Becasuse of that, I'd not intended on entering this year. My kids relentless pestering made me get a last minute entry though. They love 24 hour bike races.
The day after I had confirmation of my entry, our car's rear axle broke. So maybe we wouldn't be going after all. Then, Ann's Mum kindly offered her car for the weekend. This was great except, its less than cavernous storage would mean only taking one bike.
So, I had two choices of bike, a geared bike wih front suspension, or a singlespeed with no suspension. I took the singlespeed as I reckoned it was less likely to break. I'd not given any consideration to which would have been easier to ride in a 24 hour race......
The klaxon went at 12:00 and I jogged the run section. My race plan was merely to get to the finish. I knew that the Highland Trail would have still been felt in my legs, so I was just going to take it steady, and also it was hot. In the car on the way down the thermometer had shown over 30 degrees. How I would fare in the heat, I didn't know.
The first lap taught me that my choice of a singlespeed bike was not the best. I rode all but one climb on that lap, but I knew thereafter that I'd be doing some walking for the rest of the race.
The course though not particularly technical, had few places where I could grab a drink from my bottle. Quite often I'd get to the end of my lap and have nearly as much liquid in my bottle as when I'd started. Not ideal considering the heat. I did try to drink plenty at my pit stops though.
I was glad when dusk came, and the temperature finally dropped. At about 8:30pm I started feeling light headed and began shivering. I pitted and put more clothes on. The next lap the shivering worsened and I got waves of nausea.
I pitted again. I put on a down jacket and got in my down sleeping bag, and still shivered. I felt quite ill.
My wife who normally tells me to get back on my bike in 24 hour events told me to go to bed, and so I did. I told her to wake me in two hours. I still felt ill. I drank more water and went back to sleep with no further request for an alarm. I guess the heat and lack of liquid had got the better of me.
I woke around 7am as the sun started heating up the tent. My sleeping bag was drenched in sweat. I felt much better though. A bacon roll and some coffee, and it was time to get back on the bike.
I enjoyed the next 4 hours riding, thankfully with no more dramas.
I even thugged my way up some hills for the photographer.
Thanks to my wife, kids and the Team JMC guys for a great weekend.
Both images courtesy of Graham Haller.