Week 0: Le Mans

Daily routines. We all have one. Alarm clock. Shower (speedily). Eat. Drink tea. Rush to work. Squeeze in training. Drink coffee. Eat some more. Sometimes more work. Drink wine. Sleep. Repeat.

In hindsight, my daily routine has been somewhat time compressed for the last 12 weeks. Mainly due to the usual workload that winter's seasonal offerings brings coupled with long training rides for some race I'm doing this weekend, which involves a fairly long time in the saddle. I've been impressed with the ninja level of self discipline and determination I have developed to make it all fit (even be it snugly) into a 24-hour period. Not least due to the interesting celebration of Mother Nature's elements that is associated with doing it all in winter in Wellington.

Tapering is my new favorite thing. If only you didn't have to do the big block of training beforehand for it to have the desired effect. It's provided an opportunity to mix up the daily routine. Ditch the alarm clock. Shower (leisurely). Eat. Drink tea. Stretch. Enjoy training sessions in the sunshine. Eat some more. Drink wine. Sleep. You get the idea. It's what I imagine being a full time cyclist is like. I'm sure it's not actually at all representative but it's a nice idea.

Tomorrow, my daily routine will be in for another remix. After the predictable wake-shower-eat-drink tea sequence of events, I'll run to my bike and not get off it until sometime around midday on Sunday.

I'm not sure who came up with the idea of 24-hour mountain bike racing. I'm pretty sure it was born in the USA. But, I do have a vivid memory of Patrick Adams (the mastermind behind the UK's ever popular Mountain Mayhem and, at the time, my team manager) excitedly describing this race format he'd heard about in some far off land. I was sixteen years old. I sat wide-eyed and horrified that anyone would suggest riding for that length of time. In a team. Some time later, I found myself participating in a my first Mountain Mayhem as part of a military team. Some more time later, here we are on the eve of the World 24 Hour Solo Championships.

Whoever the brainchild was, they drew significant inspiration from the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In fact, most 24-hour mountain bike events kick off with a "Le Mans start". Some lesser known other parallels are also quite striking.

Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, Le Mans race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining mechanical damage to the car and manage the cars' consumables, primarily fuel. Replace "car"" with "rider"and that's not unlike the job we (Ricky, Lisa, Emily and I) have in store this weekend. Having lost a toenail at the first 24 hour event I raced back in April, I would like to add "not losing another toenail" to the list of things to avoid sustaining mechanical damage to. I'm sure Ricky has a much longer list of things he hopes I don't do to my bicycle.

Apparently, nowadays it is mandated that three drivers share each competing vehicle at Le Mans. Three riders each sharing the same bike sounds like a bloody good idea to me. As long as it's not at the same time. I'm sure I will reflect on that some more at some time around 2am on Sunday.

Le Mans is held near the height of the European summer in June, leading at times to very hot weather conditions for the drivers, particularly in closed roof vehicles. Not dissimilar to Aussie in October. Phew for ventilated helmets! No closed roof for me this weekend. Although that option would have been nice in Rotorua.

The car race begins in mid-afternoon, racing through the night and following morning before finishing at the same time the race started, the following day. Another tick. We kick off at midday on Saturday (2pm Auckland time and 2am London time, for those who wanna know). And, while Le Mans is a distance over six times longer than the Indianapolis 500 or 18 times longer than a Formula 1 Grand Prix, this weekend's efforts will be over eight times longer than Karapoti or 16 standard cross-country events.

Finally, back to where this roundabout comparison of mountain biking with car racing started, the race start. The Le Mans traditional starting format involved cars lined up in echelon along the length of the pits. Up to and including 1962, cars were lined up in order of engine capacity. The starting drivers stood on the opposite side of the front stretch. When the French flag dropped to signify the start, the drivers ran across the track, entered and started their cars without assistance, and drove away. By 1963, people were worried someone was gonna get squished so they stopped those shenanigans. You guessed it. On Saturday, our bikes will be lined up (in rider pecking order aka engine capacity) and I will gallop to my steed then ride away. Although, the only Tricolour involved will be the one being rocked by fellow elite chick, Mimi Guillot.

Back to the daily routine stuff. My usual one involves talking to people. Lots. The topic of sporting endeavors naturally crops up from time to time. Most people's response to a quick description of a 24 hour mountain bike race is, "Why the hell would you do that to yourself?". That's a totally understandable reaction that I am yet to find a concise answer to. But, I did have to smile recently when a patient replied, "Wow. I wish I loved my sport enough to do it for 24 hours". Amen, to that. A 24-hour celebration of an awesome sport.

So, Judgement Day is nearly here. Thanks to everyone who helped me get here and those who will help me through the next step. I imagine there is only one thing harder than racing a 24 hour event, that's crewing for one. Just like motorsport, it's a team effort.

There's a live results tracking service on the race website (at the bottom of the page here or a direct link here) if you fancy checking in at various times while enjoying a cup of tea to see what we're up to.

Over and out!

Penulis : Kim Hurst ~ Sebuah blog yang menyediakan berbagai macam informasi

Artikel Week 0: Le Mans ini dipublish oleh Kim Hurst pada hari Thursday, 10 October 2013. Semoga artikel ini dapat bermanfaat.Terimakasih atas kunjungan Anda silahkan tinggalkan komentar.sudah ada 1comments: di postingan Week 0: Le Mans
 

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