It's about time...
Time is a weird concept at a 24 hour race. Say you’re in a 6 person team. On time, you’re going to ride for about four hours. That’s not very long, so is that it?
They’re very intense hours. Let’s, for the sake of the maths, say a lap takes an hour. You do a warm up (you DO do a warm up, don’t you?), then you’re off!
The first few minutes disappear in a world of excitement, quickly overtaken by the inevitable grimace as your body gets up to race pace and starts to tell you all about it. From there, if you’re lucky, you’ll enter that trance-like place where time is irrelevant until you cross the line – but more likely you’ll just hurt (if you’re doing it right).
It takes a long time to get up that climb, but no time to get through the good bit.
That guy in front is managing his time better than you, because he’s moving through the landscape quicker than you and it’s going to hurt him for less.
The moments after you cross the line the first time are great, but you know it’s not over yet – not by a long chalk.
But is that it? Boiled down, does a 24 hour race just come down to four hours on the bike?
Don’t be silly. That’s only part of it. If your time at the race is only valuable when you’re puffin’ – you ARE doing it wrong.
A 24 hour race should start, properly, the week before the race – when you’re packing for the event, swapping emails with your team to be sure you’ve left nothing behind – getting excited.
And you’re ripping yourself off if the 24 hour race itself doesn’t last at least 48 hours. I’ve always felt sorry for anyone who doesn’t turn up till 11am Saturday, and who buggers of before the preso. Sure, there’s always a good reason, but you’re wasting it.
Every holiday’s always too short, so if you’re going to commit to moving into the woods for the weekend, and then flogging yourself around the track, why not do it properly?
Take a day off work, turn up Friday to pick a sweet campsite, set up, kick back, catch up, check out the track and take part in what I reckon is the best bit.
Just hangin’ around.
If you’re new to this game, you’ll get a handle on what it’s about and meet some great people. If you’ve done it a few times before you’ll have a million mates to catch up with!
And you may not know it yet, but if you miss the Friday evening roller racing, you’ll spend the next 12 months hearing all about it from them that was there. There’s no better way to spend your time before the big one than pissing yourself laughing while your mates are sprinting against each other on the spot, trying for the high score!
If you’ve got the time to train, to enter, to prep your bike, to drive to the site – then you better have time to enjoy it properly.
By Awesome Sock Guy