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Support for 24hr solo

By Supagav - Posted on 17 April 2009

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
2009 Australian Solo 24hr Nationals
Vanina CBD support crew and nobmob support crew
Did not start

So after a couple of chats with Carlgroover about 24hr racing some months ago Vanina decided she would not mind having a crack at one of these. I, of course ended up being support crew.
I don’t think you really understand what is required by the riders when they undertake one of these "crazy" races. I really didn’t think about how much work was required from the support crew both leading up to, during and post race.

Basically the riders are only focused on riding their bike for 24hrs.

The support crew has to be their brains almost. You make almost every decision for them (eat this food now, lights on now, have this drink now, take these pills) most of this is pre-planned but the riders tend to forget about this stuff.....

The race itself was such a great experience, to see the riders go through the first part of the day with big happy smiles, loving the course and things going well. As the night sets in so does fatigue followed with demons from all corners. The riders fight their way through these low times and come morning a new lease on life is born. It is amazing to see the focus, drive and passion show through which brings them home across the finish line some 24hrs later.

At the start of the race V's plan was to ride her own race and not lose too much ground to the front girls. She would pull them back in later on during the night as they slowed down. For the most part the first 6 hours was spent keeping the bikes going with a quick chain lube and food and drink been given to the riders at the planned times. All of the nobmobers were in good sprits and ticking along nicely.
As night set in the clouds rolled on in, this lead to rain and quite a lot of it. This rain produced a couple of problems for the support crews, Bikes and riders were finding the conditions very trying. At one stage V came in shaking her head saying change the F#*@ing tyres "I’m not sure how I got back here without a MAJOR crash. We swapped bikes over and I was hoping that the monorails were going to behave a bit better in the wet than Larson’s. The thumbs up and Smile on V's face as she passed through transition said it all they worked very well. ( V was lapping as quickly as the top girls now so things were looking good she got within 15mins of second place during the wet night part of the race).
Due to V's tyres problems I also made the choice to put a Grippy tyre on to John’s Pivot while it was in transition. All this rain had us cleaning bikes and drive-chains etc almost every lap and when you are do this for 5 riders it keeps you very busy.
Due to our very small campsite area and makeshift cover using a small tarp, we were fighting to keep things clean/dry and organised. The support people did a fantastic job to stay so upbeat during the rain and mess.
I think almost all the rider had a demon to fight through the 9pm till 2am time period. Both V and John suffered from a lack of food. Damien enjoyed a hot shower rather than risking destroying the only set of pads he had. Both Gazza and Critty also found the going tough at times. (Critty using the Yeti made a difference though, almost like some turned on the fun factor switch)

I have to say the pit area never really got quiet, not with Johns knick changing/nudity antics
V powering through any food she could put her hands on while saying "I'm STARVING I'm STARVING I'm STARVING" We did a lot of Bike washing and re-lubing through out the night. I know as a rider if my gears work I’m going to be happy so that was our aim 'spotless drive-chain on every bike that went out on a lap'
I got a bit Anal about this at one point and sent a couple of bikes back to be washed again (Cheers JDB for been such a huge help)

As the race progressed through the night everyone kept moving at a pretty good pace. Come morning the support crews started to work out positions/ places and times to feed info back to the riders. Because all of our riders were still going in the morning they were in pretty good positions, this meant that we all joined forces and help drive the riders to the finish line.

Man it was a crazy 24hr racing I ran around like a blue ass fly the whole time. It showed me be that doing a solo 24 is really a team effort. Congratulations to everyone that helped out. Without the support from the fellow riders and support crews the nobmob results would not be what they are!!!

I was thinking about a few stats for the weekend I reckon that we would of done 50 complete bike washes, about an extra 50 drive chain washes. Lots and lots of lube was used. I’m guessing 3 bottles of wet lube and 2 bottles of dry lube.
Over 100ltrs of water was used along with, 20 red bulls and all sort of painkillers and maybe as many as 60 gels.

My high points for the race were watching every one of the riders finish the race and the awesome atmosphere through out the event. After convincing V she needed to go out on another lap and watch smash out a 37min lap (results don’t show it though but kath couldn’t catch her).

I think that I will be back supporting a few nobmobers next year I know that both V and John have some unfinished business.

Looking forwards to the next one guys. You can count on me to be there.

Top job there Gavin well done now if we can just convince V and John to ride singlespeed your job will be a whole lot easier.

Cant wait for next year I will take along a spare set of pads next time.

Great to here you'll be back next year Gav, you were so rock solid in transition.

I'm thinking about another shot at it as well (with a race plan instead of a finishing plan)
and this time I'm going to convince Dylan to join in the fun! He's already stated on camera that
he'll never be support again Eye-wink

Also depending on next years results I was thinking it would be a great time for us to
get over to the Worlds!!! V and John?? I know you've both thought about it! Smiling


That sounds like a plan.

but if Critty and Dylan have their food organised like Critty did this year which was nothing short of fantastic I will support you two -
Oh! but Critty you would have to actually turn up with riding clothes instead of one riding top, three trendy caps and five t-shirts...Dylan of course, came armed with one t-shirt and many riding clothes.. and they call me blonde!
...Oh and if i support you two I will promise to stay awake all night and have oodles of nutella sandwiches ready - just in case Smiling

Nice one Blondie! it would be fun to keep such a rad the team together.... but what if there's a Manly
game that weekend? I understand Eye-wink

i missed the ONE game they have won all season - but lucky for me Paul texted me the whole way home!
i am sure I can miss one game to support - but, hey! feel free to sack me!!!! I seem to recall both Gav and I said we wouldn't do it again...but in hindisight it was fun!

You're making it sound feasible damn it! It did look like fun when you all finished... could I actually do it though?

Only one way to find out I guess Smiling

As Damien said, my bike knows the way around that course by it's self now, all I would have to do is hand on.

you know you want to... Smiling

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