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Thread: One Long Day

  1. #1
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    One Long Day

    I posted a condensed version of events in the Endurance Racing forum, but I thought I would post a more Turner-specific version of events here.

    Three weeks ago I did my first 24 hour race. Unable to find any teammates, I decided to do it solo. I was nervous as hell about whether or not I could stay on my bike for the better part of 24 hours. Later on, I found out that the guys at my LBS were taking bets how long I was going to last.

    A view from the high point of the course


    Going up the first climb of the day


    And down the first descent


    The day started out as unseasonably warm. I started out as the slowest guy on the course. I felt good and just followed what my HRM told me to do for a pace. It was amusing to watch people ride away from me, knowing I had 23+ hours to go. I was just hoping that my survival strategy would work out. First lap: 1h 30m

    1st Lap down


    On the next lap, the temperatures had started to climb into the upper 80s and some of the people who were riding away from me on the first lap were now cramping or walking some of the climbs. Halfway through the lap, the wheel I failed to rebuild before the race broke a spoke. Bummer. I nursed the bike back to my pit area at the end of the lap, pulled the wheel from my Spot I had there as a backup, adjusted the brakes and derailleurs, and rode off into the hot afternoon. Second lap: 1h 35m

    Leaving the pits after the second lap


    The rest of the daytime laps were uneventful. Ride. Replenish calories and fluids, rest a little, get back on bike. Third lap: 1h 41m Fourth lap: 1h 47m

    About the time darkness was coming, I figured out that I wasn't going to be able to make it for 24 hours on Gu and Gu2O alone. I was really friggin' hungry. My 1 man pit crew did a great job of getting me fed and hydrated. I put on a couple of layers as the temperature had dropped 25 degrees from the afternoon, mounted the L&M lights, put the iPod in my jersey, and hit the trails again.

    The first nighttime lap rocked. The iPod was pumpin', the HID kept the trail lit, and I just kept pedaling. After another break with more food, more drink, and more rest, I put on another layer and went out for a lap at about 10 PM.

    Now it was really starting to get cold (about 40 degrees F). I had not packed my midwinter stuff for the race, so my hands and feet were really starting to get cold. Braking was a little difficult when I could barely feel my fingers. I muddled my way through this lap to a reward of more hot food and a little bit of rest. I put on 4 layers on my upper body and went out for lap 6.

    By this time the Red Bull had lost any effectiveness and I had the same reaction times as if I was drunk. That and my brain turning the vegetation into various animals made that lap simply one to be survived. I finished lap 7 and got back to the RV around 3AM and decided that it was in my best interest to get some rest.

    I woke up around sunrise and decided to sack up and do one more lap in the first light. I bundled up again (it was probably about 45-50 degrees at that point) and did one more lap. The final lap was the most difficult of all. There was no gas left in the tank and the HR would not get within 30 bpm of my anaerobic threshold. I was slow and tired. I rode the last lap in about 2h 30m feeling fully bonked for almost all of it. The words of encouragement I received from the other riders as I was suffering on the last climb of the race reminded me why I love this sport so much.

    I finished my last lap, finally got out of my bike clothes are 23 hours, and made it over to the food concessionaire and ate the best pancakes I've ever had. Then I had to wait and see where I was going to place in my age group.

    At the end of the 24 hours I had finished 8 laps. Total distance was 120 miles and 16,000 feet of climbing. It turns out that I outlasted the other 2 guys in my class and won! My first (and probably only) time that I got hardware for racing my MTB. I shocked the guys at the shop who were thinking I was good for 4-5 laps.

    Finally, the finish line


    Now for the Turner money shot: I think the Flux is just about the perfect bike for this sort of racing. The suspension was the perfect balance between being firm to prevent too much power loss and plush enough to keep my body from getting too sore. The stable handling is perfect for navigating the bumpy sections at 3AM and still be able to zip through the tight singletrack that made up a large part of the course. Interestingly, there were 2 other Fluxes in the field, both under other solo riders (including another class winner).

    The happy winner and his machines
    Last edited by 2TurnersNotEnough; 11-23-2006 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    ...congrats! Sounds like you won some bragging rights around the 'ol LBS for a bit Nice little write up, I enjoyed the read....I have always dabbled with the idea of doing a 24 hr race myself.

    Maybe this is the year of the Sultan!!


