03 January 2015 ~ 1 Comment

My First 24-hour Time-trial Race (2014)


Teams could ride together and draft if they wanted.



Willie and his full-faired machine.



My support man: “JB Harward.”



The start and finish line.

Most of my cycling is randonneuring/self-supported ultra-distance events. But towards the end of the summer of 2014 I ended up doing some non-rando races, which included LoToJa (206 mile sanctioned road race) and Salt to Saint (420-mile relay race, which I did solo). It was kinda fun doing these events as they are supported, enabling me to travel with less gear and a lighter bike, which translates to faster overall speeds.

In November of 2014 I participated in my first 24-hour race, which was called the 6-12-24 Hour World Championships. It was a time-trial race where the individual riders could not draft. The objective was to ride as many loops as possible within a given time time period. Everyone started out doing the big loop, which was 18 miles and with about 300 vertical feet. Then, during the last few hours, the organizers switched everyone over to a smaller loop, which was 4.75 mile each.

Next to the start/finish line was a parking lot where everyone provided support “tail gate style” for the duration. Most riders had family members or friends provide support, but one rider, who self-supported, ending up placing 2nd in his category— he just had having everything carefully laid out on a table. Many thanks to my friend JB, which helped keep my bottles filled and food ready. I stopped in only when I ran out of fluids, which was after four or five laps. I stuffed as much nutrition in my jersey pockets and top tube bag as good—at a recent event, I ran out of solid foods before running out of fluid, so I made a point of stocking up here.

My goal was to maintain an average speed of 17 MPH, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t even close, partially due to stiff winds during the last 3 to 5 hours of this event. The event started in the dark, at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening and continued until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. I used my carbon bike (Rocky Mountain Prestige) with clip-on aerobars (as opposed to my Ti frame). I used the Fizik Kurve Bull saddle, which I had used earlier in the season for some 10 to 12-hour events without issues.

There were five riders in my age group (doing 24-hour). My average speed was only 15.4 MPH, with a total of 361 miles (my Strava link). My moving speed was 16.3 MPH with a top speed of only 30.6 MPH (a rather flat course). That placed me 2nd (60-69) behind the legendary Valerio Zamboni, who logged in some 397 miles. I ended up with 82 minutes off the bike, taking food breaks and switching out clothing—way more than I had hoped. Valerio, by comparison, was off the bike only 38 minutes. On this day, my Fizik saddle starting hurting me (soft tissue, not sit bone problems) about 18 hours in. I had prepared another saddle, already mounted up on a post, in the event I decided to change, but I never took the time to swap them out. Instead, I just kept on suffering, until about 23.5 hours, at which point I had enough, as I was doing a LOT of standing due to the pain. I quit the race with 30 minutes left on the clock. I ended up doing 19 of the main laps and 4 of the shorter laps. The temperature range for this day was about 48 to 75F—perfect cycling temps.

Here is a nice blog report as found on the UltraRaceNews.com site.

I was surprised how many riders were using full-on time-trial bikes instead of a regular road bike with clip-on’s like I had. Many of these same riders do RAAM, but during this event, most do not use TT bikes. I am guessing that is due to all the climbing involved with RAAM. I am interested in doing more of these events and have acquired a used TT bike frame for this purpose next season. I just wish these events weren’t so far to travel as there are none in Utah or neighboring states.

One Response to “My First 24-hour Time-trial Race (2014)”

  1. Bryce 12 January 2015 at 5:50 am Permalink

    Very impressive. Maybe you should think about organizing such an event in Utah.

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