Joel Reichenberger: That’s what friends are for | SteamboatToday.com

Joel Reichenberger: That’s what friends are for

Kris Cannon said it might take her a month to get back on her bike. That’d be pretty easy to believe, considering the way she looked in the middle of the night during the 24 Hours of Moab.

“My worst moment was my night lap,” She said. “I felt like I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t ride a lot of the course, so I just got off and walked it. I literally felt like I could shut my eyes and fall asleep while on my bike.”

She didn’t fall asleep. Instead, she surpassed her own expectations, surged through the night and finished second in the race.

She no doubt deserves a lot of the credit, but – and she’s well aware of this – she’d be wise to pick up a tab or two for her support crew with the $600 check she won.

Cannon was supported by Kelly Boniface, Nate Bird and, as the night wore on, Tad Huser, a bike mechanic for Orange Peel who traveled to Moab to help Steamboat’s riders.

Day and night, warm or cold, the group put Cannon’s efforts first for more than the 24 hours of the race. From the time Cannon and Bird pulled into the campground on Thursday, he worked diligently to set up everything she’d need and have her at the top of her game come the start of the race.

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During the actual race, that meant going nearly without sleep. Bird and Boniface, combined, slept less than two hours that night. Bird had slept little the night before either, staying up as strong winds wreaked havoc on the camp.

Boniface, meanwhile, woke up before the sun and drove the nearly six hours from Steamboat to pull in about an hour before the start.

Bird and Boniface left the semi-comfort of the campfire during the day’s darkest hours, each riding one circuit behind Cannon to try to keep her spirits up.

His regular mountain bike configured as Cannon’s back-up, Bird rode a singlespeed.

At the camp, they hoped to satisfy Cannon’s every whim and every need, be it perceived or unrealized. They carefully charted her lap times and kept an eye out for her top competitors. They logged everything she ate and drank and tailored her lap-to-lap menu accordingly, ensuring she got enough of everything she needed.

For that 24 hours, they served her entirely.

They told me that’s a part of the Steamboat biking community. Bird said he’s had friends do the same for him, and he felt it was his turn to help out. Cannon has served Boniface, working as her support team during this summer’s Rio Stampede 12 Hours of Steamboat race at the Steamboat Ski Area.

Still, it takes great people and good friends to show up the way Bird, Boniface and Huser did.

Cannon said it time and time again, and it bears repeating: Her second-place finish was astonishing, and it would have been impossible without the help of a few dedicated friends.