Akin to pumped-up personals listings, the Racer Message Board for this year's 24 Hours of Moab lists racers' strengths, weaknesses, and desires to race in the eleventh edition of this monumental, go-to event. Among the postings for racers seeking teams are teams seeking racers. The Message Board is there to help racers like Ilana Brito of Cambridge, Mass., who decided just this past weekend to travel to Moab for a mountain bike vacation around the same time as the 24 Hours of Moab, which takes place this year on October 15-16. Then she thought that since she'd be there anyway, well heck, she might as well enter the race.
"I was poking around the website," explained Brito, "and I can't remember if I was on the team page or the registration page but I decided that I wanted to get the most riding in while I was in Moab and racing seemed like a good way to do that."
Finding a team was easy for Brito and while her move to race at Moab may seem bold and sudden, it is far from uncommon. Racers moseying about the venue on race day dressed in sandwich boards that read "I need a team" or campsites posting signs that say "Looking for a racer" capture a gusto typical of mountain bikers. The main draw to 24 Hours of Moab could be its status as the biggest 24-hour race in North America, which makes for some spirited competition in a lively atmosphere. Or maybe it is the racecourse, which has a reputation as one of the longest, fastest, most challenging courses in the world. It is also one of the most scenic as it winds its way through the red-rock, high-desert, south of Moab. For an East Coaster like Brito, Moab itself becomes the main attraction since the desert landscape affords scenery usually available to her only in pictures.
To build your own team or find a team to race with for the 11th Annual 24 Hours of Moab, racers should visit The Racer Message Board at www.grannygear.com