Bontrager 24/12 – 2013

After a three year absence I was back at the Bontrager 24/12 endurance race at Newnham Park in Plymouth. This is one of my favourite 24 hour events, not just because it is down the road, but because it has one of the most interesting courses in a cross country race. It’s hilly, but also has some fun, relatively technical descents. The Cottage Return descent was back this year and I just love it when I get a clear run – sadly I didn’t get a full run without running into traffic, but I did get some fast sections in! 2 mins 57 secs was my fastest, complete run, according to Strava.

I entered into the 12 hours solo category (12 hours of lonely cycling around a track). I went on the understanding that I would stop once I did a lap that was unenjoyable – because there isn’t really any point in riding your bike if you’re not enjoying it.

After a couple of fast laps (I’m like a dog chasing a bone – even though I knew I had to take it easy), I was quickly relieved that I wasn’t doing the full 24 hours (like my friend Darren). Lap 3 I managed to control my competitive urge and slow the pace down, knowing that I wouldn’t finish if I didn’t.

I was adamant that I would stop on each lap – the Joyriders camp was right on the edge of the course, where my pit crew waited patiently – having at least a 10 minute snack and drink stop. After some laps, these rest stops got longer and longer, being up to an hour towards the end.

After lap 7 (when it was starting to go dark) I had that unenjoyable lap… I was aching all over which was resulting in me making a few mistakes. I was also getting a little fed up of fast climbers nipping past me at the top of the descents to then only hold me up all the way down… Maybe I should have been doing a gravity enduro rather than a XC race!

So that was my finishing number, 7 laps which left me in 28th place. But it made it an enjoyable event, with great company, great food (courtesy of Evelyn, Matt, Lucy and the wood burner/cooker).

Back next year? I’m sure I will, but definitely as a team…

I’m afraid that with all the riding, I didn’t get any good photos of the event!

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