The Jan Sport 12-Hours of Big Bear
Story by Ron Sawicki, Jeroen Bosboom, Jason First, and Chris Vargas
(with special reporting by Ned Reynolds on the disadvantages and advantages
Photos by Jeroen Bosboom, Molly Hartsough, and Ron Sawicki
The Warriors Society race team had a huge presence at the Jan Sport
12-hours of Big Bear; I'm sure we fielded the largest team and we had
some great finishes. The event was setup on the grass slopes and the
weather was great. This was a nice improvement from last year's pavement
setup and thunderstorms.
Warrior's Society member Monique "Pua" Sawicki of
Team Mata rode a
sterling race and finished first in female solo and second overall! She
never battled with any of the women only the lead male (Tony Smith, 2004
single speed 24 hour world champ). Tony had switched to gears for this
race and the lead went between him and Monique all day.
There were at least 40-50 other male competitors; it was the biggest
field of the race. Many were semi-pros and experienced 12 hour racers.
After only a few laps she and Tony had left everyone behind. It was a
tough race for her; she didn't feel 100% recovered from the World Cup
Marathon Race in Quebec. In the end she finished 1st for women by 3
laps, 2nd overall with them men. The total was 108 miles and about
15000' of climbing in around 11:15 hours!
Calvin and Jeroen finished 2nd in the two person "steel" class with 14 laps
and about 65 miles each. Jeroen was filling in for Calvin's regular
teammate and rode his new Racer-X; Calvin rode his trusty single speed.
The competition was fierce (with about a dozen steel teams) and Calvin
and Jeroen were up against fast semi-pro riders.
Early on they were in third place but they managed to move up to second
and were only about four minutes out of the lead as the last lap
commenced. Jeroen rode that last lap protecting second place and keeping
the rubber down. Jeroen was completely spent after his last lap but very
happy with the result. Calvin again left everyone in awe with his
consistently fast laps and inexhaustible stamina.
Warrior's Society Club Directors Ned Reynolds and Keith Eckstein also
competed in the two person "steel" class and finished in 10th place.
Jason First won the Titanium Solo Single Speed with 11 laps. He actually
got 3rd overall, after Tony Smith and Monique Mata. Jason could have
done 1 more lap (he had an hour, 7 min left) but his arms could barely
hold on to the handlebars since he had been riding fully rigid for 11
hours straight. Jason said it was still super fun, and next time he will
use a suspension fork (he doesn't know how Calvin does it). Jason told
me that everyone was super supportive and we had an awesome team
Brian's finish was 3rd in men's 19-29 solo with 10 laps and Ron, Molly,
Drew and Andy finished in 3rd place in the 4 Person Coed Class. The top
three teams in the 4 Person Coed Class was very competitive; kudos to
those our coed team competed against.
On Sunday Monique was interviewed on a new Local LA cable show called
"Action Figures." The show interviews California Extreme Athletes. The
show features many of the top surfers, rock climbers, adventure racers
and mountain bikers. Monique rolled the bike up on stage and promoted
her sponsors during the interview! If you want to check out the web site
for the show go to www.actionfigurestv.com.
Last Tuesday Monique and Ron met with the writer for Bike magazine for
their article on Monique! Besides that they are working on recovery for
Pua and then two back-to-back NORBA National Marathon races in 3 weeks;
they will be driving to Schweitzer and then directly to Aspen the
Many thanks to our race team sponsors, Shimano, Manitou, Cytomax, the Path
Bike Shop, Switchback Cyclery and Clif Bar, which sponsored the team entries
into the event.
The advantages and disadvantages of drunks; a special 12-Hours of Big Bear
report by Ned "Lone Wolf" Reynolds
I got up to Big Bear on Friday at 3pm. Ron and Monique Sawicki arrived at
the same time so we pre-rode the course. After we parted company I checked
into my cabin and got a bite to eat. Keith arrived at the cabin around 8pm.
After watching some TV, telling good clean jokes and talking about single
speeds we shut it off and hit the hay.
The next day started at 5:30am at Denny's for breakfast with Club
Photographer Bob McCarter and Jeff Parish. Anyone who has partied all night
knows that the last stop prior to going home is Denny's and it good to see
that Big Bear was no different. While the 4 of us were gearing up for the 12
hours at the summit event the four guys next to us were gearing down from 12
hours at the local honkey tonk.
Their waitress was more like a den-mother than an employee, constantly
reminding them that the coffee was for consumption and not the floor and
that turbo-belching was something that barnyard animals do. I remember
thinking she's got to be the most patient person ever. Of course this story
doesn't stop there.
Just before the party boys left Denny's there was a ketchup war. After they
left Keith noticed red dots on Bob and Jeff. It appears that a mist of
ketchup had made its way over the divider. It was a good thing they were
gone or the maple syrup and sausages may have hit the fan. In two hours we
would be covered in another type of grime so it was cool.
Bob and Jeff arrived Friday evening and pre-rode the course with Keith. Bob
and Jeff stayed at The Thundercloud (a local motel). Upon arrival they found
wet towels on the floor and the room in disarray. They wondered if they had
unwittingly stumbled onto the local "rub and tug".
Bob went to the front desk and used his "I'm not happy" tone with the clerk
on duty. A conversation happened and various words were said but the ones
that sealed the deal were "this place is a dump". So Bob and Jeff got what
they wanted but realize they have to find a place to sleep. Bob turns to the
clerk, who turns out to be the owner, and asks "do you know any nice
hotels"? I'm not sure but I think this was when the owner either walked
away or asked him to leave.
Wait a minute the motel saga isn't over yet. Bob finds some drunk on the
street and asks him if he knows of a good place to stay. The drunk shows him
a place and it'd be funny if the place was worse that the last but it turns
out to be great.
So far I've learned:
1. Drunks @ Denny's are funny and if you're a server they're annoying
2. If you have a problem with a motel reservation - send Bob to talk to the
3. Drunks can be funny & annoying but they also know all the good places to
So now were at the event and there's a Warriors area with about 15 of us and
several easy-up tents. This year they are running the course in reverse so
it's up to the top via 2n10 and down Fern. We had quite a lively camp site,
with Ron, Monique, Calvin, Jeroen, Molly, Drew, Andy, Cheryl, Kathy, Jason,
Brian, Keith and I.
The race begins and there's not much of a story to tell other than the
initial riders get to choke on the fumes and dust from 100 motorcycles.
Keith and I were doing two laps each at a time for the first 8 laps. My 5Th
lap comes around and all of sudden it feels like breakfast is trying to exit
my body thru my navel. I'm not sure how I made it thru this lap but I know I
have one lap still to go and unless a pancake exorcism is performed it's not
going to fun or funny.
Keith is kicking ass so I have less than an hour to get a grip. Ron gives me
some electrolytes and that along with sun chips and Gatorade seem to do the
trick. Lap 6 goes great and I'm glad to be done. Keith goes for his last lap
with 61 minutes left. He comes back with 2 minutes to spare. It would've
been more but after tailing some other rider going down Fern trail the other
rider crashes in a panic. Keith stops to see if the guy's is OK. After
checking everything out the guy is OK.
After that we all watch the awards and some of us participate in the awards
and then go eat Mexican afterward.
Sunday I take my two labs, Jake and Clyde, for a hike up castle rock and go
back down the mountain to the rat race.
Thanks to everyone that participated; It was allot of frigging fun.