So after much build up it’s time to begin the 24 hour Dirty Weekend MTB journey. Originally there was a cast of thousands who were keen to race, but with most parties piking out at the last minute, there is only one team, The Ferals who make it to the start line.
The merchandise for our fans is ready (albeit after a few mishaps with the iron on transfers), batteries are charged and the sun is shining.
2:00:00 PM – RABBIT – 2 laps.
Pete goes out first and pushes out 2 quick laps to start with. This is Pete’s quickest time of the race at 28 mins 29 secs.
2:58:62 PM – FOX GIRL - 2 laps.
The track is sweet, nice and flowy, and even a pallet jump which looks like fun. I do it on my first lap and it’s a bit abrupt, so I decide to leave that one in the future. Half way through my first lap I manage to drop my walkie talkie. I stop to pick it up and no real damage is done. Mental note, don’t let that happen again. So on my 2nd lap I drop it again. I stop and walk back up the track to find it, but to no avail. My brand new walkie talkie is gone…..sniffle sniffle.
I do my fasted lap of the event at 32 mins 44 secs. I have to remember to pace myself.
4:05:17 PM – RABBIT – 2 laps.
I take the time while Pete is out to try to find the walkie talkie with Sacha. With only a 1 hr break, we can’t find it. Sacha keeps hunting while I eat and dress my bike up with lights, which is compulsory after 5pm. I check with the timing tent just before heading out and someone had handed in my walkie talkie. Yippie!
5:07:45 PM - FOX GIRL - 2 laps.
I’m back on the track and a message comes over the radio “Yay! we can communicate again!”. These walkie talkies are great. The sunset is fantastic and I am hoping that Pete and Sacha are getting some good photos.
6:18:00 PM - RABBIT – 3 laps.
Even though there is an hour and half break, there is still lots to do. Eat, toilet, refill water and cordial, change batteries, set up helmet light, check bike over, eat….. .. where did all that time go.
I’m ready to go off again and Pete comes into the transition, with one statement, “3 laps hurts”. Thanks for that Pete.
8:06:43 PM - FOX GIRL - 3 laps.
I’m out on my first 3 lap stint. Sacha is leaving at 9.45pm so I won’t have time to see her again tonight. This is my first real night riding experience for the race. Pete didn’t tell me there were monsters in the forest, or a disco. This place is great.
10:07:04 PM - RABBIT – 3 laps.
I try to get some rest this time in my break. But there is really loud music playing. It is freezing. I stand next to the warm fire inside and get ready to go out again. Staring into nothingness I fuel myself with a banana, chocolate rice cream, and a RedBull. Burp.
I stop and have a short chat to Pete at transition time, rather than going straight off. Everything seems to be in order and the bikes are behaving.
12:01:34 AM - FOX GIRL - 3 laps.
It is a great night for a midnight ride! The moon is looking spectacular and it isn’t windy at all. I wish I had a camera and a tripod with me, and the skills to take a moon photo. It's pretty lonely out. Pete is trying to sleep so there is no talking over the walkie talkie.
There are party goers in the forest drinking beer with the shiny disco ball. It’s nice to have people cheering you on, even if they are naked.
On my 2nd lap there are no spectators in the forest. It feels like a long time when you are out on the trail, but time goes so quick when you are back at base camp.
On my 3rd lap, my light batteries die. Luckily some dude from Melbourne is riding behind me. I let him know my predicament, and he nurses me home. It’s hard work trying to ride when all you can see is the shadow of your head and ears.
2:08:37 AM - RABBIT – 4 laps.
I think it takes less than 5 minutes after you stop riding for you to start to freeze. I’m glad neither of us has punctured. Pete is off. The plan is for him to do 3 laps. I try to sleep, but the neighbours chat noisily the whole time. Pete decides to do something a little crazy and punch out 4 laps. At 44 minutes per lap his pace is still quite quick. I’m grateful to get the extra rest time.
Pete comes into the transition with his rabbit ears are looking a little bedraggled. He is buggered and heads off to rest.
5:01:53 AM - FOX GIRL - 3 laps.
It’s just me and the trail now. There are not many riders on the track. My first lap is my slowest of the night 46:55 secs. It’s lonely and cold.
On my second lap I can see the black sky lighting up a little bit and turning a faint light blue. But it is still early and not ready for the sun to rise. As I head towards the other side of the track, I can see the sun really is starting to rise! It’s a bit lighter, but nothing that you would call a sun rise yet. 10 minutes later I head towards the same area where I was before (no I wasn’t going the wrong way, its just the way the track went). WOW I don’t even need lights now! The sun rise is spectacular! I wish I was like Steve Austin with a camera for my eyes. Now my spirits have lifted, this is great; I don’t even need to concentrate any more to ride.
On my 3rd lap, I radio in to Pete, “Cock a doodle dooo”. This riding stuff is fun again. My 3rd lap time is back down to 41 minutes.
7:13:15 AM - RABBIT – 3 laps.
Sacha is back and there are people everywhere. I am hanging out for Tony to get in to cook bacon and eggs for breakfast.
9:05:08 AM - FOX GIRL -2 laps.
Time for the iPod.
10:23:12 AM - RABBIT – 2 laps.
Mmm bacon and eggs.
11:35:49 AM - FOX GIRL - 2 laps.
More music and my last laps for the long day and night. Yay.
12:55:39 PM - RABBIT – 2 laps – finish at 2:12:54 PM
The cheer squad cheers Pete on while he does his last laps. Will he stop after one lap and wait for the time to count down? Or will he keep on going like a Duracell bunny?
He kept on going to make the total laps 38. Pete did 21 and I did 17.
Full results can be found at: http://www.bikesa.asn.au/events/event_forms/24%20duo.pdf