23-26 March, 2012
This is the third year in a row that I’ve raced in the ‘Mont 24‘ – a 24 hour mountain bike race held in the sweet single tracks of Canberra. One of the side ‘benefits’ of this event that the accommodation options are limited to camping in a large grassy field with the other 4000 odd competitors. In other words, it is a great excuse to get the camper out for a few nights! The difference this year is that the rest of the family decided to stay at home – I was on my own.
Again this year I was part of a team of 6, and, as always seems to be the case fo the Mont, I was going in VERY under-prepared! In fact I’d been on the bike only once in the past 5 months! Lucky this event is all about having fun.
I decided to take a couple of days long service leave, so was able to leave Sydney early so that I could get our choice of camp sites first thing on Friday morning. There would be 2 teams sharing our space, so I chose a very similar site to last year – a fair way away from transition, but also fairly spacious.
As I set up the camper, the wind came up too, making it extremely trying to erect the camper. Eventually I got it set up so that even when the gusts of wind arrived, and the camper acted more like a parachute, no pegs would be pulled out of the ground.
Thankfully the wind died down overnight (although it remained VERY cold) and we had awesome weather for the race. Predictably my form was pretty poor! I had a great time, but the laps were very SLOW!
Given the cold weather, (or maybe it was our fitness – or lack thereof) we decided to stop riding through the night, and start again the next morning. This meant that we would all do 2 racing laps.
While we didn’t trouble the race favourites for a podium position, but our whole team had an awesome time and have already decided that we’ll be back next year. With a bit of luck and good management, I may even have a half decent preparation!
While we couldn’t all stay on the Sunday evening due to various work committments on the Monday, those of us who were able to hang around had a very relaxing evening with a few drinks and tasty nachos. We even managed to watch most of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix thanks to tethered iPads, Androids and phones. Isn’t technology awesome!
Of course these 3 nights have taken the total number of nights spent in the camper to 102. Night 100 was cold (about 3 degrees) and windy! What an awesome way to pass this milestone. I wonder how long it will take us to rack up the next 100 nights!