Jangover Ride at a Glance
++12 Hour Solo, Duo, Trio & Quad
++6 Hour Solo & Duo
++31 Mile Solo | 15.5 Mile Solo
++Each lap is about 15 miles.
++McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Pemberton Trail
The Jangover ride on Sept. 24 — the final race in the Insomnia Night Series — was my first race of 2021. Obviously, the Covid-19 situation continues to mess things up for athletic events.
Of course, I knew that it would still be fun. I had a great time in the 2020 Jangover, as well as the other Araviapa-produced events I’ve signed up for in the past.
In short, Aravaipa Rides puts on events that reflect that they know how what matters for participants. The aid stations are always well-stocked, the volunteers and employees are always friendly and there’s just an overall good vibe.
Here are a few bits about the event in general and my own performance, just for fun.
Trails Were a Bit Beat Up
The recent extra-heavy monsoon rains took a toll on the trails at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. There were more than a few places that had some gullies caused by flowing water.
There were also some extra-sandy bits where the trail crosses washes. The first few laps were pretty sketchy, especially since people were still packed together pretty tightly. These bits got better as more riders plowed through, though.
Good Performance from my Lights
Lights have always been a concern for me. For last year’s Jangover, I borrowed a second light. But then my helmet mount broke, leaving me with just light from my handlebars-mounted Niterider, then from an Exposure I borrowed from Bicycle Haus.
This year, I had a bit of new gear: a set of Gloworm X2 lights (which were light enough to mount on my helmet) and a Bontrager Circuit MIPS helmet. The helmet was a huge bonus because of its magnetic BLENDR mount system, which is the most-secure and easy-to-use way I’ve ever seen to mount a light on a helmet.
The Gloworm X2 gave me a full 3 laps. I mostly kept it at low power. My old Niterider system kept up with the Glowworm, but with a far larger, heavier battery.
The only difficulty with the Gloworm lights is that the handlebar-mounted remote switch never worked. I’ll see if I can get their help in figuring this out.
No 12 Hour Category?
The website had categories for a 12-hour race. It looks like nobody registered since I didn’t hear anything about that category. There was a lot going on bikewise throughout the state, including the Chino gravel grinder. Maybe that siphoned some people who would otherwise roll in the 12-hour category.
A Difficult Rule Comes into Play
My plan was to crank out three laps, then give myself about 15 minutes to refuel and stretch for a fourth lap. Last year, there were only a few riders willing to grind past #3.
Well, Aravaipa had a new rule this year for the Jangover: If you started a lap and finished after 1am, that lap wouldn’t count. My first two laps took about 1:22 and the third was 1:44 (including picking up some extra supplies and stuffing a few extra batteries into my jersey).
The new rule made my odds of doing a fourth lap a bit steep. I suspect the park managers may have been behind this change.
How Did the Rider Do?
According to Strava, I set personal race records for the Pemberton laps (I have a few daytime laps that are still a bit faster).
I finished my Jangover third lap at about 11:25. At that point, I needed to switch out the Gloworm batteries and swap the entire Niterider system out for my old Magicshine system since I don’t have a backup Niterider battery. That would require a few minutes.
My legs were also hammered enough that I’d be lucky to finish the next lap in less than 1:50.
While I was crunching the numbers mentally, an Aravaipa employee handed me my finishers medal. Message received.
I really wanted that fourth lap. I wouldn’t mind if they changed the cutoff time to 2am next year. Still, I was very happy with the way I rode. All three laps were virtually back to back, and I didn’t have a single cramp. I was alert and handling the bike well, which was also awesome.
The official results aren’t posted yet, so I’m not sure where I placed.
Final Thoughts on the 2021 Jangover
I went home with a wooden finisher’s medal and a cool Jangover-labeled mason jar. The aid stations again supplied riders well — my highlights were the excellent Gnarly electrolyte drinks, quesadillas, pickle juice (I brought my own, but I still used what Aravaipa provided) and Gu Roctane gels.
I’m also surprised that this race continues to fly under the radar. Even local riders who are plugged in pretty well are like “Jangover? What’s that?” when I mention this race. Their loss — this course is a blast, and the Aravaipa people always put on a good show.
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