Wednesday, 31 July 2013


I am authentically trashed. My body aches. My feet are oddly tingly. My sleep patterns are devastated. The house is a chaotic jumble of half-sorted kit and bikes. It is awesome.

Did Bontrager 24/12 solo - the 24-hour one - at the weekend and it was brilliant, not least because I actually finished.

What a cracking event as ever, the best 24-hour course bar none with a cracking mix of singletrack, climbing-track and scenic-track. The best people, I don't know why, but 24/12 folk just seem more chilled, friendly, enthusiastic and all-round happier than other 24-hour race people and an organisation that somehow blends a a laid-back casual vibe with seamless efficiency.

After last year's throwing up in the mud at 2a.m debacle, I just wanted to finish and enjoy the ride. Started steady, resisted my brain's unfortunate pull to chase other riders, sticks, sunshine etc, and mostly just kept eating, drinking and rolling.

Fittingly, for an event which is all about the people and the vibe, it was bookended between lovely first and final laps of mellow chatting with a couple of solo women - I put it down to my approachable, grand-dad like vibe - and in between it was a mix of banter, pedalling and hurtling down the techier bits.

The lightened-up Blur 4x helped with the latter too from midnight onwards. Top fun.

Mostly though it was oddly uneventful. The difficult bit, to be honest, was the fuelling. It worked, but from about dawn onwards, all I could stomach was rice pudding. I need to do some serious work on that. And at the end I felt strangely fine. Not particularly broken. Or achey or dead.

Ate food. Slept. Woke up feeling I could have gone harder, which I could have done. And could have spent far less time stopped. But hey, there's always next time to put that one right.

It feels like a hundred years since 2009 when I did the 12-hour solo there and a different world and a different me. Funny how sometimes the worst times end up being for the best.

And pedal. In your sleep.

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