Despite the rain holding off for the duration of the 2009 Geocentric Insomnia 24 hour race, held out near Petrie, the incessant rain of the day and night before bore some uncomfortable consequences for the course.
I was riding with Team Chain Gang, and they were all pretty relaxed kind of folk ('we can stop riding whenever we like...as long as it means we've won it'). This meant that as long as we were enough laps ahead that no other team could touch us with a six foot pole, we could quit.
The track was sloppy, sloppier than the washing at a nursing home following a dessert of prunes.
The 7km loop started off muddy, but you could cut through the sludge with some good mud tyres.
Almost immediately, the track began to disintegrate, and it went from giggles in the mud, to being seriously unfunny. Not that going sideways isn't fun—it sure is. It's just that going sideways, not very fast, while not being able to put any power down in the sludge AND while thinking about how you're going to have to replace every pivot and bearing on your bike...is not fun.
Managed to keep my head on for my first proper night triple laps at 10pm, but not being able to sleep (at ALL, not even ten minutes throughout the whole race—eep!) meant that by my 3.30am laps, when I had well and truly begun to lose the plot and my bike started the same sort of disintegration as the track, were a nightmare. I was riding like the biggest goose, having to stop of about ten times per lap due to chain suck didn't help either.
My lap times blew out.I was coughing like a crazy lady and not very happy. However, the bulk of the race was now over.
My final lap was at about 8.30. As a team, we only had to ride until 9.30 or ten to be guaranteed the win. I got changed as fast as possible after that final lap, and looked for a warm, sunny place to sit in the sun. My team mates, bouyed with excitement of sun and the certainty of a win, suddenly decided that they were going to keep riding for a bit longer, as decision I cannot fathom and can only label as 'sick'.
Witing around for presentations was hell. I had not slept from 3am the morning prior, so at 12pm I was 30 hours down on sleep and speaking spanish, possibly even a little emotional for no reason.
What was pretty cool, considering the way I felt I was riding (poorly) and the amount of effort I was putting in (ie: definitely NOT racing XC speed!), I managed to take out the fastest female day lap.
And night lap.
List of all the food ingested over the 24 hour period—from 12am–12am
(* denotes food ingested during the graveyard shift):
Salad and feta sandwich
Several Jelly snakes*
A few smarties*
A chunk of blueberry cake*
Oats with seeds and sultanas
A few more marshmallows
And you really don't want to see what I ate AFTER it was all over. 24 hour racing is officially silly, and does strange things to your digestion and metabolism!