commuter bikes are quickly gaining a larger piece of the bike market. The Quick, which hits bike stores soon, is available in several different models varying in price from around $500 to $1,500. The premium carbon model, in some respects, could be the substitute for an expensive car as it integrates high-end design aspects borrowed from automakers as well as expensive components. This extremely light carbon model is designed specifically to appeal to people who have an established sense of style and income to match. Less expensive versions will not look as sleek, but still perform comfortably as commuter bikes.

Cannondale also introduced a completely new line of full-suspension mountain bikes called "Rize." The full-carbon-framed bike is mostly notable for its front suspension, a "Lefty" fork that integrates a technology called "PBR." Built as a response to other bikes that place suspension control on handlebars, the Push Button Remote fork places a button at the very top of the fork reachable to cyclists while riding. A single push of the button can lock out or release the shock so that a rider can control the amount of travel in its suspension without having to step off the bike.

Doug Dalton, product tester for Cannondale for 11 years and Park City resident for four years, was an instrumental part of bringing both Cannondale and the IMBA to Park City. "The infrastructure is perfect," he said. "Above all else, it's just the trails."

Of course, for more information about Cannondale bikes - VISIT THE WEBSITE OR YOUR LOCAL CANNONDALE DEALER!