What’s in a name? Well, everything if you’re the part of the Goss clan’s team. Call them the Crash Dummies this year, but they’ve been everything from “Social Insecurity” to “Cycle Paths.” The team, comprised of Mom and Dad, Mary and Marty Goss, and kids Abby, Adam, and Tyler. Joining them have been various friends and family members over the years. This year, Mary’s colleague, James, and Abby’s fiancé, Charlie, will be rounding out the team. One year, they were “Kahuna’s Victory Lap,” a nod to Adam’s graduation from college. Another year, they were “Cornfeed,” a nod to Tyler’s Iowa home. After James’ run-in with a rattlesnake, they dubbed themselves “Spirit Animals.” This year’s “Crash Dummies” moniker is a nod to Tyler’s dislocated shoulder from last year’s race. “Happened right as the sun was starting to set,” said Tyler. He lost his Dad’s bike light in the melee. But, not to worry, good son that he is, he bought Marty a new one for Christmas.
The Goss family entered their first 24 Hours Round the Clock Race because they wanted something fun to do over the Memorial weekend with their kids. A friend had talked about the race, so they signed up and have been returning every year since 2011. The first year, they were a bit unprepared. With only 2 old bikes to be shared with 5 people, they ended up trading bikes every other lap. With countless hours and laps under their belts, the team has found their rhythm. As Marty explains, “We still share one, much nicer, bike between three of us. Logistics of bringing a bike from far away is a pain but when you don't even own a mountain bike, it simplifies the decision making. It's usually time for a tune up after the race.” “It’s a family vacation around a fun activity,” says Tyler. “We like being outside, goofing around, camping. It’s laid back. There’s great camaraderie with all the riders.” Abby agreed, “I really like the pace of it. You’re sitting around a campfire and get a chance to chat and be together as a group.” Well, laid back to a point. There was that time when Marty broke his collarbone about 2 years ago in the middle of the night. Like father, like son, as they say.
Marty Goss grew up in Spokane and met Mary (Bitsy to her friends and family) when she came from her home in Cleveland, Ohio, to attend school at Washington State University. Adam is oldest of the Goss siblings. He moved to Hawaii to attend college and stayed on because he loves the ocean. Tyler is the middle son. He ended up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, all because he “Met a girl on a cruise ship.” When asked about what he loves about Cedar Rapids (besides the girl, now his wife, of course), he replied, “There’s a giant Quaker Oats factory and once a month it smells like Captain Crunch.” Little sister, Abby, is studying to be a Physician’s Assistant at University of Washington. Longtime friend and part of the family for the weekend, Ty Johnson, is still riding and an original member of the team. Ayodele aka "Tim" Alade and James Paxton are both colleagues of Mary’s from the Social Security Administration, hence the original team name “Social Insecurity.” Time and distance don’t keep this close-knit group apart. Every now and then, Adam will text a picture of himself surfing as the sun comes up in Hawaii, much to the chagrin of Tyler and Abby when it’s bitter cold in Iowa and pouring rain in Seattle.
What brings them all together year after year is a weekend of riding, camping, and goofing around. Abby, who started out as a spectator and raced for the first-time last year, likes the Little Vietnam part of the course. “It’s lush and winding,” she muses. Tyler, ever more the daredevil, likes Devil’s down and Purple Haze. “I crashed just before Little Vietnam!” he laughs. The one thing they agree on: the best part is the food. The family lentil soup recipe is a staple. Tim used to bring his famous chocolate-chip cookies, but since he’s on another team this year, the Crash Dummies are in need of someone else to make them cookies now.
The best advice from these seasoned riders? “Bring an extra blanket and a good light. It gets cold and dark out there!” Oh, and “Come to have fun.” It’s all about having fun.