When you fall in love with a sport like cycling, it's common to develop a desire to push your boundaries, to challenge your limits and really get the most out of every crank rotation. One big goal for many of us is to complete a one-day stage event, and I don't mean just any own event, a FULL DAY event.
Yes, they are a thing and yes, they are gruelling, but the satisfaction of having completed a 24-hr race is second to none. Popping up in both mountain biking, with the Pivot24 and in road cycling with the Revolve 24 series, the latest and longest event to date is happening next week, the Red Bull Timelaps.
The Red Bull Timelaps will see 600 riders race on a 6.6km closed circuit for 25 hours, taking full advantage of the clocks going back by one hour. The event will take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October at Windsor Great Park where teams of four will aim to complete the most laps in 25 hours.
So how do you prepare for something like this? London based cycling friends, the Queen of the Mountain riders, Helena, Esme, Leah and Claire, tell us all...
What was it about the Red Bull Timelaps that made you want to sign up?
The challenge, the fact you do it as a team, the epicness of riding through the night. Also the fact it's basically like a festival for cyclists.
We're doing this for the sheer fun of it and to see what we are capable of! We've never done anything like this so just want to see what we can do!
It's going to be a physically demanding event, how are you training for it?
We all cycle a lot throughout the week, commuting, laps of Richmond and Regents parks and then long rides at the weekend!
Cycling a 25hr event will be testing on the mind, so how do you plan to stay motivated throughout?
The rest of the team is going to be crucial especially through the nighttime hours! I think having the four of us there to support each other will be the biggest motivation! Plus we are all a little bit competitive, that's always good motivation especially as we all have other friends taking part in other teams!
Other cycling friends who aren't taking part are also coming to support, provide coffee breaks and snacks. It is also 2 days after my birthday so my flatmate is making an epic birthday cake - motivation and fuel right there!
Do you have a plan of action in place in terms of feed breaks and rest etc.. ?
Not yet, or maybe we do but don't want to share our secrets! Actually, we don't yet, we need a strategy meeting.
What tips on training can you give us for an intense race event like this?
Sleep deprivation is probably going to be the hardest thing and the weather/cold! The kit is going to be key, having a nice comfy tent space to unwind in and napping. We are all pretty skilled at napping so should help. Plus packing ALL the kit for every/any eventuality!
As well as warm, dry non-cycling clothing to curl up in when we are resting.
Food/fuelling will also be key, I think a car full of food will be needed and that birthday cake will come into its own!
For more information about the Red Bull Timelaps event, head over to their website here.