The parking lot is dark except for the light coming out of John Taylor’s van. The thermometer is hovering around 29 degrees and it’s almost 7 in the morning. Currently, it’s just the two of us and my wife despite multiple others having committed to this stupid idea. As the cold begins to creep in, I have a vague wish that I had bailed on this, too.
7 arrives. A few others roll up. We have Turd’l and Mama Bear who both plan to run and then there’s Curtis, John, Shelby, Kenny and myself. Still a few short, but it’s time to get this thing rolling. We switch on the headlights and roll out starting lap 1.
Why? That’s a valid question.
Ten on Zen was born out of a quick conversation here at the shop. It went something like this.
“Hey John, do you remember the time we went for a packrafting adventure and people almost died? We should do that again.”
“Yea, I was kinda thinking we needed something stupid to do, like see how many laps we can do on Zen.”
“24 hours of Zen?”
“We might actually kill someone. What about 8?”
“We could do 7-5 and call it Ten on Zen.”
And just like that the worst idea we’ve probably ever had was born and running free.
Breaking Down on Zen
Lap 1 – Cold. With the sun still not up and the temperature below freezing, it was a chilly climb to the top. Our efforts were rewarded with a spectacular desert sunrise making it almost worth it. As is common, the downhill was fun and rowdy.
Lap 2 – After some sips of coffee and a refill of the water bottle, we headed back up. The sun was shining, we’d picked up Jon who had slept through his alarm and we were headed strong into the day.
Lap 3 – The uphill hurt. And then the downhill wasn’t quite as fun anymore.
Lap 4 – Found lots of cheater lines I had never even noticed while attempting to keep the tires moving forward. At the top, I actually wanted to keep climbing. Doing this on a singlespeed may have been a bad idea.
John Taylor had brought the van and as we got back to the start line, Shalena had been cooking and had a hot lunch ready for us. Beers were passed around, food was eaten and we started to get to the point where some of us might not be able to do another lap.
Lap 5 – We rallied. The climb was slow and painful. We stopped at the overlook. The only way we could get ourselves out of the parking lot was to pack a beer for the top. We sat in the sun enjoying its warmth as we sipped down our adult beverages. We bombed the downhill like a bunch of broken old men, some of us more broken than others.
I personally was done. I probably could have rallied one more painfully slow lap, but the motivation to do so was lacking. We were 8 hours and change in and the invite to Kenny’s personal brewery was a bit too much to resist. Ten on Zen turned into 8, but whatever.
Five laps on Zen is no joke. As far as I know, it’s a record. If someone else has done six laps on Zen in one day, please let me know. Otherwise, the challenge stands for next year. Join us.
Written by Moose