24 Hour Race in Sydney this Dec., Anyone Interested?

We are looking for anyone interested in joining us for a 24 hour race in Sydney, Australia! Would love to get a few teams together and right now it looks like we might have 3 riders (Jamey, Rob O’Brian and Ashley Curtis). They also have a 12 hour option if some people want to sleep the night and take it a bit easier. We can decide how we want to split up teams when and if we have enough riders. Reply here if you have any interest.

Race Details:
Rocky Trail Entertainment JetBlack 24 Sydney
December 1st-2nd, 2012
Mt Annan (30 minutes from Sydney CBD)


I might be interested. When do you need to have confirmation?

Also, are you guys camping or booking accomodation?

Don’t know when the deadline is but I’m guessing the sooner the better. You had said you usually prefer solo 24? If you did it solo, I might be able to be convinced to do it solo…hmmmm…

As it’s less than an hour from my house I’d probably stay Friday night at my place and then set up a tent for Saturday night naps…but if everyone was camping Friday night too, I’d probably be inclined to join everyone for the atmosphere.

I’m going to threadjack my own thread for a second…

Anyone interested in an EPIC Mountain to Beach, 5 day off road race, 380kms…
I’m seriously considering it and would love at least one other unicyclists.

End threadjack.

Big probable

Im almost certainly in.
I’d love a couple of teams of 2.
Make it fun.

It I could get off school in March, I think I would make the trip to Oz for that race. It looks fantastic! But alas…

Hey it seems incredible and tempting can people who are not from australia also join in…

I believe there are no issues with anyone doing it.

I’ve spoken to the “Boss” and I am now officially in. Woot.

FYI: I just started a new thread for the epic Mountains To Beach race here so check it out if you might be interested.

Long Write-Up

So we finished the race and boy was it a roller coaster…mentally, physically and trail wise. Here is my long detailed write-up of it. Sorry it’s a bit long, but what a better way to spend my Monday than to take work off, rest and spend all day writing this!

Our Team
We had a team of three unicyclist doing the 24 hour race; Ashley Curtis, Rob O’Brien and Jamey Mossengren (me). Our team name was “All For One” and we all had 26" KH Schlumpfs for it. As none of us had ever done a 24 hour race we didn’t know what to expect but soon found out.

I tried to do a training ride for 2-3 hours every third day starting a month before the race. I even brought my muni with me when I had to travel to the USA for 9 days as I didn’t want to go that long without riding. Plus I had heaps of fun riding my old trails and seeing how much I’ve improved over the last few years.

The Course
I had only ridden the trail at Mt. Annan once when it first opened and wasn’t a huge fan of it as it was new and very bumpy and not broken in. That was like 2 years ago so I was hoping it would be better by now…boy was I wrong as I think it was the same if not worse. So 2 days before the race I went down to do a practice lap. When I arrived the trail was closed due to wet conditions but they said if I waited an hour or two, that they would more than likely open it up. So I went and got some food and chilled for a bit. Came back and it was open. Yay.

It was a hot and humid day of 27C (81F) and I am not used to riding in the sun in the heat as most of my rides are early in the morning and/or mostly in the shade. Me no like the hot sun. And so here I am in the sun ready to do my first practice lap. I quickly learned that the trail is like 80% in the sun and it’s a very difficult trail, not because it’s technical but because it’s bumpy…very bumpy. And the fact that it’s constantly either up or down, no flats…like none. I prefer doing a massive climb and then getting to enjoy the fun twisty downhill, but this was up down up down up down the entire course. So even on the downhills you couldn’t enjoy it because they were too short and bumpy to shift into high gear. There was only a few times where I could shift into high gear.

So after finished my first practice lap in 49 minutes, I was spent. So much energy lost due to the bumps and sun. It was about 8.5 km long, mostly single-track with a few bumpy grass fire road sections) with about 172 meters of elevation gain but felt lots more than that. Not that technical except for 2 short rock climbs. So I rode the entire trail and only walked two little sections…that would soon change during the race.

I took a long break and decided to do one more lap for training and to see how fast I could do it in. The second lap I did it in 46 minutes, but again was totally exhausted when I finished. Now I knew this race was going to be difficult and was starting to wonder why we had entered in the first place.
When I got home, I messaged my teammates to give them a heads up of what the trail was like as neither had ridden the trail. I told them it was not going to be easy, especially with the expected forecast to be 40C (104F)!!! Oh, did I forget to mention that?! Yes, you heard that right. A 24 hour race in these temps when the trail is mostly in the sun. Wowzers.

