What does it take to complete in a 24-hour mountain bike race in Australia?
The title of this piece will probably not do the race the justice it deserves. Throughout this blog entry, I will try and answer the question which I challenged myself with.
To those of you who have read my previous blog entries, you will have noted that this was indeed not the first 24-hour mountain bike race I had entered it was actually my third. It was, however, the first time I competed in a National event away from my present hometown of Brisbane on an unknown track.
Bay View Blast 7th November 2014
This was the inaugural event run on the trails of Bay View to the East of Brisbane organised by South Brisbane Mountain bike club (aka the rats). The event was extremely well organised and very friendly. There were a couple of versions of the event to choose from ranging from 26km to 78km long. Obviously, I chose the 78km version which would see me going around the 13km course 6 times. I have ridden at Bay View previously but had forgotten how hard it can be and had grossly underestimated the difficulty of the course. I had gone on a 70km social mountain bike ride the day before and had ridden through loads of sand which tired me out more than I was willing to admit.
The crazy 8-hour mountain bike race on the downhill tracks at Toowoomba.
Well, where do I start this race was an adventure in itself!
The race was held at Toowoomba an hour and a half West of Brisbane in Jubilee park which is infamous for rugged, steep trails and a downhill course. The tracks are open to the public year round. The event was run by the local mountain bike club Toowoomba mountain bike club. The event was in its inaugural year and was a brave move for the club. 8 hour or longer races are in short supply and most do not seem to want to/have the time to put on a whole day event. The volunteers were there from 6 am until the last rider (me) was through at 5 pm.