My second solo 24 hr attempt was sort of aborted. We all arrived at Catton Park in beautiful dusty, sunny, warm conditions. Race commenced after a catch up (good to see Jessica over here, and Chipps hauled away from his desk) and a few beers. My plan was to go fast and hard from the start, get very tired then hold on. The idea behind this was:
I know I can do the 24 hrs riding
I am not going to get faster towards the end
It would give me a good idea of my pace and energy levels
It went pretty well for the first 8 laps (60 or so miles) as I was well within 200 miles for the 24 hr period. 200miles + is my ultimate aim in a 24 hr solo.
Then the heavens opened.
One of the issues in having however many thousands of competitors roll up to these events is the volume of parking and camping needed . This may be around 16 acres in some cases. Traditional race venues cannot support this, so the organisers look elsewhere. That usually means unridden trails which are generally not weather proof. This seems to be a fact that is necessary given the varied ingredients in the 24 hr race potion.
So, the decision was: massively reduce aims, and keep going all night (I define a 'proper' 24 hr effort as not going to bed, and not stopping for over 30mins unless forced to) or sleep for a few hours, write off the 200 mile total as a benchmark and try to keep smiling.
I chose the latter and was rewarded with more time to speak to people I haven't seen in a while and 3.30min sleep. I managed 15 laps in total, around 100 miles. I'll post some comedy pictures of mud coated everything (at times I was dragging my bike literally, as the wheels wouldn't go around) through mud-grass hell. I had to renege on my 'never wash my bike with water rule too, after 15 months due to the extreme stickiness after drying of the stuff.
Still, picked up my new tIF on the way back (thanks muchly Tim). Needless to say, it is a piece of work...
The parts are nearly there....It's going to be too bad-ass for words.