Pre-Race Day
I decide to carb up and pack all my gear. Turns out I had a lot of stuff to bring as I almost filled up our Jeep Cherokee with things like a tent, my 26" KH Schlumpf, 29" KH SS for backup, lawn chair, blowup mattress, sheets, blankets (ha, like I would need those), battery and inverter to run a house fan (brilliant idea), cooler full of ice, Gatorade and food, suitcase full of 8 different riding clothes (so I could change after every lap :slight_smile: ), spare parts and tools, and a bunch of food (way too much btw). Ready to go…excited, nervous, all sorts of feelings going thru me right now.

I wanted to go to bed early and get a full night rest (which I should have done) but I had promised my best friend that I would go with him to support a friend of ours EP launch for his new album. Definitely not the best idea but he said I’d be home by 11:30pm so I could still get my 8 hours of sleep. We arrive and they are running 45 minutes behind schedule. :frowning: They eventually start and their music was actually pretty good but it was punk rock and way way too loud. So loud that lots of people had earplugs in, which of course I didn’t have. There were even some people plugging there ears. So after 45 minutes of listening to this, getting a earache and a slight headache, I finally made it home by 12:30am. By the time I unwound and made it to bed it was 1:00am and I had to be up in 6 1/2 hours. Not a good way to start a 24 hour race. BTW-I never did tell my teammates so if you are reading this, sorry but I did still somehow kept it together.

Race Day
Woke up and was pumped. Looked at the radar and it was pissing down with rain at the track and so I looked to see if maybe they were going to post-pone it due to wet conditions but it said the race was on. Out the door, a coffee and bacon & egg roll, and an hour in half later I arrived. I was the first of our team to arrive so I looked for a good camping spot. Drove around and around but it looked like there weren’t any spots left. Luckily I spotted an area behind a bunch of vehicles, but you couldn’t access it as they were blocking it. After asking some people I eventually got one of the cars to move and found the perfect spot, right next to some trees for some shade. As the area was basically a big field, most people had set up camp right in the direct sunlight. Not us!

Rob arrived shortly after and we started setting up tents and organizing our area. We went and registered and Ashley still hadn’t shown up so we started getting worried that “One Lap Ash”, that came from him only doing one lap at the MUni XC during UniNats instead of two, might have bailed on us. Registration closed in 10 minutes and so I gave him a call. Luckily he had just arrived and was waiting in a line of cars to get in. Hip hip hooray!

An hour before race time and it was still overcast so the sun wasn’t shining and it wasn’t nearly as hot as we thought it was going be so we were all happy about that. We decided I would start as I was probably the most fit as I had been doing the most training. I geared up and was ready to race. Went to the rider briefing and went to the back of the bikes to start the race as I didn’t want to start by pissing off any two wheelers. Plus it’s much more fun to pass people than to get passed.

Sure enough as soon as the race started the sun instantly came out, scorching the place in no time. The first km was an added fire road section to try and spread people out. But by the time it hit single-track there was a big bottleneck so we basically had to wait a few minutes for everyone to get in. I was still towards the back and it was bumper to bumper for the next km or two and then everyone slowly started to spread out. I passed a few people here and there but really didn’t get passed much as I had started in the back. It felt good to pass people and even though it was heating up, the first 20 minutes wasn’t too fast due to all the riders on the track. Once it cleared out, I kicked it into high and pushed hard to get a good time. By the time I finished I was hot and exhausted but happy that I didn’t get lapped and came in with a pretty good time of 47:23, my second best time of my 8 laps.

Ash was next so he took off like a bat out of hell. Meanwhile I took a nice cold shower and sat in front of the fan I brought. . I didn’t feel like eating anything but forced myself to have some trail mix and a bunch of Gatorade. I cooled down a bit but was still hot. Ash came back and was exhausted. He agreed with me that the trail sucked and this was not going to be fun. Don’t know his time but he did it pretty fast, like 50 some minutes. I think he pushed it a little too hard especially in the heat as he wasn’t feeling too well…might have actually been one of his least favorite laps.

