Bootylicious: 24 Hours of Booty 2011

by Heather

 

24 hours

1,200 riders

400 reboot riders

400 volunteers

99 degrees

110 degree heat index

4 meals

15 between meal snacks

4 team members

$1.25 million dollars

10 years

8 bajillion Powerades {exactly}

Countless waters

=

The one & only 24 Hours of Booty

bob roll 24 hours of booty 10th anniversary jersey

We knew it was going to be a tough one this year when the car thermometer read 101 degrees Friday morning on the way to the event. By the time we’d pulled up to Queens University at noon, unloaded our bikes, staked out a camping area, and moved the car, we were already jonesing for cold drinks.

car thermometer 101 degrees

We spent the first four hours of our adventure volunteering- the husband and our other teammate Andrea directed traffic like pros, and my mom and I helped with stuffing bags and packet pickup.

myers park traditional school

The drinks didn’t arrive until we were mostly through our shift, and we snatched them up before they even had a chance to get cold. It was the beginning of the Powerade-drinking marathon.

mom and i at 24 hours of booty

We had a little bit of time between the end of our volunteer shift and the official start of the event, so we set up our tents, prepped our bikes, and took ice cold showers in the campus athletic center- a complete and totally luxury of the Charlotte event.

camping at 24 hours of booty

set up tentbootyville campground

prepping bike for ride

The hour before the first lap of the evening was spent with introductions and awards. The Charlotte event alone surpassed the $1.25 million dollar mark this year; an incredible accomplishment.

mountain khakis bike teambank of america bike team

Awards were distributed to the highest fundraisers, and the 2011 edition of the “Booty charm’” was given to a handful of deserving survivors and influential participants. One of them was my mom!

booty awardsbooty charm recipient

A local meteorologist & two-time cancer survivor gave an official weather report of “you don’t want to know how hot it is”, although she gave us the clue that the reported forecast temperatures are taken in the shade, and you can expect sunny areas to be 15 degrees hotter. Yikes.

charlotte meteorologistsir purr panthers mascot

Spencer Leuders, the man that started it all, was surprised with a scholarship in his name to go to four students at Queens University dealing with cancer themselves or in their family. It’s hard to imagine 10 years ago a lawyer borrowed a bike and rode it for 24 hours to raise money for cancer- just look at what it turned in to.

spencer leuders booty founderspencer leuders and family

By 7, it was time for the ride to start. First up, the survivor parade lap, led by Sir Purr of the Carolina Panthers and Bob Roll, former professional cyclist and Tour de France announcer.

begin. 24 hours of booty

sir purr and panthers bike teamsir purr rides his tricyclespencer leuders starts bike ride

bike ride escorts

There goes mom!

survivor loop

The Booty loop is a 2.97 mile loop through the gorgeous neighborhood of Myers Park in Charlotte. The road is lined with skyscraping trees and humongous houses. The neighbors came out, set up chairs and tents, and cheered for the riders late into the night.

myers park charlotte

neighbors cheering in myers parktree swingporch party

We spent most of our 24 hours brainstorming words that accurate conveyed the temperature. “Hot” just simply wasn’t enough. By the middle of the night, the temperatures had cooled slightly- still hot, but bearable. I waited until the sun started going down before hopping on my bike, and rode as late into the night as I could.

24 hours of booty myers park

booty loop

sir purr bike ride

 

Even at night, the course was crowded and packed with cyclists. The number of serious, skilled cyclists surprised me compared to last year’s ride. I can’t tell you how many times I was startled by a flying paceline of cyclists soaring just inches past me. Fairly intimidating, while at the same time, pretty inspiring. If only they knew how lucky they were to not have me swerve into them in surprise!

spencer leuders cyclingmom riding bike

After attempting a few hours of sleep, it was back on the bike at the crack of dawn. I’d ridden 32 miles by early breakfast. After grabbing a quick bite to eat {oatmeal included!}, we headed to the survivor hour event. My mom is a 16 year survivor, and this year friends and family were invited to join the survivors for a special breakfast.

mom on her trek madone

We not only heard inspiring stories of courage and survival, but we learned exactly what kind of power raising money for 24 Hours of Booty has, and what kinds of programs it makes possible. We learned about where cancer research is going and why, and we learned about the progress Lance Armstrong and the Livestrong Foundation are making.

survivor hourbob rollspencer leuders

As we sat in the survivor tent, we could feel the temperature soaring. By the time it was over, we were back to coming up with new expressions for the insane heat.

I don’t do well with heat. I drank and drank and drank, but by the time survivor hour was over, I knew it was time for me to hang up my helmet. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t even meet my mileage from last year {on a better bike and a better course}, but I knew it was what I had to do.

I’m still amazed at the number of people that kept going strong throughout the day. I’m both in awe and impressed by how little they let the heat affect them.

24 hours of booty 2011

After touring “Bootyville” and visiting some of the vendors, the husband headed out for a few more laps {determined to beat my mileage}. He did great, but came back with the report that it was just too hot. Saturday’s loop was even more crowded as the loop was cut down to one lane, and 400 more riders joined the course for the day.

wall of hope

cancer sucks

By the time lunch rolled around, we were struggling to find shade, stay cool, and drink enough. At some point my team realized none of us were riding, and we were just going downhill in the heat. We made the ultimate decision to pack up our stuff and head home a little early. Both disappointing, necessary, and an intelligent decision in the end. {My stomach is still paying for the mass quantities of Powerade consumed.}

24 hours of booty auction

Despite the outrageous heat, 24 Hours of Booty was yet again an incredible event to be a part of. You could feel the heartbeat of the Charlotte cycling community serge through the campground. There were people that had been doing this for years, and you can feel the dedication and commitment. The staff that runs the event is incredible, both in their ability to keep such a large event organized, and in their friendly demeanor. The volunteers that come willingly come out in such heat and insane hours of the night show what it’s really all about.

24 hours of booty survivor breakfast

The two events I’ve done now, one in Columbia and one in Charlotte, are completely different from each other, and it was great to experience both of them. I can’t wait for what next year may bring.

booty ends

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{ 7 comments… read them below or chime in }

Beth August 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

I don’t know how you even MOVED in that heat! Kudos to you all! Maybe Booty will arrive in Michigan one of these days!

Reply

Carolina John August 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm

That’s insane! Great job. It must have been cool to be able to roll with the bobke. You got some really great pictures, and it is an honor to be that involved with such a cool event.

Reply

Theodora August 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

congrats! what an amazing event!

Reply

Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run August 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Whoa…you’re a rockstar after doing all of that in THIS HEAT! I feel ya…it’s been insane. (The humidity is what does it…it chokes you the second you leave the house!) What a great way to bear the heat and spend the time outside, though! Congrats! (And a high five to your momma!)

Reply

Heather August 5, 2011 at 8:04 am

Choking is the perfect description of what this humidity feels like- I’m ready for it to go awaaaay!

Reply

Liz @ IHeartVegetables August 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Oh my gosh! What an amazing event!!! I can’t believe how crazy the heat has been!

Reply

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston August 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Congratulations Heather!!!

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