With the training program in place, we were set for a huge opening of the 2011 season, the Jet Black 24hr race at the Del Rio Resort in Wiseman’s Ferry, what we didn’t expect was the extreme heat of that February weekend! It was going to be a family weekend for the Pedal 4 Pierce team but due to Chris starting high school it was left up to Dad to ride in the now familiar Pedal 4 Pierce colours.
The chosen ride was the 6+6 category, 6 of the best hours at the start of the race, a relaxing 12 hours in between and then another 6 hours at the pointy end of the 24 hours….seemed like a great way to ride a race to me! Friday saw high temperatures and setup was thirsty work, I was going to go for a lap but decided to just take it easy round the resort and save my energy for what was looking like being a hot Saturday.
Saturday was scorching….and after the chat with MC Paul Craft at the start it was into the groove and ready for 6 hours of fun…..despite the heat it was a great 6 hours, I managed to keep going and felt reasonable after the first 3 laps, but it just kept getting hotter. At one point my GPS read 48 degrees…I was drinking heaps but also sweating much more than I could replenish.
The end of the 6 hours came and I was spent, the next couple of hours were used to cool down, replenish the lost fluids and most importantly eat. The night was crazy hot, 30 plus degrees all night, so not much sleep was had.
Morning saw a magnificent sunrise and this was boosted by Martin’s Austrian music selection which echoed through the hills of Wiseman’s Ferry, and awe inspiring start to the final 6 hours. My goal was to finish at least 6 laps, given the heat of the previous day I was unsure on how my body would react. Things didn’t go to plan and I ended up giving in to Mother Nature after 4 laps.
Despite having to finish early I still had a great time, Pedal 4 Pierce raised a heap of money thanks to the Tupperware party and sales of cycle jerseys and caps, and of course the donations which are gladly accepted at every event. To top off the extreme heat we were greeted with a spectacular storm whilst finishing off the presentation ceremony and the final pack up. Congratulations to all those who rode, the winners for excelling in such conditions and to Jason English, world champ, reigning Sydney 24hr champ and a bloody nice bloke!