Rob went out and came back in under 60 minutes so we had our pace set. If we could manage at least an hour, we could get 24 laps in which became our goal. He came back also exhausted and HOT. His lap or my next lap was probably the hottest of the day…sitting at 38C (100.4F)!!! Not to mention it was also very humid as it had rained earlier. Mind you we were mostly climbing and riding in the direct sunlight.

So it was my turn again and out I went. Did I mention how hot it was?! For some reason I thought it was still wise to push it and try and get another good time, so that’s just what I did. I rode up all the hills and went at record speeds…at least for the first half. I have this cool Cyclemeter app that tells me every km how much ahead or behind I am of my fastest lap. Then the heat really hit me and I started to max out. About at the 5km mark I had to stop and catch my breath and cool down for a minute. Kept going but had to stop again this time because I felt light headed and felt like I could vomit. This time I stopped for like 5 minutes. I only had a km left so I pushed thru and came across with a time of 59:38, my second slowest lap of my 8.

This was by far my least favorite lap of the race and I did not have any fun. I was miserable and so close to telling my teammates that I was done. Pull the plug, no more for me. But I didn’t tell them this and instead went and stood in the cold showers for a few minutes to cool down. Wow, did that feel like the best shower ever. Went back to camp and sat my ass down in the chair in front of the fan where I continued to sweat. I started to think of how much of the race we had left and how hard it was going to be. Even at night it was forecast to be 27C (80F) so it wasn’t like it was going to get much easier cause even though it would be a bit cooler, it was difficult night riding.

I decided to drive my car into town to get some more ice (as mine was melting pretty fast, even in my cooler)before they closed the gates so we couldn’t get back in to the Botanic Gardens until 5am the next morning. I also decided to grab a Subway foot long as I couldn’t be bothered making my own sandwich. That really hit the spot as well as the air conditioning in the car and at Subway.

By the time I got back, the gates were closed and I couldn’t get back into the Botanic Gardens where the race was! What?! Not good. I started to freak out wondering how I would get in. I even contemplated trying to go off road in the Jeep to make my own way in but I don’t think I would have made it and would have probably gotten stuck and definitely destroyed a bunch of trees. Just so happened another racer showed up and needed to get in too. He just happened to have the number to the rangers and gave them a call. A few minutes later the ranger came and let us in. Whew…that was a close one.

Surprisingly, Ash came back from his second lap and said he had fun. That definitely lifted my spirits and he told me the key was to not push so hard, let bikers pass whenever they come up, as that gives you a nice break anyways, and to walk most of the hills. The best part was he still came in under an hour so that was fine. So that was my new plan as well as Robs.
Rob came back and he actually had a much better lap too. I was now ready to get back out there. Thanks to my teammates for lifting my spirits and by listening to their advice, I took it easy and had heaps of fun. It was actually one of my most fun laps as I was just cruising at a comfortable pace, walking the hills and trying to have fun even though it was still bloody hot out. Thanks Ash and Rob, that’s just what I needed! Somehow I still managed to come in at a time of 50:33, not too shabby.

Throughout the 24 hours Ashley had laps usually somewhere in the low 50’s but started slowing down towards his last few laps with times just over 60 minutes. Rob was very consistent and always got 60 minutes…give or take a minute. Day…night…hot…warm…tired…it didn’t matter, he would be back in an hour no matter what (except for his fasted lap, see below). I don’t know how he was so consistent but it was brilliant as we were still on target to hit our goal.

The sun was starting to set, meaning it was time to get the lights out. I also decided to change my uni to my 29” KH SS due to several reasons; I wasn’t really using high gear much anyways and at night I’d probably use it even less, I thought that it might be easier to roll over all the bumps with a bigger wheel, it would use different muscles and it would use less energy as it’s lighter and I wouldn’t have to deal with the play in the Schlumpf. This meant I had to take my seat, seat post and brakes off my Schlumpf and put them on my 29”. I also had to put a new tube in my 29” as it’s been sitting flat for the last few weeks. A little bit of a hassle but something to do in the down time.

Rob had the first night lap with me being next. I had just bought my Ay Up lights a few days before and had only ridden with them on for my two practice laps which were during the day. I wanted to make sure they didn’t fall off and they seemed to be good to go. I did practice in my backyard at night and they seemed brilliant and bright. Note that I’ve only ridden at night one time prior to this so I didn’t have much experience at night riding. But off I went.

