24 Hours of Adrenalin - Laguna Seca 2004

Last weekend at Laguna Seca raceway near Monterey in California, Team Cyclops did it again. For the 3rd year in a row, we competed against Mountain Bikers in a 24 Hour offroad endurance race called 24 Hours of Adrenalin. This year’s team had 9 riders (same as 2002) and completed 15 laps. We were narrowly beaten by the next slowest team in our category, but didn’t mind at all as our goal this year was to have the most fun of any team.

The course was about the same as in previous years, minus one hill at the end and plus TONS of sandy sections and plus TONS of large potholes and bumps. We received the same very warm welcome from the organizers and all the other bikers. Numbers were slightly down this year which made for fewer bikes passing us. We escaped major injury and managed to keep riding all night without mishap. We were again sponsored by my company Movaris - check us out if you need Sarbanes-Oxley compliance software.

Zack Baldwin cranked out our fastest lap this year at 1:17, still 8 minutes shy of Kris’s record from 2002. I think we did make our goal of having the most fun but I don’t have time to describe more as I am packing for the next 24 hour race in Toronto!!


Photos from 2004
Writeup and photos from 2003
Writeup and photos from 2002


Re: 24 Hours of Adrenalin - Laguna Seca 2004

As evidenced by this photo of Geoff holding a Red Hook ESB at the finish line :slight_smile:

John, you would’ve enjoyed it! We ALMOST overdid it Friday night before the race, but ended up ok. Beau liked watching Jackie Chan on the outdoor movie screen at 1:30am too. They have a great setup there.


That looks really awesome Nathan. You’re almost tempting me to come over next year to go solo :slight_smile: . How does the singletrack compare to Rotorua? Was it as smooth and twisty? It looks like there are some nice climbs. Mmmm- hills…I like hills.

Congratulations and well done to everyone at the 24hrs of Adrenalin- especially Nathan: 2 down, 2 to go huh?

Good luck for the Lifestyles of the rich and famous.


Nice going, guys! Good luck in Canada, whoever is going. Nathan I know, but I’m not sure who else.

Dave, it’s myself, Bronson, Bruce Bundy and Beau going. We are on a team with Carl Hoyer - one of 3 unicycle teams in the race (out of 22 teams total).

Ken, much as I’d LOVE it if you came over for 24 hours of Adrenalin next year, I don’t think you would like it. The singletrack is SO bumpy and nasty. So much sand too. And the night laps are pretty much a nightmare (must be the origin of that word, eh). My legs were about as sore after 2 laps as they were after the Moonride! The thought of going solo there on a unicycle is insane. So I guess you should do it - I will be your support crew (as I am certainly not going to join you riding!)


Nathan, thanks for writing this up. I’m usually not the one to start new threads. It was fitting that you rode our team’s last lap, as you are the 24 hour-man this year! Anyone else doing as many 24 hour events this year?

It was a great experience. Cool to be around so many people into (relatively) the same thing as us, and to get all the verbal support from pretty much every biker that passed us. We did get to pass a few bikes here and there, on the uphills. But mostly they would fly past us. Especially on the long, easy stretches of fire road. I saw bikes going at least 35 mph or more as they passed me. Those cheaters.

It was also an honor to share the course with top riders like Tinker Juarez, who did 20 laps of the “national” course (12 miles to our 10) all by himself! He’s a machine. I got to ride behind him for a little bit on my second lap. Obviously this was on an uphill section.

I wanted to see if a 29" wheel was better than a Coker for a course with varied terrain. My results were inconclusive. The best unicycle for the Laguna Seca course would be two totally different ones. You have fast, easy fire road, twisty, rutty singletrack, and lots of uphills, mostly non-technical but some very long.

I rode my Coker with 170 cranks on my first lap, and took 1:33. The Coker wheel weighs a ton, and is terrible on anything that’s even a little uphill. But it flies on the flats and downhills! Unless it’s steep downhill. My brake is not set up with a good hand position, so if I’m using it I basically have to go slow. The Coker is also better for rolling through the zillions of ruts along the way.

