24-hour solo mtb race this month

24-hour solo mtb race this month

Getting new perspective on a painting Reading 24-hour solo mtb race this month 6 minutes

The Hay is in the Barn

This is one of my favourite phrases. I first heard this phrase from Coach Jerry in North Van when I was marathon training 10 years ago. The Hay is in the Barn means your training is done, you’ve done the work to train up for a specific event, appreciate your new fitness and now go confidently to complete the event.

As mentioned in previous Studio Notes Newsletter, I have been spending extra long efforts in the forest biking, training for a 24-hour solo mountain bike event. I am super proud that I have been consistently riding a hardtail (no rear suspension) in Vancouver on long rides. Since moving to BC from Ontario, I switched from hardtail to full-suspension as well as disc-brakes as our biking terrain here demands it. So going back to a hardtail seemed crazy to me at first.

My Goal

The race starts at noon on Saturday and we do as many laps as we can until noon on Sunday. Brad and I will both be riding solo. We tried tag-team in 2004 (each taking turns to do a lap) but realized we never see each other and race alone – so why not ride together in a supported event, when there is medical support and even a bike shop with extra parts along the trail! We are also excited to share our passion with family as Brad’s brothers & sister will be trail side as our support crew.

Brad and I hope to encourage each other to achieve our longest bike ride beyond 200km. I want to achieve 240km which would mean pacing at higher than 10km/h, as we do have to pause to grab more food and quick breaks. Likewise, being mindful that many issues may crop up in that length of time and to do my best to overcome them (as possible) and focus on moving forward.

Brad and I expect that the race trails in Albion will be much smoother than our Vancouver trails in BC (considering the roots, rocks and constant inclines here). So, I am hoping to be at an advantage with the terrain I have been training on.

According to my Strava, I have put in over 4300+ km this year so far, which is more kilometers on a bike than 6 of the last 8 years’ 12-month totals – and we are only on month number 6! I am feeling strong.

Thank you Synergy

I believe my newfound strength is most notably because of my racing with Synergy on Zwift – as we race almost twice weekly with different Zwift tournaments and our weekly Team Time Trial on Thursdays. Consistently racing with women much stronger than me has been a huge leap physically in my power and mentally in my confidence. I am full of gratitude for Synergy. When I started racing with them in late August, I could not hang on to a race or a team time trial… now I am able to be part of the lead pack and execute team strategy to get more points. It blows my mind! 

The below photo is from yesterday's points race. I am in the pink hat beside my teammates Brandi & Sonia - both superb sprinters. I do not have their 10w/kg sprints, I do know I have the ability to push and catch them - hence I love this shot of the 3 us in the last 6km of a 24km race. One day I hope to achieve their sprints... but not when training for endurance.


Training is the adventure

I often hear people use marathons as an analogy for getting through something. I often feel the analogy is used incorrectly. I think the training is bigger than the event and requires more planning, dedication and time than the event itself. But the analogy always focuses on the event. Going back to ‘the hay is in the barn’ analogy. The work is done when the event starts, it asks: “what did you do to get to the start line?”

Albeit the start line of a 24-hour race does require a bit more planning & gear - than a 42.2km event run – especially as I think about our support crew and how much gratitude I have for them in advance. They will be tending to our needs so we can focus on pedaling. They will also be driving us home – as after the race we will not be able to drive a car. 

But back to my point, having this event on the calendar has initiated some awesome training rides which I have documented in the above photos:

  • I have done a night ride (I went on the night of the potential Northern Lights spectacle but didn’t see anything from the forest - I did happen on a BEAR!🐻)
  • I scaled 3 local mountains in 1 ride🗻🗻🗻  (Burnaby, Seymour, Fromme)
  • one long ride got stuck in a hailstorm ❄️
  • I have crashed and called Brad for a pickup 🩹 (the spot I crashed on has now been fixed by trail builders – THANK YOU)
  • Any day Brad had a vacation day, we rode our bikes outdoors – both times on new trails on Seymour & in Squamish
  • because I have been riding Burnaby so often – I took some Strava QOMs that I never thought possible – ones that include the Trans-Canada Climb! (I recruited Brad to come pace me so we both appreciated that effort)
    • I also can now ride up & down Burnaby with ease without stopping (Sidewinder-Gear Jammer-Lower Snake)

So, although this race has been in the back of my mind for months, the adventures that it encouraged that have already happened are immense.   Likewise, I am already looking at BIGGER mountain bike events after completing this one.

I am nervous to share how the event goes!

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