Heading Off to Arizona to Race 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

02.14.2013 | 8:27 am


I love road trips. I love racing. I love getting away from winter for a couple of days and being able to wear shorts when riding.

So I’m fully expecting to have a magnificent time racing at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo this weekend, near Tucson, AZ. The Hammer and I will be part of Team IMBA, and from what I hear of this course, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend not just of racing, but of riding. 

More than the racing, riding, and other bike-centric festivities, I’m looking forward to actually spending some time talking with the folks from IMBA. See, for a guy who loves singletrack, I haven’t exactly been a great example of how cyclists should advocate for or maintain trails. I’d like to fix that problem. So expect to hear more about IMBA when I get back.

I’m also looking forward to being camping in the same general area as Rebecca Rusch as she — as half of a Duo Team — clobbers the competition. It’ll be awesome to watch a top pro in action. 

I’ll be bringing the GoPro, so hope to be able to put together a video of the whole experience. So watch for that next week.

I won’t be posting here again ’til Tuesday. However, if I have good phone service, I will be tweeting photos, updates, and general nonsense throughout the trip. So if you don’t already, maybe you might want to follow me. Or maybe you might not.  No pressure. I won’t be the only one talking about this race, though, so if you are the kind of person who likes that kind of thing, maybe follow the #24HOP hashtag, which I understand is what all the cool kids are doing. Not being a kid nor cool, I don’t know for sure.

Meanwhile, it’s a 12-hour drive, each way, for The Hammer and me. So. Does anyone happen to have a good audio book recommendation they’d like to make?


  1. Comment by centurion | 02.14.2013 | 8:47 am

    “It’s Not About the Bike”?

  2. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 02.14.2013 | 8:58 am

    I can quickly whip up an audio CD set for you by reading aloud my autographed copy of “Absolutly Positive” …it’s a real page-turner! Especially the parts where he denies ever using PED’s!

    Note: It’s been moved into the “Fiction” category a while back I heard.

  3. Comment by Tom in Albany | 02.14.2013 | 9:55 am

    Have a blast, Fatty! As for seeing Reba? Forget it. Only thing you’ll see is her dust!

  4. Comment by dicky | 02.14.2013 | 10:05 am

    Lies (and the Lying Liars who Tell Them): A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

    Al Franken


    Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates

    Tom Robbins

    That second one might get you there and back.

  5. Comment by GenghisKhan | 02.14.2013 | 10:24 am

    The Old Testament?! :) Have a good weekend!

  6. Comment by John | 02.14.2013 | 10:55 am


    Did you and the Hammer fall out of love with Strava, or did you guys finally reach the limit on achieved KOM/QOM titles and they now block you from the site? :)

    I enjoyed following both your training and riding routes . A nice inspiration to a fellow mountain bike endurance racer.

  7. Comment by Spill Wau | 02.14.2013 | 11:17 am

    Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Written and read by Anthony Bourdain. Hearing the story straight from the author is great!

  8. Comment by Brian in VA | 02.14.2013 | 11:43 am

    No recommendations on audio books although there are several books I could recommend if you don’t mind reading to each other.

    Slaying the Badger – the story of the first Lemond win at the TDF
    Hitless Wonder – a life in the minor leagues of rock and roll
    The Betrayal of the American Dream – the dismantling of America’s Middle Class

    All are available on Kindle which is how I read these days. I read the last 2 over the holidays.

    Safe travels and fast riding!

  9. Comment by Peri | 02.14.2013 | 11:58 am

    For audio books you can’t beat anything by Bill Bryson. My favorites are a Walk in the Woods about hiking the Appalachian Trail or In a Sunburned Country about Austrailia. You will love his humor and learn some amazing things at the same time.

  10. Comment by Joe | 02.14.2013 | 11:59 am

    The last road trip we did we checked out some David Attenborough audio documentaries from the library. Love that guy.

  11. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 02.14.2013 | 12:05 pm

    “Deep Survival” by Lawrence Gonzalez.

  12. Comment by Blackfoot | 02.14.2013 | 2:28 pm

    Funny: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.

    SciFi: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

    Feel-Good: Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

    Tear Jerker: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

    Non-Fiction: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

    Dystopian: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

    Cynical: Company by Max Barry

  13. Comment by ClydesdalePilot | 02.14.2013 | 2:36 pm

    Ah, #24HOP. 24 times better than #IHOP.

