2009 Furnace Creek 508 Solo

with reports, photos and progress through the weekend.

Well, here we go again. The Furnace Creek 508 starts tomorrow at 7am. A 508-mile race from Santa Clarita through Death Valley and Mojave to near Joshua Tree. I wrote extensively about it here (read this!), I have a 508 tab and National Geographic Adventure covered it when they called it one of the top ten toughest races in the world.

Is it October already? Despite taking part in this race the previous four years, 2005 (crew for Morgan), 2006 (fixed gear team), 2007 (hang out), 2008 (solo), it always excites. Despite a last-minute crew switch from one race veteran to another and finding tiny cracks in my Dura Ace wheels yesterday, preparation is going well. Chris and Morgan are back for another year of crewing and Max is joining us for his 5th(!) time on the course. I couldn’t be more fortunate! I have phenomenal support in these guys and in all of my friends who have helped me out leading into this weekend. Like Jack lending me his ridiculous wheels without any hesitation. Thank you all so much, I couldn’t do this without you.

You pick an animal totem that is yours for life. I’m Desert Locust:

With a minor change for this year:

Take yourself seriously, but not too seriously, right? And yes, those desserts are vegan. Though I still love dessert, I’ve managed to get my weight down 15 pounds from last year. I’m weighing in at 170, a number I haven’t seen since high school. A full 30 pounds lighter than winter Matt!

I’m looking forward to a weekend of adventure, mindfulness, solitude, beauty, struggle, fun, high highs and low lows. The desert nearly defeated me last year somewhere between Baker and Kelso, but after our training ride out there this summer and some Edward Abbey studying, I am more prepared and approaching with an open heart and mind:

“I am convinced now that the desert has no heart, that it presents a riddle that has no answer, and that the riddle itself is an illusion created by some limitation or exaggeration of the displaced human consciousness.” -Edward Abbey

He also said this, which nothing to do with bike racing, but is worth passing on:

‘Hierarchical institutions are like giant bulldozers —
obedient to the whim of any fool who takes the controls.’

I’ll do my best to send updates from the road, but cell service is limited. Thanks to everyone who has already sent kind words or vegan desserts!

Listened to 36 Chambers the whole way through this morning for Swarm!ing motivation:


1 Comment

Filed under 508, race, vegan

One response to “2009 Furnace Creek 508 Solo

  1. Ahhhhh…Hip Hop back when it was…well…Hip Hop.Wu-Tang back when they were…Wu-Tang.Good luck, yo! Protect Ya Neck, ride safe.