Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Thinking about 2011 National 24 hrs Challenge....

Old 04-04-11, 06:28 PM
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Gege-Bubu
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Thinking about 2011 National 24 hrs Challenge....

That what I am thinking about:
http://www.n24hc.org/

The longest ride I ever had was a little over 100 miles.

Did anyone ride it in the past?
What I should be prepared for? How much do you sleep/eat/rest?
Anything that I should be aware of before I jump into it?

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-11, 07:05 PM
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StephenH
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Take a look at the results, that can be informative.

I've ridden the 12-hour version of the local time trials, and have done a 19-hour 400k ride, and that's about as close as I've come. In both cases, I was snarfing down food pretty regularly plus using Perpetuum in one of my water bottles. I would assume 24-hour racers don't sleep until they're done, or at least if they are trying to be competitive. On my 12-hour race, I stopped a few minutes after each 26-mile lap. On the other hand, I was just reading a race report from a 600k race and find "The whole off the bike time in more than 19 hours of racing was 1 minute & 57 seconds!" That was written by the Winner, too. So it depends on how competitive you want to be as to how you work things. It would help to have done some longer rides, if not races, but you should have time between now and then, also. Try 300k and 400k rides with the local randonneurs, and that should get you into something a little different than a century.

In a lot of these races, there are some first class riders and then there are enough non-competitive regular joes that you can fit in okay even if you're not a top rider- the results will tell the tale to some extent. So don't be afraid to take a whack at it.
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Old 04-05-11, 03:54 AM
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I haven't ridden that specific one, but Rowan and I rode the UMCA 24-hour (held in Illinois in September)

Here's the story, complete with some information about what to eat ... http://www.machka.net/24hour/2006_UMCA24hour.htm

And as for sleep ... it's only 24 hours and it's a race. If you're pushing to place, there's no sleeping!!
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Old 04-05-11, 07:06 AM
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So is the idea to do as many 120-mile loops as possible within 24 hours?

Don't you get dizzy, going around in circles for a day straight?
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Old 04-05-11, 07:43 AM
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Not sure about the N24, but the UMCA24 started with a couple 72-ish mile loops, then a set of 20-ish mile loops through the night, and finally a 8-ish mile loop. The link in my post above explains the loops.

A 24-hour race is a blast! I thoroughly enjoyed both of the ones I've done. And I love the loop idea. For distances over about 400 km, riding loops is so much nicer than riding one big loop out into the middle of nowhere like we do with many 400+ km randonnees. On those 20-ish mile night loops, we were out on the road for a little over an hour, and then we were back into the start/finish area where there were lights, a warm area to get something to eat, toilets, our vehicle filled with supplies, etc. Riding loops also means that there are always other cyclists out there ... in my case, they were usually passing me and shouting something encouraging as they went by.

And there's no time limit like there is on a randonnee ... as long as you've done the minimum amount, you're free to stop anytime you want ... or to keep going for the full 24 hours. Whatever you want.

I wish so much that they had 24-hour events here in Australia.
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Old 04-05-11, 02:11 PM
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Gege-Bubu
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I haven't ridden that specific one, but Rowan and I rode the UMCA 24-hour (held in Illinois in September)

Here's the story, complete with some information about what to eat ... http://www.machka.net/24hour/2006_UMCA24hour.htm

And as for sleep ... it's only 24 hours and it's a race. If you're pushing to place, there's no sleeping!!

WOW. I am really impressed.
Did you have any support team on the side?

Did you have to carry a lot of things on the bike?

how much did you eat on the bike?
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Old 04-05-11, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gege-Bubu View Post
WOW. I am really impressed.
Did you have any support team on the side?

Did you have to carry a lot of things on the bike?

how much did you eat on the bike?
Our "support team" was our rental vehicle and whatever food the organisers provided.

No, we didn't need to carry much on the bicycle. That's one of the great things about doing loops, especially the shorter night loops. You're only out there for a relatively short time. If you need something you can wait till you get into the start/finish area to get it.