It was still hot out but I was very happy the sun was down. I hated that sun during the day…but turns out that I was very happy to see it the next morning. Night riding is fun but different as it takes much more concentration trying to determine where the bumps are. I actually liked my first night lap as it was something new…maybe the 29” had something to do with it too. I came across with a lap time of 51:47 which I thought was pretty good for riding in the dark. Only a few minutes longer than my best time.

Now it was time to try and sleep. During the day I took a shower after every lap but I couldn’t be bothered anymore and just wiped myself dry with a towel. By the time I had some food, Gatorade and wound down, I only had about an hour in a half before I had to go out again. Not the longest time to take a nap but better than nothing. Fell asleep and probably got a little more than an hour before it was time to race. I’ll tell you that right now, it was very hard to get out of bed.

It was now 15 minutes after midnight and we were half way there! We slowly started falling behind a lap an hour…mainly due to the night rides taking longer and the change overs would sometimes take 5-10 minutes. But we all agreed that there was no point in killing ourselves so it wasn’t a big deal. Heck we were just happy we had 12 laps under our belts.

My second night lap didn’t go very well. It was still hot (27*C) and I had problems with my lights. A little over half way around the lap my helmet lights went out. The half battery was dead. As this was my first time using them, I had no idea how long they would last but though they would last at least two hours. Guess I was wrong. I shouldn’t have used the higher 40% brighter option. Fearing I could lose my handlebar lights, I clicked those off of the 40% brighter to normal, even though these had the bigger full battery, I didn’t want to take any chances. I thought about trying to switch the batteries around so I had lights on my helmet instead of the handlebars but due to the mounts, I figured it would take too long. Plus I only had a couple kms left and I had a small flashlight that I held to get a little more bump depth perception.

Well, turns out that this setup did not work very well at all. As the handlebar lights are set in one direction on the uni, you can’t see around the corners, up hills or down hills. My hand held light helped a little bit but was not powerful enough so I fell off quite a bit hitting bumps I didn’t see. I ended up walking most of the uphills and finished at 59:28.

Did the same routine as I did after my last lap and got about an hour in a half of sleep. My alarm went off and this was another low of the race. I did not want to wake up and do another lap. Sleeping felt amazing. Not wanting to let my team down, I forced myself out of bed and got ready to go. I had charged my batteries via my car and decided it was best to use the normal setting instead of the 40% brighter setting for my last night lap.

I was definitely sleep riding a bit, and took it pretty slow. I was tired, sore, exhausted and just wanted to go back to bed. The trail was getting super dusty and it was very very difficult to see anything, especially all the hidden bumps hiding in the dust. This meant lots of hidden bumps and lots of walking. There were a few downhill technical rock sections where they had an A line and B line. I always choose the A line to try and challenge myself and have some fun. Bad idea on this lap as the rocks shook my handlebar lights off which got tangled in my wheel and threw me off my uni. Luckily I didn’t get hurt but I had ripped the cord to my lights to shreds.

Down to only my helmet lights now and wasn’t even half way done with the lamp. Guess my wish came true from my last lap when I had wished that my handlebar lights had gone out instead of my helmet lights. Nonetheless, this slowed me down even more and I came in at my slowest lap and only lap over an hour at 1:03:15. My second least favorite lap, one that I did not have any fun doing. :frowning: Boy was I happy to be back at camp and go to bed.
Woke up Ashley and he did not want to go back out either. It was still dark out but you could tell it was slowly getting light out. It took him a bit to wake up and get ready but I don’t blame him. Turns out that he only had to use lights for half of his lap so that was good. I crashed hard and was very happy to wake up to the sun being out. So strange how I had hated that sun yesterday during the heat, but now I welcomed it and loved being able to see. Love hate relationship.

Rob came back and he had his best lap at like 55 minutes. He said it was awesome as it had dropped to like 23 degrees, it was light out, there was a slight breeze and the sun was behind clouds. Perfect conditions for riding. This pumped me up and I was finally happy to do another lap. I was still riding my 29” KH SS and wanted to see if I could beat my fastest lap with it. My Cyclemeter kept telling me I was ahead of my best lap every km so I kept up the pace. I was feeling strong and rode almost everything. Knowing this was my second to last lap definitely helped, along with the good riding conditions and the fact I could see and didn’t have to use lights. I finished at 46:09, my fastest lap!!! :slight_smile: This made me very happy and it was my favorite lap of the race. It also questioned if I should have used my 29” for the entire race.

