Bright 24 Hour MTB Race - LDTR/ One rider's perspective Summary
B24 – Nate’s Perspective Summary
Three LDTR teams entered the traditional Bright 24 hour MTB race, with another team of 2 joining along also, making our crew of riders a total of 14 (Team “LDTR1”, Team “ISM Racing”, Team “Follow the Pumpkin” and Team “Cycleworks Box Hill" (Team of 2 Male)).
We arrived at Darren’s house to car pool to Bright, with many others from the group already being at Bright or choosing to arrive on the Saturday.
After a good four hour trip through some of the most scenic and beautiful mountainous areas,
we arrived at the Pioneer Park recreation Reserve to an ambulance helicopter landing on the oval to pick up a road bike rider who injured themselves down a descent. This was a spectacular welcome to the event village.
We set up our tents,
and headed into the town to stock up on some absolute banger bargains at Woolworths before heading out for a delicious pizza and pint at the Bright Brewery.
A majority of the crew decided to head back to the race centre and get an early night ready for the big day ahead of us. The first lot of rain hit at about 3am on the Saturday morning.
Early at 6am the next day, Darren cooked up his world famous egg and bacon wraps which were absolutely delicious after the small amount of sleep that was had.
At 8am we went to registration and collected our goodies bag, while also taking full advantage of the coffee van.
Three of us decided to ride into town along the beautiful river before race briefing and meet the others (who took a car) at a café to grab another coffee and some delicious berry muffins.
We then all set up our riding gear and bikes and went to the race briefing to listen to some very important information about chicken and rooster lines.
Race time! Nerves started to kick in for the riders who decided to go 1st for each of the teams as they lined up ready to race.
Ben (LDTR1) took off like a pig with a carrot on a stick in front of him, Adam (ISM Racing) watched and learnt from Ben’s speed… and Alf (Follow the Pumpkin) took the start at his leisurely pace to enjoy the scenery, maybe forgetting that he was in a race?
For the fourth rider in each team, it was a four and bit hour wait until they would get onto the bike.
The time was spent learning tactics and which lines to take from the earlier riders.
Team LDTR1 were in front, with Follow the Pumpkin in second and ISM racing in third when it came to who was fdaster between the three LDTR teams.
Each rider came back finding the course rewarding but also more challenging than they first thought it would be. Little did they know that it would become even more challenging with the future heavy rain to soak them.
Nate (from Team ISM Racing) only did four laps and was the fourth rider for the team. This is how his four laps and his perspective looked throughout the 4 laps:
Lap 1: After waiting so long, Nate just HAD to get his legs moving. Starting out from the transition zone, he stayed behind one very fast rider and blasted out all his energy within the first 2km of the 15km course. This was the lap where he learnt the most about pacing himself.
Lap 2: The 8pm lap started off with the sun going down and followed with the lights being turned on and the rain beginning to fall once again. The Bright Brewery crew were out and about and made for some great entertainment while Nate rode past.
Lap 3: The midnight lap was one of those stories you’ll tell for many years to come. Nate had just set off for his lap, with Ben (from LDTR1) right behind him. Ben caught up to Nate on the second climb and overtook him. Nate kept behind him throughout the whole course, sometimes leaving gaps of 20 seconds, before catching back up on the climbs. The rain was pouring and the thunderstorms kicked in! Both Ben and Nate were overly stoked by all the lighting and thunder that was surrounding them as they rode through the forest and open fields of grass.
It was just towards the end of the lap after the BMX jumps, when Nate chose to overtake Ben on a grassy patch just before the transition zone. Ben was astounded and taken back by the thought of leading for 95% of the course, only to be overtaken just before the end. Nate pounded the pedals and rode through as fast as he could, while making sure Ben had no clear path to overtake him. This was the battle royal between the LDTR teams of the race.
Lap 4: This was meant to be at 4:30am, but Nate woke up at 5:30am and in a state of confusion… thought he had missed his lap. Only to be told by Ashley (team mate) that his lap was about to start in 30 minutes and that he hadn't missed it. Relieved, Nate put on his soggy riding shorts and socks and was just about to put on his shirt when his team mate, Dave, rode passed and yelled out, “NATE!’. Nate had less than 20 seconds to put his helmet, shoes and lights on, to make it a smooth transition. Without any gloves, knee pads or a riding shirt, Nate rode out into the rain. He returned from the muddy track all soaked and covered in mud and in a cotton t-shirt.
All four teams went throughout the night without stopping. Lap after lap. Darren had arranged some homemade spag bowl to help keep us all going. We also had the coffee van, lollies, fruit and the soup van to help us out throughout the night.
Team Follow the Pumpkin had fallen behind by the fourth lap and all hopes of their riders completing a fifth lap slowly faded with more bands of rain clouds continuously coming by. Tim was 80% keen to do another lap, 20% wanting to stay near the coffee van... but eventually decided not to suffer in the soaking rain again.
LDTR1 were motivated by their positioning on the leader board and were ready to keep the times going - there was minutes in it!
ISM Racing were happy to keep riding until the very end where the rain was endlessly pouring and where we thought we had two laps more than the team behind us (turns out their lap times weren’t updated and so we ended up 5th instead of the expected 4th :( ).
Brenton and Will had worked hard all night to gain a good advantage over second place in the Teams of 2 Male and were a sure shot of getting 1st in their category.
It was the last couple of hours and team LDTR1 had fought a hard battle throughout the night, taking back 2nd place by 2minutes. This changed in the early morning when Team Waterwheel came back and took back second spot.
There was just over a minute in difference between the two. Dale's bike (from LDTR1) had loose pivots and was needed out on course to help LDTR1 take back second position. He managed to get a demo bike from the event tent just in time to finish the last lap and help lead his team to a second position on the podium in the Team of 4 B24 category, with LDTR1 being 2 minutes faster than the third.
Two team podiums made for a great result for our group.
The crew who set off from Darren's house left early at 11:30am, before the presentations and got some food from the Bright Bakery.
The others stayed for the presentations and prizes.
Despite the weather and some lack of motivation towards the end, all of the 14 riders raved about how much fun they were having and how much they were wanting to return next year.
LDTR can’t wait to go back to this 24 hour race and make this annual event where the club have a great presence and hopefully an even better podium position.
Big thanks to all involved who helped make this trip and the event awesome.
LDTR isn't a very serious racing club (this is really the only one we race in ourselves), but we really enjoy and look forward to this race!
Photos by Tim B, Travis C, Darren O, Nate T and OuterImageAU.
Videos by Nate T and Bright Brewery.