Saturday is exactly a week before Mountain Mayhem – the second 24 hour race I’m doing in the space of 4 weeks. Before this and to kick off my week-long taper (which follows a week of hard training, which itself followed 2 weeks of recovery from UK24), I’ll be racing at the Gisburn Dirty Dozen – a 12 hour lap-based race that uses the berm-tastic man made trails at Gisburn Forest. Racing for 12 hours solo a week before a 24 hour race wouldn’t be a great idea so I’m one half of the Ragley Bikes pairs team, Dave being the other half.
Despite my regular appearance at endurance events as a soloist, I must admit I fell in love with the pairs racing thing last October at Dusk til Dawn. The main reason for this is that you’re able to race your lap pretty much flat-out, safe in the knowledge that you’re going to have a period of time off the bike after each hard lap to recover, regain your composure, eat food without plastering it all over yourself, fix your makeup, that sort of thing.
You’re not waiting for ages and ages in between laps, getting stiff and frozen as you’re not waiting for 3 team mates to ride their laps and motivation to ride like a maniac comes from the fact that you’re letting your team mate down if you make a pigs ear of it or you decide to have an easy lap.
Basically it goes like this; “AAARRRGGHH….aahhh….AARRRGGGHHH….aaahhh….AAARRGGHH….aahhh”… and so on.
Dave and I have even got an unofficial fastest lap contest between us (although I’m not fully expecting to win this). Whether a 12 hour pairs race is good prep for Mayhem remains to be seen however next week is rest week, it has the chance of putting us both in a great frame of mind for the weekend after and remember this is all about having fun. And fun it’s going to be. The weather forecast even looks good.