Mt Bike > John Stamstad > World Solos:  
John Stamstad: The World Solos
The World Solos
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Ultra racing isn't pretty. I am riding along at night and come upon a racer by the side of the trail sitting on a rock with his head between his knees. "Are you okay?" I ask. "Yeah, just taking a throw-up break," he says. Hmm...sounds fun, but I think I'll keep on riding.

Later, the dust on the course is starting to choke my lungs and make me wheeze. I stop to take a puff from my asthma inhaler. I hit the inhaler, take a deep breath in and hold it. Suddenly my head gets fuzzy, and before I know it I have dropped to my knees and almost passed out. I guess it is not a good idea to hold my breath in the middle of a 24-hour mountain bike race.

Idyllwild, CA, provided the perfect venue, but the mostly singletrack course meant a fast start was mandatory. Racers line up and run approximately two-thirds of a mile to their bikes. The problem with that is that the solos line up with the relay we have to sprint against 150 eager racers who get to stop and rest in less than an hour. My heart rate hits 183, I get elbowed twice and almost knocked down. I make it to the singletrack in good position and then ease my heart rate down to something I can hold for hours on end.

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SEE ALSO: Interbike | NORBA 2000 | World Cup 2000

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