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ALWAYS CHASING | EF CORNER | JUST THE DIRT




ALWAYS CHASING
by John Petrylak

PREVIOUS COLUMNS: MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER

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SEPTEMBER 2016
Strava FlyBy for 18 Hours Scouts Honor


After every Solo 18 Hours Scouts Honor I always say "this is my last time doing this race solo".

Now 7 days later I'm thinking maybe I have another one in me.




This year leading up to the event I had a solid block of training and racing. Working with Jeremiah Bishop for the second half of the season has been a game changer for me. JB set me up with a fueling and pacing strategy that gave me the confidence to go out hard and keep the gas on the entire 18 hours.



The venue has a lodging option for every preference; camping, cabins and bunk rooms. I've become spoiled by the cabins that are right off of the course which makes pit stop set up a breeze. My lovely fantastic wife was running a professional level pit for me again this year; after 5 consecutive years she might be crazier than I am for staying up all night.




At 2pm sharpe the race started! I lined up with the 4 person teams up front to get a good position into the single track. The start was fast but not an unreasonable pace to hold for 18 hours.

After the first 3 hours it was business as usual; grinding out laps and hammering the Central VA single track. I was getting time splits from my pit crew every lap; for the first (4) hours 24 Hour Solo specialist Joel Nankman and endurance racer Chris Lane were just a few minutes behind me. This definitely concerned me as a lengthy pit stop or a crash would have allowed them to catch back up. So I decided to hit the gas for a couple of laps just before it got dark and then again after the first night lap I continued to put down some consistent laps.

My daylight laps were all sub 50 minutes and I was able to keep all the night laps sub 1 hour except my second to last when I stopped to enjoy a sandwich and an early morning chat with my wife Amanda.

  Around 10 hours into the race I put second place a lap down which gave a nice time cushion for the rest of the race. For the next 8 hours I just kept the gas on and clicked off laps.

With the exception of a 30 minute rain shower around 1am the race went off without a hitch! 154 miles and 17500 feet of climbing during the race on my Scott Spark
with 0.0 issues....thank you Scott I love your bikes.

This year I turned out 20 laps for the Solo win!
Thanks to ASR for putting on another world class event this year.



ABOUT John Petrylak
At 37 years old with 2 busy kids involved in travel soccer, karate and ballet I gotta get creative sometimes to fit in my training. If it wasn't for my wife Amanda keeping things together  none of this could happen. 

I grew up riding my bicycle everywhere it was my most prized possession! That turned into riding and eventually racing dirt bikes. I raced motocross off and on from the early 90's through 2009. During this time I always rode my mountain bike to cross train but I was never serious about racing it. Then I was invited to participate in a 24 hour race on a 4 man team in 2010. After the first lap I was hooked!

I sold my dirt bike, started losing weight and rode the wheels off my mountain bike. Cycling has brought so many wonderful people into our lives and has created too many wonderful family memories to count. I started racing my mountain bike late in life but I'm happy to make up lost time!








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