Be a part of one of Britain’s biggest and best endurance mountain bike race weekends with the Bontrager TwentyFour12. Held at the former World Cup mountain bike venue, Newham Park in Devon from 27-28th July, the 2013 event is set to be bigger and better than ever.
New for this year is the option of hiring a fixed tent and becoming part of a mountain bike ‘glamping’ revolution in the picturesque Devon countryside. For families who want to make a weekend of it, there is a children’s play area and the chance for the kids to keep up with their parents as they compete in a children’s only mini race.
Not only will the Bontrager TwentyFour12 be run on what is regarded as the best 24 hour course in the UK, competitors can camp for up to four nights and enjoy a range of facilities including hot showers and water, free 24 hour bike washing, free 24 hour mechanical support and free 24 hour massages.
Event director Martyn Salt who was also the manager of the London 2012 Olympic mountain bike competition, said of the event:
“This is a first class mountain bike race on a course which stands up to bad weather and is always enjoyable, even if it rains. This year we have added more entertainment, more camping options and the best race support for competitors to make it a perfect weekend away for either a group of mad keen mountain bike friends or a whole family.”
With three separate races held across the weekend, the traditional 24 hour and 12 hour options, plus the challenging 12-hour midnight start, aptly named The Torchbearer, there is something for everyone.
How do you choose?
Riding the 12 hour event means you get to finish at midnight sit round the barbie, crack open some beers and heckle the brave souls who are carrying on for the full 24 hours.
Yes that’s right, just you and your bike doing as many laps as you can in the time allowed. There are two solo categories under 40 and over 40. Solo 12 hour has sold out every year so far.
Ride in pairs
Two of you mean someone to hand over when you’re tired, wet, injured or you just fancy a brew, men, women and mixed pair categories available. The pairs category also gets full every year.
Ride in a team
Four of you spread the load, which means strategy and planning or just arriving at transition to find no one there and shouting very loudly until your cries are heard. It also means that not everyone needs to be lit up like a belisha beacon as there will be plenty of opportunity to recharge both yours and your lights battery.
This race offers solos only at a crazy time and a lot more darkness to contend with. There will be a separated start area to spread out the Torchbearer riders before joining the main course.
The Torchbearer12 starts at Midnight and finishes at Midday on Sunday 28th July.
Keith Bontrager says “you don’t race for 24 hours solo, you just exist.” Well that may be true, but there are some mad people out there who do it regularly and can perform well without any sleep. These people usually have a dedicated team of helpers keeping them fed, watered and working. This category is limited to 80 riders in 2013.
Ride in pairs
Same as 12 hour pairs, except twice as long. In riders opinion, 24 hour pairs is harder than 24 hour solo for deep psychological reasons, why not find out if you agree. This category also sells out, we have no idea why it is popular but to soften the blow, prizes will be awarded for top 3 in each category.
Ride in a team
Four or five riders in a relay format, you can choose who goes when and whether they ride 1, 2 or 3 laps at a time, this means less changing over and less time wasted in the relay transition. There are 2 sub categories in this category for Masters (combined age 130+ for 4 riders and 160+ for 5 riders), Veterans (combined age 170+ for 4 riders and 210+ for 5 riders).
Ride for fun
That’s right lots of fun, up to 10 riders means that you will spend the majority of the time drinking coffee, looking at the trade stands, watching the entertainment, eating crepes, drinking coffee and sleeping, with just the occasional inconvenience of actually riding your bike for the odd lap.
What are you waiting for? Pick your category and get ready to pack your other half, kids, and the family dog for what promises to be a stellar weekend.
There are still places available in all Bontrager TwentyFour12 race categories. Entry is online at www.twentyfour12.com.
Headine image by Rob Crayton.