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Always an awesome event!


By daveh - Posted on 29 March 2012

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
The Mont 24 hrs Race 2012
Team: 
Uncredibles
Status: 
Finished
Laps: 
22
Position (Overall): 
75
Position (Category): 
27

After entering a team of 6 last year and deciding that you just don't get enough laps, we entered a team in Open 4s. Things got off to a great start simply by our campsite being a big improvement (besides craked's tent!) on last year as we joined The Unmentionables and 5 Nobs and a Luddite. Usual Friday night beer and banter and off to bed early.

The morning of The Mont is awesome, everyone is fresh and keen, bikes are adjusted, race strategies discussed and there's a little nervous apprehension in the air! Chris took the le mans start this year and headed out into the forest with me up second. Whilst the first section was a little sucky, the rest was pure singletrack heaven. As fast as you want with nice downhill sections, quick little climbs and a roaring finish.

No real dramas for our day laps except my crash on lap 2. Cruising along a straight, flat section with plenty of room when a slow rider called us through. Apparently my understanding of "go" was different to his and when I was alongside him he rejoined the track. My evasive action saw my handlebars clip a small tree, down he went, my bike stopped and I kept going. That's racing and I was glad he was ok. I snapped a bolt on my matchmaker and warped the rim but it wasn't rubbing anywhere so no great drama (but some expense now!).

Night set in and I was up for my first night lap which I really didn't enjoy that much after having high expectations (I love night riding) and then back to camp. We opted to do double laps in pairs during the night so I got 2 hours sleep while Conrad and Dave completed their laps and I awoke feeling like riding was the last thing I wanted to do. This is where we realised how brutal 4s are compared to 6s. Yes, you get more laps but that means...you get more laps. I expected nothing from my 5 AM lap but....it was awesome! The track was sticky, I was seeing things well, there was less traffic, it was just night riding on awesome tracks at its very best. I had an hour break to fill the bottle and stretch the legs and by that time it was light enough not to need lights.

Thinking that we were going to get in 24 laps was a pipe dream given the demands of a team of 4 but there was at least a chance for me to get in a sixth lap and I was happy to head out for what I hoped would be a good lap without smashing myself to finish things off. Unfortunately my bike had other ideas and threw the back tyre after 5 kms, didn't hold the canister of CO2 I emptied into it and then got a flat in the tube I put in! Waited for a kindly 29er rider with a spare tube to come past and found someone ready to barter as he had forgotten to bring his water bottle. Tube and canister in exchange for some water was fair deal and I was on my way. I set off pretty ^#&%%! off and just wanting it to end until I hit that downhill section and the smile was back on the dial for the rest of the lap.

Would have liked faster times and a few more team laps but it's a fun weekend and I have no complaints. They do an awesome job of organising, the trail builders are artists and the atmosphere is just incredible. A couple of thousand like minded individuals all there to have fun, ride as hard as pleases them, catch up with people and enjoy the atmosphere...what more could you ask for?

That leaves one question. 4s or 6s next year? Boys?

was my 3rd time in a 4's but was thinking as I stood at transition freezing my as* off sometime between 1-2am, that entering a 6 man team with 5 riders might be the go next year.

I love getting in a night laps and getting in more laps overall is definitely awesome. As you say, it's that lack of a solid period of sleep at night that is a little brutal. Also, it's a social event and it was nice the previous year to have a chance to go up and look at the various stalls, to go and watch your teammates transition, etc. A team of 4s was really about laps and getting what you needed to do done to recover and get ready for the next lap. I'd be more than happy to do it all again next year and would enjoy it very much (as I did this year) but if the majority suggest 6s and there's no other team of 4 to join then I'd be happy with that also!

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