  3. #3
    involuntary dismounter
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    dude..that's awesome! great work!
    i almost did a solo 24 last year...and then ate it on my knee and was off the bike for 6 months...including the race...
    great stuff!!!! congrats on your win!
    Solo Trail Explorer and Granny Gear Ninja!


    friends will help you move, good friends will help you move a body...

  4. #4
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Congrats on the great result!

    Really cool stuff!

  5. #5
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    2tne,
    Nice job, inspiring post. Good job finishing and being on the bike that long.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    way to go man....sorry i could not join you this year. excellent job.

  7. #7
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    Is your Turner Pushed?


    Is your Rp3 Pushed or stock ???????
    Sit and spin my ass...

  8. #8
    rr
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    Cool story and great job man, those are some pretty big laps eh? 2k climbing per lap? Ouch!

  9. #9
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    Nice write-up. I did my second solo six hour race last month and your experience makes a six hour race look like a warm-up. Congratulations on the class win.


  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for the kind words. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me hanging out here. If you've ever thought about doing something like this, do it. You won't know what you can do until you try it.

    The keys for me were preparation (do I have everything I need?), great assistance in the pit, and a warm comfortable place to rest and eat (the RV was key). I never saw it as a race, but a long ride. What can be better than being able to focus a full day to just riding your bike?

    The things that I would do differently would be to eat more and get into the stimulants (e.g. Red Bull) earlier. I just couldn't get enough calories in, and eventually fatigue sets in. Those were two of the things that really limited how far I could go.

  11. #11
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    whats cool about this kinda thing is the respect i have for those of you that will even consider tackelin a solo 24 much less acctually do it. and to pull off a class win 1st time out? incredible! good work 2tne! fun story and quite insperational as has been said before. be proud man.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  12. #12
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    Big, big kudos to you. I entered my first 24-hour race this past season (5-person team) and have great respect for the solo riders.

    Congrats on this.
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  13. #13
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    2tne, great writeup - thanks!!
    Having been bit by the endurance bug lately, I have lightened my 5spot (28lbs) and am currently using it mainly for long, non technical, aerobic fast training rides. Strangely enough, I am finding myself enjoying this on the spot way more than any previous "XC" bike - just so comfy. While the majority of riding has shifted to non-technical, I love the idea of just switching wheels & heading out for some technical fun (no chance for 2 bikes for me...). Moreover, the changeover has made my spot more fun - now its as fun to climb as to descend.
    There is always the thought that a lighter bike is better suited to what I am doing, but I don't expect to find myself on any podium anytime soon either way, so fun and satisfaction are the #1 issues.
    Since you ride both a flux and a 5spot, how do you compare the two for endurance training & racing?
    Again - congratulations!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tald
    2tne, great writeup - thanks!!
    Having been bit by the endurance bug lately, I have lightened my 5spot (28lbs) and am currently using it mainly for long, non technical, aerobic fast training rides. Strangely enough, I am finding myself enjoying this on the spot way more than any previous "XC" bike - just so comfy. While the majority of riding has shifted to non-technical, I love the idea of just switching wheels & heading out for some technical fun (no chance for 2 bikes for me...). Moreover, the changeover has made my spot more fun - now its as fun to climb as to descend.
    There is always the thought that a lighter bike is better suited to what I am doing, but I don't expect to find myself on any podium anytime soon either way, so fun and satisfaction are the #1 issues.
    Since you ride both a flux and a 5spot, how do you compare the two for endurance training & racing?
    Again - congratulations!!!
    Thanks, Tald. To answer your question, my Spot is probably setup as a light trailbike presently. In September, I put some X-C tires on it and did a local X-C race and had a blast. I was left behind on the climbs more than I usually am on the Flux. The bright spot was that this course had a couple of downhill sections that are as technical as any I've encountered on an X-C course. Having the Spot was very confidence inspiring for that. There are several people here who have done 24 hour races on the lightened Spots. If you could get the weight down to around 27-28 lbs(around 12.5-13 kg) or less, I think it would work well. You'd be doing just a little bit of extra work. Also, I think the Spot's riding position the lends itself to long hours in the saddle. One of the problems I had after a long time in the saddle was that my shoulders were getting sore from putting my weight on them because my bars are low. For next year, I'll need to get my bars higher so I'm not leaned over quite as much.

  15. #15
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    Congratulations, what an accomplishment. I bet you have fun coming up with good nutrition to fuel the next one. mucho burritos

  16. #16
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    Wow thats incredable will-power to even want to try a 24hr race. I cant even stay up for a 24hr Law and Order marathon!

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