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Solo 6x6 Rocky Trail 24hr

Ian_A's picture

By Ian_A - Posted on 02 December 2013
My regular riding buddy Craig was meant to be racing pairs in the 6x6 with me at the Rocky Trail 24hr this year at Mt Annan. We were riding under the 05 banner for Mark from 05 custom sportswear.
Unfortunately Craig was involved in a bad car accident on the Monday before the race and was actually still in hospital up until the following Monday.
I had the choice of either pulling out, or riding solo.
I've never done more than a 4hr solo race (2 of them at Mt Annan) and the thought of racing for 6hrs at Mt Annan, then backing it up for another 6 the following day was pretty daunting.
I knew what Craig's advice would be - something along the lines of "man up princess".
Our original goal was to take out the 6x6 pairs category.
My new goal was to simply survive the whole race still on the bike.
I was riding with no support as my wife couldn't make it, so I would have to sort my own bottles and food throughout both days.
I started really conservatively and got stuck in the main bunch for the slow congo-line through the first lap. Luckily, within 2 laps the track cleared up and I almost felt like I had the place to myself. I rolled out the first 3 laps, then came in for a bottle swap, a gel and some food. I then stopped every 2nd lap for a fresh bottle, another gel and food.
I managed to stay fairly consistent throughout day 1 and completed 12 laps in 6hr18min. By the end of the day my core muscles were feeling it, my hands were a bit sore but the legs felt pretty good - I thought day 2 would be tough but manageable.
Your start time for day 2 is the same time you finish day 1, so I had a 6:18am start time. I didn't managed to get much sleep, may have been due to nerves or the 4-5 caffeinated gels I'd had during the day. I got up around 5am, had a big bowl of crunchy nut corn flakes and a piece of banana bread and got ready. I again started really easy, following the same formula of 3 out, then stopping every 2nd lap. By about lap 6 I realised I needed to take in more food, as my energy levels were dropping and had to transition for longer and eat more.
By about the 3rd hour, the blisters on my hands had popped inside my gloves and my hands were really getting sore. Braking was the worst pain, so I was slowing down just so I didn't have to use the brakes. My core muscles were getting tired and my arms were getting heavy - the legs still felt OK though!
I managed 11 laps in around 6hr6min for a total of 23 laps in 12hr24min and 5th place in open male 6x6 solo.
Funnily enough, my time would have got me 2nd place in the pairs category (too many fast solo's out there). I'm pretty sure Craig and myself would have taken out the win in pairs pretty convincingly.
Riding solo was certainly a tough challenge, with the track at Mt Annan really taking its toll on the body and hands, but I finished the race still riding and didn't really have any blow-out laps. I'm looking forward to getting back into the team lap races or shorter solo efforts.
Thanks to Martin and Julianne and the crew from Rocky Trail and Mark from 05 for making it happen.

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Dutchy74's picture

Sensational riding mate. That's some pretty consistent riding there, considering they also included stops for drinks / food.

Ian_A's picture

Thanks Paul.
I tried to stay consistent. It took all week to recover from the race. I couldn't ride all week due to work, went out this morning and still felt pretty slow and lazy. I also gave blood on Thursday, so that probably had an effect too.

Kevin de Brus's picture

How about lap 13! Eye-wink good effort mate. The extra time on the bike shows up some different muscle groups and wear areas! Good on you for keeping at it. Have you seen Craig yet?

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