I rode my new 29er from Unicycle.com (Yuni frame, Nanoraptor tire, 150 cranks) on a practice lap on Friday. Zach and I were the only ones not familiar with the course, so it was just us out there. Sixteen year old Zack Baldwin is an animal. This practice lap was basically his third trail ride on a Coker. He used 150 cranks (but switched to 160s for the race). Though I could keep up with him on the uphills, where he had to walk a lot and I could keep riding, he left me way behind on the flats and downhills. At one point he was at least half a mile ahead of me. But on the long climb at the end, I got within a few hundred feet.

Anyway, the 29er felt great, because its wheel is so much lighter. Anything is lighter than a Coker wheel. I was able to ride the 29er on the whole course, though I walked Hurl Hill, a long, straight uphill. Other sections I probably should have walked as well, to save my energy. By the time I got to the last singletrack at the end, one UPD had my calf cramping up. That never happens. Uh oh, I guess I’m not used to riding 10 miles of trail non-stop!

Anyway, though the 29er was great on the uphills and technical sections, those long flats and downhills felt slow. I can pedal pretty fast, but Zack was still pulling away from me in those areas. So for my first race lap, I chose the Coker.

That lap is described above. I did quite a bit more walking, and surely lost some time there. Sometimes you just have to walk to get your strength back (if you’re me). The uphills are good for that. But I was well aware of the Coker’s higher speed on all the easy stuff. Also, Though I was worried about some of the bumpy descents, even the most windy singletrack sections where quite a bit of fun on the Coker. If you haven’t tried MUni on one, give it a chance. Just don’t expect to like the uphills!

Later that night, I got all rigged up with one of Nathan’s lights for possibly my first-ever night ride. Heck of a way to get introduced to MUni in the dark! But as it turned out, our night laps were quite a bit slower than the day laps (understandable), and my second lap came well after it got light.

Feeling sore from my previous two laps of the course, I opted for the 29er. I knew it would slow me down on the fireroad, but I also knew I’d be riding a lot more of the rest of the course. And yes, I was feeling much better toward the end of the lap on the 29er. Even though that’s still a pretty big wheel, I could feel how the ruts along the course were more annoying on that than on the larger Coker. But I definitely rode more, and walked a lot less.

My Coker lap was done in 1:33 and my 29er lap was done in 1:32. Hmm. Geoff Faraghan also rode my 29er on his night lap. His 2:02 was representative of the darkness.

You can see all the results from the event here:

Click on the header for the Corporate Teams section to see our split times.

Though the riding was fun, I wasn’t thrilled about the camping. We had a really nice spot, but Laguna Seca seems to be chronically windy, and not that warm! Maybe a hotel next time…

Kudos for All.:smiley: and High Fives!!

John, thanks for writing on comparing and contrasting the 29er with the Coker. That’s really valuable.

Gawd, one of these days I would like to try it. Anyone got some new knees I can try?

Really enjoyed hearing about it.

Thanks again for sharing!!

I’m not sure if I’ll ever try a 24 hour, but I sure love reading these posts. You folks–all of you WW that have done these–are changing our sport, and with every event bringing it greater legitimacy as a true athletic pursuit.

I’m starting to crank up the distance, so maybe one of these years I’ll get to join you. In the meantime, consider me in awe.

Nathan, you’re tempting me…

You guys had some great lap times- 15 vs 26 laps in the top team- that’s almost 60% of what they were doing! Looks like you could have done better with more night-time lighting though- interesting that the top teams in any 24hr race do similar lap times at night as during the day.

John, it’s interesting to hear your experiences on the 29’er vs Coker. I find riding a Coker just like riding a full suspension bike- heavy, but comfortable on long rides because it smoothes out the bumps. The 29’er rides like a hardtail MTB- light and quick but rattles over rough stuff. Hopefully when I build up my lightweight diet coker that it will alleviate the weight problem (I’m going tubeless, using lightweight SS spokes and probably going back to my carbon fibre seat).

Nathan- you should write up and contrast the four events in the four different countries after you’ve completed them- it would make interesting reading.