It was the year 2000 when I took part in my first 24 hour Mtb event, the infamous Red Bull Mountain Mayhem 24. I did it with three of my friends, only myself and another friend were regular riders the other two had only ridden a few times so expectations were not high and we were doing it as a fun challenge. It was an amazing, tiring, soul crushing, euphoric experience. The emotions falling in pretty much that order.
I remember vowing never to do it again, but two years later there we were again plodding around the course with what by today's standards were low powered lights, or waiting cold and shivering at 3am for your partner to return from their stint. This was the at the rise of 24 hour racing and teams were now more competitive and organised, but even at this time there was small group of racers that earned a reverent type status. The solo riders.
As I came to the last lap and finish line I was passed by a solo racer. I was so tired and I just couldn't imagine how these guys could do it. In fact I thought that this was something I couldn't possible ever do and I held this belief for many years later.
The year 2012 I took part in my first 24 hour solo event and completed it. I did something I'd built up in my head the years before to be impossible. I have no real memory of what made me look into doing a solo attempt but I do remember looking into it. I researched well and I was enticed by the 24 hours of Exposure a race geared up for new comers to the event and uniquely the only 24 hour solo race in Europe. What I came to the conclusion whilst trying to find information on it, is that information is quite scarce. There certainly is information out there but nothing that is concise, free, and all in one place. So this is what I'd like to rectify.
Now I certainly don't profess to be an expert, or experienced in 24 hour racing but I hope to steer new comers in the right direction and avoid mistakes that I made and use others knowledge and experience to help make your own 24 hour solo race a success or even faster than your last one.
So if your mouse cursor has been hovering over the enter button for one such race, you are of sound health and mind but you are doubting your ability, and overall fitness then heed these words of wisdom.
- What you are going to need - Part 1 - Bike, Lights and Clothing
- What you are going to need - Part 2 - Pit Area, Tools and Help
- Race Day