I’m back at work after my first 24hr MTB race up in Canberra over the weekend and I’m just a tad foggy in mind and body!
I took the Friday off so I could hitch a ride with D.C and have plenty of time to settle in before the Saturday noon start.
I was in a Mens Pair Team with Ash who’d done his fair share of 24hr racing so I was in good company to race with.
The course had two separate laps that had to be completed in succession for the 24 hours. Ash was starting us off on the red lap with the plan to start off doing double laps to get a feel for the whole course and rough times to complete them for transitioning. With Ash in for his two laps it was my turn to taste the course. The red lap starts with some easy flat flowing single track before some great climbing up Mt. Stromlo primarily on single track. It then traverses Mt. Stromlo before a long descent back to the transition area. It’s on this that my fun is interrupted with a rear puncture that won’t seal so it’s out with a tube. Then about 100m further along the rear flats AGAIN. This time I’ve got no tube to get me going so it's riding when the trailing isn’t too rough to wreck my rim and walking\running when it is. I head back to base to get it sorted by D.C then out again on the blue loop. This loop doesn’t excite me much and as the 24hrs pass, I name it the ‘Paris Roubaix Loop’ due to its fair share of flat rock garden sections that require you to grind over them like a Flandrien.
We keep trading double laps and on my next outing while riding through one for the rock gardens on the descent of Mt. Stromlo, my front wheel lets go from under me on a dust covered rock sending me head first into a ditch. I also cork my quad on a rock giving me 'rock rash' too.
After a shower\food and a lay down in my tent before my first night laps, my leg is feeling really stiff but thankfully not too stiff when pedalling. Game on!
Out on course the Mt Stromlo descent is carnage. Three times I’m waved to slow down by race organisers tending to people lying on the deck. Thankfully this outing was incident free for me. Ash then is out to do the grave yard shift while I shower again and tuck up in my tent for some sleep before taking over for the morning shift. I’m up at 5am, eat a bucket then wait for Ash to come in from his crazy assed marathon effort. Waiting at the transition area I’m feeling cold and stiff even with my trackie dacks and down jacket on hoping like hell that my legs will work and that I can backup Ash’s monster effort. I ease into it along the flat section then wind it up as I start climbing Mt. Stromlo with positive signs from my legs. My first Sunday blue lap is marred with more punctures. This time it’s a front and back at the same time. I’m too far from transition to walk\run\ride back on a flat so I bot a 2nd tube from a fellow racer. I stop into base to tube up and grab some food before heading out for more. I’m into transition around 11:30am and I’ve got time to get one more red lap in. I get a mobile water bottle exchange by D.C aboard his bike while on the way out. I’m back in and spent with that feeling in your legs that makes you reluctant to get off just in case they fail from underneath you.
Race Site here for more detail on the event.
My pictures from the weekend here.