February 12, 2019 / Maria Parker
We've been racing and enjoying the Sebring 12/24 event for many years. It's a well organized bike race that takes advantage of the balmy winter Florida weather, the exciting Sebring International Race Track and the gorgeous citrus orchards of central Florida. The bicycle race which starts and finishes on the race track is squeezed between a busy schedule of ear-splitting car races.
We're always grateful when Cruzbike community members roll up to the starting line, regardless of their fitness or ability. It takes courage to enter any kind of race, so I am particularly grateful to Larry Oslund, Kyle Larsen, Jeffrey Ritter, and Rick Moore who competed alongside Jim and me this year.
Ben Tomblin also came out to ride the warm-up and his help as photographer and crew member on the course was indispensable. Rick's first race on a Cruzbike was particularly difficult as his race ended at about 60 miles in a wreck. Thanks to Jeffrey Ritter who temporarily stopped his own race to help Rick.
Jim and Kyle rode the 100 mile, Jeffrey, Rick and I rode the 12 hour and Larry rode the 24 hour. Results can be found here.
The 100 mile brought its usual excitement. Jim and Kyle on Cruzbikes with help from recumbent rider Scotty Steingart (who gave up his 24 hour aspirations to lend a hand) chased down Alex Strouhal who took a commanding lead on his M5 early in the race.
Eventually, Jim and Scotty, after working hard for the first 75 miles dropped off and Kyle and Alex battled it out for the last quarter century. Kyle on his Cruzbike V20 edged out Alex by 7 seconds with a strong finish-line sprint. Kyle's finish time was 4:07:40. Alex came in at 4:07:47 and Jim was third with 4:15:39.
After a fun first 100 miles with a group of traditional cyclists, I rode a total of 246 miles to win the 12 hour women's division and set a new record for women aged 55-59. Jeffrey Ritter did incredibly well, especially given that he stopped to help Rick Moore. His official mileage was 180 miles. Larry Oslund rode extremely hard the first 13 hours or so and racked up 280 miles at which point he decided to pull out of the 24 and save his legs to race another day.
I want to thank our families and friends who come out to support us and stand on the sidelines doing the difficult work of feeding, watering and cooling cranky cyclists.
Of course we're all especially grateful to the rest of the community who cheer us on from all over the world.
Read more straight from the racers on the Cruzbike Forum here.