Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mont 24hr Bike Race

This weekend was epic. I just took part in my first ever Mountain Bike race and it was so much fun. My butt now hurts so bad that sitting, standing, walking everything feels weird but wow it was worth it.

The start line

Since I first met Jez he's talked about 'the Mont'. An annual 24hr hour bike race that he has done for several years with his work mates. This year was the first year I was around and could make the dates and it lived up to its reputation fully. A super fun, cruisey but challenging 17km mostly single track mountain bike run.

Corporate Commitment 2017
Oh the boys!!!
This is pretty much how Jez arrived.
His bike breaking two weeks before the race.

At the startline ready to go
The event is a 24hr team event so I was part of a team of 6 (including Jez) and we each took it in turn to race the loop before high fiving the next racer in the tea to take their run.

The 2017 Course

The pros raced it in 42-45mins. I pushed hard. So so hard (check out my fitness belt reading below) in my first lap and got round in 1hr 21mins!!! I got lapped by so many riders. It was insane to see them ride and race so fast. But I was super stoked with my lap and to finish the course as I had no idea how far round it I was during the race and at one stage after about 1hr 10mins thought I was only half way and wasn't sure I would be able to finish it off. Jez raced just before me and got a 1hr 17min lap. So as we prepared for lap 2 I had a goal to try knock 4 minutes of my lap time.

Lap 1 my first time on the trail

Racing was so much fun and pretty tiring

Lap 1 of 3 of equal effort = best workout in years

Only thing was the race started at midday so second run was a night run. Now if you know me you'll know I'm scared of the dark, especially if i'm on my own and I'm really not a big fan of the Australian wilderness so the idea of a night cycling solo run through the Australian bush was terrifying. Luckily the team was there to help me out, to lend me lights and help me fit them onto my helmet and bike, remind me that I wouldn't be on my own as I would be regularly lapped and to tell me that kids would be racing it and that I should generally just toughen up. So sure enough at 10.30pm I jumped on my bike, turned on 8 or my 9 lights. I looked like a Xmas tree / search beacon and set of on my lap.

So many lights

Such a nice trail to ride

It was awesome. Riding at night is so much fun. I absolutely loved it. The lights made the trail ahead pop and it felt amazing blasting round the lap. I pushed hard for as long as I could and it felt like I was riding super fast. About half way through I could feel the burn but this time knew how far was left and what was still to come. As I came through the finish line I clocked the time. 1hr 22mins. Not faster but still pretty awesome especially for a night lap. I got back to the tent and Jez was already passed out hard. He was up again at 6am for his next lap.

Jez flys through the trees

Pushing hard to try beat Jezs lap time
The forest is alive with riders

9.30am and it was my turn one last loop. I took it easy for the first half and then raced out the last 45 mins. I think this could be the start of some new adventures for me and Jez. As a team we didn't win. I fact we were no where close I think we might have been in the bottom 3rd of the pack but wow it was so much fun to take part. The set myself personal challenges and goals against Jez and to compete and complete a challenge in a new sport one I love but don't do too much.


The last lap. Ready for a rest but excited to come back

I look forward to my next Mountain Bike race unfortunately this was the last Mont 24hr race but we will look whatever challenge the team decides to take on next summer instead.