Undeterred by the weather I arrived at Catcombe Park to team up with a group of women I had met through the Notts and Derby cyclcross league.
Despite dealing with gale force winds and rain we finished a creditable third. Over the 24 hrs we saw every consistency of mud possible which made interesting riding, particularly during the night. It’s been years since I have done this event. Standing waiting for the change over at 2:30 in the morning, the memories all came flooding back. I think I can honestly say the hardest part for me is the sleep deprivation and eating in the early hours of the morning. Despite this, each time I climbed on the bike I hammered the best I could.
Well was it fun? Looking back it was a great experience not just about riding a bike. It takes organisation, a good group of supporters to help when you can’t get your act together, and a lot of determination.
Memories? I have this lasting vision of Rory Hitchens plying me with chocolates at 4 a.m because I just couldn’t face anything else and of another rider eating chips staring into space. As the light came up I almost felt normal and the arena came to life, as we all knew the end was fast approaching. Roll on next year when I will pay my money to jump on the roller coaster of emotion, that is 24 hour racing. Must be mad …
Big thanks to Singletrack for the photo.