Good Morning Adventure Freaks!
Last weekend I was thrilled to be part of a team of cyclists taking on the self-proclaimed ‘longest bike race in the world’, the 25 hour long Red Bull Timelaps.
Held at Windsor Great Park in the UK (yes right by the Queens House!) we had a team of 4 trying to complete as many laps of a 4.5 mile loop as we could.
There were some serious riders taking part, headlined by Giro D’Italia stage winner Alex Dowsett.
Starting at midday on Saturday, I was up first and by the end of my first 90 minute session I had logged 33 miles at an average of just over 22.5 MPH. To put that into context, usually when I’m doing my local loop on the road bike I will put out an average of around 18-19MPH and then come home for a cup of tea and a lie down…however after finishing my laps, I had just about 4 hours to recover before I did it again!
As a team we decided to move to 1 hour slots after this and that meant I had 2 more rides before I hit the 2am shift.
This was known as the Power Hour and a shorter course was put on, with all laps counting double. This inevitably led to some serious racing and the speed was through the roof again, with Dowsett leading through a huge train of riders that were just too strong for me to get on the back of, instead forming my own mini train of what seemed at the time to be world class athletes heading out to crush the Tour De France…as slow as we were, it still felt heroic, and that’s what really counts right?
By the end of the 25 hours, my personal tally was 125 miles and our team came in 130th overall, not bad for a group of slightly overweight, slightly ageing, slightly unprepared (exaggerate each of these as much as you like) Dad’s and Grandads.
Great fun event, loads of lessons learnt about re-fuelling, managing to squeeze in kip in the middle of the night in 4 degree temperatures and managing energy reserves over such a long race. But every day is a school day, and these lessons have been logged ready for the next adventure.
Anyone else out there done a 24 hour race and can offer some tips and guidance to the rest of us? Anyone fancy joining a team for next year’s event?
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