Thule B24!!! What a test of endurance. How many laps of a 17km trail through the mountains can you knock over in 24hrs?
On Thursday Gil and I traveled down to Victoria to cover the Thule B24 mountain bike race, a 24hr endurance race taking place in the mountains around Bright. The trip down was an adventure in itself as we were detoured due to bushfires then another due to a nasty crash which together put us about 6 hours of course (always good to take the scenic route though). We arrived in Bright midday on Friday and quickly set to walking the track and finding our locations. Bright is a mountain bikers paradise with mountains all around and trails weaving up and through the forest everywhere. It certainly was not hard to pick our location, the problem was more what locations would we not have time for.
A new category was added called the Esprit De Corps and was very successful at bringing back social riding. Your team needed to complete a certain amount of laps over the course of 24 hours but you had the option of all riding as a group. So if you were in a team of 6 and you do a lap with all team riders it actually counts as 6 laps. I think you will see this format coming up more in the future of team racing.
The race kicked off at 12 on Saturday. It was quite a long weekend but well worth it. Probably not as long for us as it was for the riders though. We shot well into the night and were up again and into it before dawn. In the last couple of hours things became rather hectic again as all the riders crammed in the last few laps. The smiles which had faded in the early hours of the morning were back too with some riders even going past me giggling Delirious or just very happy I wasn’t quite sure which)
All in all a great weekend away. I think we are both hoping to return to Bright soon.
Oh and just in case you were wondering, the winner of the solo category was Shane Roberts who completed 22 laps or around 374kms.
You can find all the images from the Thule B24 online and available for purchase here
You can find more information about the race on their website here