Photo by Mike Bitton
Seattle endurance athlete Matt Hart takes a 10-minute break between laps 14 and 15 during the 24 Hours of Adrenalin mountain bike race in Whistler, B.C., Canada. After this photo was taken, Hart completed two more laps.
An invitation to join Matt Hart in Canada for the world championship 24-hour mountain bike race was too tempting to refuse. He'd pre-arranged to write race reports for some publications and needed photos to accompany them. I'm so glad he thought of me! I'd never been to Canada, and had always wanted to see British Columbia. I met up with Matt and his girlfriend, Tina, in Seattle, then rode with them in Matt's V.W. Westfalia van all the way to Whistler, B.C. Joining Tina as Matt's pit crew was Canadian Jennifer Segger, who often competes alongside Matt with the DART adventure racing team. Also on board for the event as Matt's bike mechanic was Duncan Sailors, an adventure racer from North Bend, Wash. Jennifer's friend, Jo, hooked us up with a room at the Fairmont Hotel in Whistler Village so we wouldn't have to camp out Friday night before the race. Thanks, Jo! The race began at noon on Saturday, Sept. 5, and ended at noon on Sunday, Sept. 6. The course was a 10-mile loop in and around Whistler Village. For much of that time, rain poured down. As the event wore on and the weather did not let up, Matt suffered imensely, as did his bikes. With carefully selected food and hydration, Tina and Jen kept Matt in the competition. With resourcefulness I'd thought only thieves posessed, Duncan kept the bikes functioning just well enough that Matt could stay in the race. When the competition ended, Matt took third place in his age category of 30-35 by completing 16 laps. Conisdering it was only the second 24-hour mountain bike race Matt had entered, I believe he did astonishingly well.