I didn't eat much while actually on the bicycle.

Go ride 120 miles this weekend in multiple loops ... where you keep returning home, or to another designated point, at the end of each 20 or 30 mile loop ... and you'll get an idea of what it's like and what you might need. You'll also know if you can finish the first loop on the 24-hour you're planning to do.

Your event looks like 121.6 miles first, which you probably have to finish in order not to DNF. Your night loops are 23.7 miles. And then you'll go onto a 7.5 mile loop at the end.

Last edited by Machka; 04-05-11 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 04-08-11, 07:53 PM
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It's a great event. I've done it 3 times and been to a couple more because my dad and cousin have been been doing it longer. You can do as much or as little as you want (though you have to ride each loop once to get onto the next, so if you do less than ~150 you're done and can't continue onto the night loop). The top contenders don't sleep and barely stop, but plenty of people sleep at least some. I'm currently in the same age category as the record holder, so this year my goal will be to at least get my 1000-mile jersey (I need just over 200 for that) and hopefully put up something close to my average (260-something).

It's a nice ride--I like that the first loop (which you can only do once) is long, for variety of scenery, then the second loop is also nice, and long enough not to get boring. You can do that one until it starts to get dark. Then there's the short night loop. Which I also like, because when you can't see anyway and you're not feeling too fresh anymore, it's nice to be able to memorize the road and not have to think much. I've found the atmosphere of the ride to be very friendly and fun, too.

As for strategy, some thoughts:
-It's easy to fall behind on calories and hydration, and really hard to catch up again. I think the best strategy is to be trying to eat and drink small amounts frequently. I try to use my ride time clock, e.g. if a round 10 minute mark hits and I haven't just had a drink, it's time to do so.
-Sleep is up to you. Like I said, it varies a lot. Sleeping from 1am to 5am might make you a much happier person and mean you get some good mileage in between 5 and 8, when it ends.
-Rest can be dangerous. It's easy to let yourself relax and drag a bit before getting back on the bike, but once you've rested a little, more probably won't help you that much, and it can definitely eat into your ability to get miles. Better to plan a longer rest with a nap than to let quick stops turn into half-hours.
-Make sure your bike fits really well. I think mine does, but I still got aero bars to protect my hands. This past year, with the aero bars, I had no numbness in my hands. The first time, my left hand was numb for more than a week.
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Old 04-08-11, 09:21 PM
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Looks like a fantastic event.
I wish there was a 24hr "loop" event in portland. I am looking at options for 24hr rides this summer and I would hate to do it solo, that would mean fairly loaded.
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Old 04-08-11, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXaero View Post
Looks like a fantastic event.
I wish there was a 24hr "loop" event in portland. I am looking at options for 24hr rides this summer and I would hate to do it solo, that would mean fairly loaded.
There's the Lewis and Clark Ultra in Vancouver, WA. (http://lacultra.com/). But I don't know about doing it loaded. It's hard enough sober.
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Old 04-09-11, 12:17 AM
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My website has a list of all sorts of long distance events, and in particular a list of 24-hour events:
http://www.machka.net/links.htm

There are events all over the US, and several in Europe as well.
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Old 04-09-11, 02:21 AM
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I'll just endorse what Machka says. For the second UMCA Mid-West event, I felt lousy during the day, but came good during the evening. Despite the challenges, it was really a great experience, as was the first, largely because we felt so welcomed by the organisers, and were treated very well by fellow competitors.

We fronted on ordinary touring bikes, and there were others on recumbents, lincluding a long wheelbase one and in the first year, a hand-cranked recumbent. There were riders of all abilities and fitness, and some were happy to call it quits after the frist long lap -- and all were due respect for their efforts.

I am tossing around the idea of organising a 24-hour time trial here in Australia in the region where we live, but it could take a couple of years to come to fruition.
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