Woo-hoo done it.......finished the 24/12 I'd been so looking forward to.
The venue was the Cotswolds Farm Park, and I arrived there Friday the 13th. Any idea that this was going to be a stroll in the park soon went the minute I turned my Landrover into the race arena. Within yards I was struggling to keep the motorized 4X4 in a straight line, Jesus I had to race on this.
At the arena I met Aaron my co soloist and the rest of the Buzzards MTB club, the Buzzards were feilding a soloist, male duo, female duo and team. Though far more important than that, they had a massive dry tent and biggerer BBQ.
On Friday afternoon we all went out on a course recce. This was the chance to see if the 96'er rigid singlespeed would be ok. Well it was'nt. Geared it was, and the singlespeed badboy went back in the car.
One thing I'd say about the course, it had something to throw you off every few yards, mainly bombholes, roots, fallen trees, northshore and the slippiest off camber singletrack I've ever seen. One to take it steady on then.
At the start of the race I was feeling at ease, and seeing the guy on the start line next to me with his forks on back to front made me start giggling.
12 O'clock and we're off, downhill through Sallys Secret and STOP. Lap one was bottleneck city. Though great for checking the course out.
Lap 2 was different, nice and flowing, all the bits that scared me on lap 1 I just did without a thought. This is good I thought.
Laps 3, 4 and 5 go by without incident. And I start to think I'm going to do this. This is the point to feed up sort lights and lube the bike.
After a well timed ten minute food stop I complete lap 6, albeit slowly with a full belly. I arrive back at the pits to a briliant sunset. I have probably only got the chance of doing two more laps now as darkness has set in and I would have to pull something out of the hat to be in before 12 midnight, to give me the chance of getting in 9 laps.
Lap 7 in the dark goes without a hitch.
Lap 8 is started in the knowledge it would be my last, and that fact is hammered home when I start to get stomach acid. I decide to knock myself out on this lap knowing a beer, BBQ and soft chair await me at the end. Sometime after 12 I roll in. Just a downhill cruise to the camp is all that's required of me. In the camp Aaron is laying on the floor, welcome to solo world a say. Aaron and myself both knocked out 8 laps. The team managed 10, the male pair packed and the ladies pair got a podium place in third.
After 12 hours and a bit I was sat drinking San Miguels and downing burgers whilst watching the 24 hour riders slog it out until midday Sunday.
It was'nt long before the talk turned to future events, better lights and tyre combo's. And already D2D later this year was more than an idea.
12 or 24 soloing....................never say never again.