Getting Ready for the Bontrager 24/12

This seems to be becoming something of a recurring theme for me… I sign up for a race, prepare badly, get injured and always have plenty of excuses before the big day. This time it’s no different but everything is a little more exaggerated than normal.

First up, for some reason at the end of last year I decided to sign up to a 12 hour mountain bike race for this year. Most of the ‘races’ I do are in the 3-4 hour region and most of the training rides I do in between are around 2 hours. So, the plan was to sign up for one at the end of last year and then gradually start increasing the length of my training rides prior to the race. The race I’m doing is the Bontrager 24/12 as a 12 hour soloist. That part of the plan went well, I signed up for it and I’m off to do it this weekend. The rest of the plan wasn’t quite so successful.

I did do a few early morning Sunday rides in the dark early in the year. Well, when I say a few I think it was actually only 2, but one of them was 5 hours long! Since then I haven’t done any rides over 3 hours, so, a full 12 hours is going to be new territory for me.

Next problem is that I’ve torn some ligaments in my ankle so have been hobbling around doing no training whatsoever for te past couple of weeks. I’m also not too sure how well my ankle will hold up during the race. That said, I have strapped it up and it is feeling a little better at the moment.

So, as per usual, preparations haven’t been great and I can’t really see myself being able to do the full 12 hours. I think my plan will be to start off nice and slowly and simple take it one lap at a time. I shall plod around, chatting to people as I go. Stop regularly for food and a stretch, hope that my ankle holds out and see what happens. If I have to stop I have to stop.

I shall take plenty of changes of cycling clothes with me so that I can change into fresh kit now and then which should give me a bit of a boost and I’ll take both bikes as well so that I can swap now and then if I feel like it. Not only will that give me a change but it’ll change my riding position a bit making it easier on my back.

The weather doesn’t look too bad for the weekend and I shall be meeting my brothers there who are doing the race as part of a 4 man relay team. I did have delusions of trying to do more laps as a soloist than they did as a team, but my lack of preparation has put pay to that. As long as I have fun though it doesn[‘t really matter.

Wish me luck.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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