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24 Hour Race

Old 01-17-06, 12:03 PM
same time
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24 Hour Race

Hmm, I posted this and it disappeared. Let's try again:

I need some advice, wise forum folks!

I have signed up with a team to do a 24 hour mountain bike race this summer. I'm very excited about it. My problem is, I haven't ridden a mountain bike in about 13 years. Last time I rode a mountain bike, nobody had suspension or clipless pedals.

I do have a mountain bike - a Bridgestone MB-6 from 1992 that is heavy and rigid, but in great shape. Also, I ride a bike just about every day, year round - commute to work, rides on the weekends. I ride a track bike, a road racing bike, and a cyclocross bike. Oh, and I do cyclocross races sometimes.

So, I feel like I'm in good shape, but my bike and my off-road riding abilities are lousy. And I don't have enough money to buy a new bike. So,

1. Should I try to borrow a bike with front suspension on it, or will I be okay with my old rigid bike? I know I won't be the fastest guy out there, but I don't want to be a moving obsticle, either. I'm considering getting a Softride suspension stem off eBay, because I've always thought they were kind of a neat idea. Is it worth it?

2. What's the atmosphere at 24-hour races? Friendly, like a cyclocross race, or more serious, like a road race?

3. Would this light be all right? It's called Night Hawk Raptor and it's in my price range:

4. Or, should I just volunteer to be the team mechanic/cook and sit this race out?

Any other ideas, advice, or taunts you've got for me would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-17-06, 12:45 PM
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First off do the race on whatever bike you have or have access to. Don't sweat it too much. It doesn't sound like you are going to go to win. The atmosphere at 24 hour races is awesome. Just a bunch of people hanging out having a good time.

As for the light I wouldn't use it. Having a good light is very important. If possible buy a good light or borrow one. If that doesn't work rent one, it is worth it. One of the big companies rent lights, I just can't think of which one right now.
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Old 01-17-06, 03:15 PM
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I made it through an 18-hour race with that exact light. Certainly wasn't good, but it worked.

Let me put it this way: I've never done another endurance race with just that light.
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Old 01-17-06, 04:37 PM
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Assuming you're on a four man team, you're going to do six hours on your bike. If it's singletrack, your shoulders may not be happy with that amount of abuse... I'd try and borrow a bike, or even get a cheap fork from e-bay and have it mounted on your bike. I did a 12-hour race on a hardtail, and even that hurt after several hours (admittedly I was racing solo...)

Don't sweat the light unless there are really fast downhills. I rode the above race (night race) with a $10 Cateye light (seriously), and a $30 black diamond head lamp. And probably could have done it with just the head lamp, because to me it's most important to throw light where you're actually looking. Don't misunderstand, more light is undoubtedly better - but you can see well enough with cheap lights.

The atmosphere is pretty laid-back at the races I've done, so you will probably find the same.

P.S. For the 12-hour race I'm doing this Saturday, splurged and spent $40 on a new light
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