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Old 01-19-04, 02:02 PM   #1
Bokkie
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Sleepless in the saddle 2004.

Guys, in August (UK) there is a 24hr endurance ride called Sleepless in the saddle (a play on the name of a movie). Teams are entered as a sports team (4 riders) or a leisure team (5 riders). Basically, the riders do laps (one or more at a go) and the idea is to get as many laps during the 24 hours plus 1 lap if you are over the line when the 24hrs is up. We'll have to rig maybe two of the bikes with decent lights. Each lap is about 15km (8 miles roughly) and has a broad spectrum of riding domains - flat out, steep hills, technical single track, etc. It sounds a real hoot.

I'm organising a team from work and the gym to do the 24hr, and whilst it is not practical to discuss lap tactics, who goes when, single lap, multiples, and so on, but each rider if equal time applies will do just unders 5 hours of riding in total though individuals will vary naturally. We are not in this for any prizes, just a male bonding thing.

Has anyone done anything similar and are there any specifics you'd like to mention, such as what to eat, drink, dress, what to do if someone has to bale out, etc? I know these questions are very abstract and depend on personal viewpoints, but if anyone has done this kind of ride before I'd like your input. I want to organise our team so that we get the best performance we can and the best enjoyment so I naturally want to make a success of it.

Thanks.

Peter.
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Old 01-19-04, 02:54 PM   #2
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I've done several 24-hour races. The key is to choose a good team, plan well, and get as many people to help as possible. Things get a bit blurry @ 4:30am when you're cold and tired, so you will need plenty of friends/relatives for a variety of roles like:

- Charging light batteries
- Making food
- Cleaning/Fixing Bikes
- Organizing the camp
- Waking riders up
- Motivation!

Also for your wellbeing:

- Sleep when you can (when you can't sleep- lay down or sit!)
- Eat when you can (test these foods when you train!)
- Drink when you can (hydrate or die!)
- HAVE FUN!!! (this is the most important one!)

Pick your team wisely, and you'll have a fantastic time. Good luck!!!!
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Old 01-21-04, 10:38 AM   #3
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I've not done any 24 Hour races, but I've done a couple of 12 Hour ones. The start is usually a LeMans style start. Unless you're very fast, don't send out your fastest rider for the first lap. There are bottlenecks everywhere until the group spreads out a bunch. The races I've done have had lap times of 45 mins to a hour each, so everyone did two laps each, then one more lap. That put us right at 12 laps for the event and our fastest/fittest did one more lap for a total of 13.

Make sure you have plenty of battery's charged for the night. The first year, my wife's bulb went out about 1/2 way through the lap. She had to follow another rider to come close to making it back. We now send everyone out with a backup light. We throw one of those inexpensive camping headlights into a Camelback. It's not a bright 10w bulb or a H.I.D., but it's enough to get you back to the start line.

Carbo Load 2 days before the event and don't eat anything heavy, (like a steak the night before!) When you're off the bike, sleep or rest and DRINK. Stay hydrated!

Pick team mates at the same level as you and make sure you all have the same mindset. IOW, if you're going to do it for fun, don't get a seriously competitive person on your team who'll get upset if you're not killing yourself.

L8R
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Old 01-21-04, 02:45 PM   #4
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I haven't done a 24 hour, but it is one of my plans for the future. What I have done is plenty of 12 hour rides (No team, just me) The main thing to realise though, is that this is a 24 hour race. Unless you are sponsored, have selected all the fastest riders in your area to race,and don't like losing, You are in this for experience and fun. The danger time is definitely the first lap. All those keen fituns wanting to win. Let them Go. Night time carry a spare headlamp. (One will do if it is not used and is changed from rider to rider)
Next- Carbo load before the event. Carbo load in the event, Carbo load at the Local KFC after the event. Drink plenty, then drink some more, then drink some more. Even if it is 2 hours before you ride again.
Next is to enjoy it. I did one ride, on a hot Summers day with 25 others and one joker in amongst us. I still say that this was the most enjoyable ride I have ever done, Because it did not turn into a competitive race.

Don't get too serious over the event. If you do prove competitive, and you all enjoy it, then save the energy till the next one.
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Old 01-21-04, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
I haven't done a 24 hour, but it is one of my plans for the future. What I have done is plenty of 12 hour rides (No team, just me) The main thing to realise though, is that this is a 24 hour race. Unless you are sponsored, have selected all the fastest riders in your area to race,and don't like losing, You are in this for experience and fun. The danger time is definitely the first lap. All those keen fituns wanting to win. Let them Go. Night time carry a spare headlamp. (One will do if it is not used and is changed from rider to rider)
Next- Carbo load before the event. Carbo load in the event, Carbo load at the Local KFC after the event. Drink plenty, then drink some more, then drink some more. Even if it is 2 hours before you ride again.
Next is to enjoy it. I did one ride, on a hot Summers day with 25 others and one joker in amongst us. I still say that this was the most enjoyable ride I have ever done, Because it did not turn into a competitive race.

Don't get too serious over the event. If you do prove competitive, and you all enjoy it, then save the energy till the next one.
Stapfam, many thanks for the 'UK' perspective as we'll be heading to Trentham nr Stoke which is where the event is taking place. We understand that there are placings involved and that it is a race. We are aiming no higher than maybe 3rd place in the wooden spoon. The serious teams can strut their stuff just as long as they don't get in our way.
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