Riding a mountain bike over a bumpy course for 24-hours is an annual challenge that I seem to enjoy since I do it every year. I can not find a sane answer as to why I like torture myself with this 24-hr race. But every year I am enlightened with something new about myself and how my body fuels, hydrates, and reacts to extended riding time.
This year I rode only for 16-hrs of the 24 for a total distance of 190-miles. Not good enough for fame and glory, but I am satisfied that next time I will be better prepared. I started the event not well hydrated and my body let me know it by making me sit out after every 60-miles or 4-5 hours of riding to rehydrate to a minimal amount to again start riding at my desired speeds.
For the first time ever I had a support crew helping me (in the past I did this unsupported which I found difficult, but attainable). A support team makes a huge difference since I no longer had to fill up my own water bottles, get my food, or maintain my bike throughout the race. Plus they provide encouragement a push me onward when I was getting mentally tired. Overall it was great to have the both of them...my wife, Donna, and Scott my friend and race mechanic. Finally there was Scott's son, Everest, (aka Master Yoda), who schooled me in using my internal Force to achieve greatness within and speed on the bike...very advance words of wisdom coming from a 4-yr old, words that I continue to use.
After the race I traditionally eat dinner with a group of friends from Sandpoint then breakfast the following morning and we top off our fun with a slow ride around the race course picking up racer trash (used gel packets, energy bar wrappers, and typically some lost rider swag like tools, lights, etc.) I am not sure why some of these piggish racers feel it is necessary to throw their used wrappers on the trail instead of back into their jersey pockets, and I have an ill feeling about them after I've personally picked up 50 or 60 of these (just as everyone else in my post ride group has). Part of their race fees do not include litter pickup off the trails and I personnally think any racer found littering purposefully should be disqualified.
This is the funnest post-race ride I've done simply because Donna decided to ride the 15-mile course with us. She is not a traditional cyclist, but you would never know that by the way she climbs the hills and rides over things many beginners would walk. I put her on my Ellsworth for the ride and afterwards she announced quite forcefully that my Ellsworth was now her bike...hmmm. There was also several people from the Sandpoint crew that were trying to recruit her onto their 24-hr race team next year. So the end story is that Donna may start racing...she's got her co-workers at the Wound-Care Clinic fired up to make a local team...Warriors Over Wounds or WOW! Hmmm...I'm excited even if it mean I will need to share my bike(s).
I have a few more planned outings for self torture tests this year, but much depends on the expense of fuel to get there. Otherwise it will be local backcountry outings of endurance that will satisfy my insane desires to ride all day on a mountain bike.