The 12 and 24 hour European and UK solo mountain bike championships sponsored by Exposure, took place at Wasing Park last weekend. CRC/ Vitus supported PMR rider Nick Baxter had a great weekend smashing through the field to take a top 10 place!
I arrived at the venue on the Friday to claim my track-side spot and to register for the 12 hour open male category, number 148. I also managed to get a couple of laps around the course to check out the terrain and set up the Vitus Rapide 29er.
Saturday morning consisted of eating vast amounts of food, final checks on the bike and getting kitted up for the midday start.
Despite knowing I would be racing for the next 12 hours I launched off the line to get near the front, ensuring I would have a clear course from the first lap. I rode the first 12 laps (80 miles) non-stop, managing to grab food and drinks from my pit crew. The course had a few short sharp climbs which actually made riding for long durations harder, as there was no rest bite. There were only a few occasions when I wasn’t on the power and pushing the Vitus forward.
At the end of lap 12 the weather changed dramatically bringing torrential rain and extremely strong winds, I chose this time to have a break, get a jacket potato, put the lights on the bike and get some waterproof clothing! After my break I completed a further 3 laps in the wet, wind and dark. The course, which had been muddy in some sections, was now muddy and slick all over, making hard work for tired legs.
I crossed the line in 10th place having ridden approximately 100 miles at an average speed of 9.5 mph and having used 7662 calories! This was my first endurance race on the Vitus Rapide 29er and I only needed to re-apply chain lube over the course of 12 hours, testament to a ‘get on and ride it’ bike!
Thanks to PMR Toachim House, Chain Reaction Cycles and Vitus Bikes for their support