    You get it? ‘Cause, I is the roman numeral for 1, and both 24 hours in the Old Pueblo and the International House of Pancakes have similar acronyms…

    Shut up, I’m hilarious.

    Also, I don’t know if its on audiobook, but try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It’s the only thing that could make me read something by Jane Austen.

  14. Comment by Bo-be-wan | 02.14.2013 | 3:28 pm

    The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy……….all 6 CDs from the BBC.

  15. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 02.14.2013 | 3:43 pm

    I’m going to third the motion that you listen to Bill Bryson’s In A Sunburned Country. Great one to listen to. Warning: It’ll make you start looking for a reason to travel down under!

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.14.2013 | 4:23 pm

    @Nancy_in_Mn As if Elden needed a reason to travel down under. Time for him to try out for a Santos Tour Team…….maybe as a soigneur it would make for some awesome blog posts.

    It’s a very old one…kinda like me…. but for a road trip Blue Highways by Least Heat Moon. And I second the idea of Hitchhiker’s Guide…..

  17. Comment by David | 02.14.2013 | 9:18 pm

    If you haven’t read/heard Harry Potter, the series will take you there and back. Possibly more than once.
    Side note, you really should consider riding in Alaska. We have great road and mountain biking.

  18. Comment by Corrine | 02.14.2013 | 9:47 pm

    The Fault in our Stars. A great YA book we listened to on our last long drive about 2 teenage kids with cancer and trying to live life to the fullest. Funny, heartwarming, also a tear jerker at times. Even my daughter who always makes fun of me tearing up at movies, etc had a tear in her eye at one point. You will love it!

  19. Comment by roadrash | 02.14.2013 | 10:12 pm

    Second the notion from @davidh-marin,ca. Plan accordingly, Blue Highways may inspire you to skip the Interstate and drive the backroads to/from Tucson. Have a great race.

  20. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.14.2013 | 11:15 pm

    The problem with Fatty driving the ‘Blue Highways’ is he’s a very connected kind of guy! (twitter. blog, strava, iphone thingee). Without those tools I fear that should he get out on a Blue Highway between Tuscon and Alpine he would soon become the subject of a multi-state, search, maybe even a milk carton with his picture on it. Then again he is prone to Drama.

  21. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 02.15.2013 | 8:32 am

    It probably will not last the entire drive, but if you can get your hands on The Art of Racing in the Rain, you will be in for a wonderful story. It’s a great read, and I am imagining the audiobook will be outstanding.

    Have a great trip and have fun on the ride and in camp.

  22. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 02.15.2013 | 9:34 am

    Racing in the Rain Garth Stein. I agree, @Cycling Jimbo, but the problem with that story is, Elden is a sensitive guy. Can you imagine him driving down the road, misty eyed, nose running, bubbling to The Hammer about which exit to take. It’s not a particularly pretty picture….and believe me, someone would take a picture….and show his kids….and then…..show us.

  23. Comment by Heather | 02.15.2013 | 1:16 pm

    finding ultra

  24. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 02.15.2013 | 1:25 pm

    @davidh…you’re right on about Fatty bubbling up and all…and then somebody (Hammer?) would take another picture of a world-record snotulum dangling…and we’d all be gagging and retching yet AGAIN. Stick w/ drama…

    Too late now, or I’d have shipped up my copy of “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer…it’s a factual account of the 96 Everest climbing disaster…very well written/read.

    OR, any of the John Grisham audio books…they’re all good.

  25. Comment by slowRider | 02.16.2013 | 1:39 pm

    I just missed the registration for this ride… kinda bummed. Are you going to come back to AZ for the Whiskey in April?

  26. Comment by Russell Winfield | 02.18.2013 | 8:56 pm

    Make it more interesting and grab yourself a sonoran hotdog before the race, there is a great little shop on the corner of grant and stone.

  27. Comment by Tom in Albany | 02.19.2013 | 12:49 pm

    @Blackfoot: A Dirty Job was pretty good. However, I nearly herniated my abs reading The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. I mean. I laughed and shook and I really hope I read something THAT FUNNY again someday.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.