But I decided to switch back to my 26” Schlumpf anyways, just so I could do my last lap and get some speed on the few downhill sections where I could use it. I took a nice cold shower and went to get a bacon and egg roll which I was craving during my entire lap. But when I got to the vendor, he said he was all out of eggs. HUGE let down. He said he might have more later but I wanted one now. The guy behind me said he had four spare eggs in his cooler and said he would give them to the vendor. Halleluiah! That bacon and egg roll was soooooo good.

By now the sun was out and it was heating up. Nothing like yesterday but it was starting to get annoying having that sun in your face again. We were running out of time and only had time for 2 laps left meaning we would finish with 23 laps. Ashley said he didn’t want to do anymore so it kind of worked out that I would do one more, and then Rob would maybe do another one depending on what time I finished as the cutoff was at 12pm. I started my lap at 10:55am so I had to do it in under an hour.

My lap went well and I was stoked it was my last one. I tried to have fun and didn’t push too hard. Came in with a time of 49:21 and it was 11:45am. Rob was debating to go out and do the last lap, but decided it was in our best interest not to. I totally agreed as this would mean he would have been one of the last guys across the line and the sweeper would have been following him the entire lap. Not only would this be annoying, the awards wouldn’t start until the last person crossed the finish line meaning everyone would be waiting for the unicyclist to finish. Not a good look for us and we didn’t want to finish last. So the decision was made and we were DONE! Some high fives went around and I think we all felt very proud of ourselves that we had made it thru one of the toughest and hardest races we had ever done.

I took a nice shower and came back to start packing up the campsite. Cracked open a Coopers Celebration Ale, which went down like water. By the time we packed up, it was about time for the awards so we went over hoping we might get a mention. Took awhile to start and the awards seemed to go on forever. They got to the end and we got no mention. :frowning: Thankfully, one of the nice ladies we were chatting with before the awards started, went up and asked the organizers “what about the unicyclist”. They said they had thought we left but as we were still there they made an announcement and had us come up. A big round of applause, some photos were taken and they gave us each gloves, a 4 pack of red bull and a coffee cup.

So I guess that sums up my first 24 hour experience. Even though I’ve done some pretty tough races like the 100km Highland Fling, this was harder due to the crazy heat, the lack of sleep and the crappy trail. I’m still very happy I did it as it was EPIC and it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life. I’m not sure if I’ll do another one anytime soon but maybe someday down the line. Let me know if you have any questions but I think I covered everything. Damn, 7 word pages long. Good thing I had nothing else better to do today. If you made it this far, congrats and I also want to thank Ashley and Rob for coming along on this adventure with me as it would have been absolutely no fun by myself. You guys are awesome!

BTW the official results haven’t been posted yet so I don’t know how we did in the 3 team category but I will let ya know when they are up. We did 22 laps (8 for me, 7 for Ash and Rob) in 24 hours with three wheels. Not too shabby if you ask me.

Great write up Jamey. Congratulations to you all!

I forgot two things.

First, Ashley definitely redeemed himself and did more than one lap so I am officially stating we can no longer call him one lap Ash. He did very well and I am so glad he was on our team.

Second, there first aid said there were 40 riders they treated out of 500 and I am thankful that all three of us had no injuries. I believe most of thoses we heat related with a few minor broken bones. The only injury our team had was when I brushed up against a leaning tree in the dark and got a small scrape on my shoulder.

Great write up Jamey

Jamey pretty much covered it all.

It was one of the hardest things i’ve ever done.
But the atmosphere was fantastic and the company was awesome.
Thanks Ash and Jamey for making it such a great event.
And in case Jamey didn’t mention it… It was really hot…REALLY REALLY HOT.

Nice write-up Jamey. Sounds like a tough race. All the times we did team 24 hour races, we had 4 or more riders per team. 3 has got to be a lot harder.


Hi Jamie, Rob and Ashley

Jamie, A really nice write up. Congratulations for pushing unis and bodies so far.

I’m in awe of you guys! Congratulations on a terrific effort!


Uni vid

You can check out the event and the lads style here (Youtube link), at CrummyMTB.

Nice video! (But needs more uni footage. Just sayin’…)
Seriously though, very nice videography. Nice angles and such.

Thanks for sharing the video! It was great.