That was fun! I got a ride to Taupo with this mountainbiker called Thomas Lindup who ended up coming third in the solo division doing about 27 laps.
When I got to Taupo I went to a pub to leave my pack, and I got a free beer for being able to ride and juggle at the same time. I went for a ride and an ATM machine ate my cashflow card and I found an expensive cellphone on the side of the road and I got a puncture in my new 29er.
I thought that me and Tony did 18 laps (9 each) and Ken did 15. The extra lap is the first bit where you go an extra mile to get through the transponder, which shouldn’t count as a full lap but does get included in the results. Tony can have credit for that extra start bit.
When Tony got back from his first lap he already had technical difficulties with his coker, after a crash had bent the seat down at the front. I wasn’t expecting to use my 29er but luckily I had patched the tire in the morning and I took it out for a spin, doing my best lap time of 29 minutes (or 30). It seemed like a lap took 1 hour, and then when I sat down it only took 10 mins for Tony to get back (when he was about 30 mins). The tent city was huge and took about a third of the riding time each lap, earning us heaps of cheers and high-fives from the bikers.
On my second lap I used Tony’s coker. I love the feeling of it rolling along, but it is such a heavy beast it was a killer on the hills. The seat post was not done up tightly and it slipped down till it rubbed on the wheel near the start of the lap- I thought I had buckled the rim and it was the brakes rubbing so I stuck with it all the way with it getting worse as I went. Tony’s cranks stick out about an inch and a half past the axle, something I am not used to. When I approached this lumpy hilly bit that says Hard/easy and you can choose the way, I chose hard and went the same path that I had easily cleared on the 29er. My trouser caught on the sticky outy bit on Tony’s crank and I got launched and landed in a heap at the bottom of the hill. It was quite amusing and I didn’t get too hurt- impact testing my new gloves.
After a couple of laps with the coker I decided it was too heavy and took my 29er out for some more laps, but I didn’t get much less tired. I had heaps of bikes passing me “On your right, On your right, Right, On your Right”. I was constantly getting encouragement from the bikers too though, they would say things like “I’m amazed, you’re doing well”, and “You’re a legend”, and even “You’re a messiah!”
At night time I used Steve Parvano’s light and I had much less trouble with it than Tony’s light which I used at the Moonride, because of the mounting system. It only went out once when I crashed and I was able to attach the wire to the terminal easily in the dark. Tony’s rear light fell off me a couple of times and the second time everyone ran over it, and it ceased to work. Luckily a mountainbiker gave me a spare light and I duct-taped it to Tony’s 29er (which I was using at night cos of the longer 140mm cranks) for one more lap.
I had a pretty good time and it was good to catch up with Peter and Ken and Tony, and to meet Frank and Jeff. I think I would prefer a larger team than two next time to allow more socialising and recovery time, but you wouldn’t want more than three for a 12 hour event maybe cos otherwise you wouldn’t get many laps each. I hitchhiked home with my unicycle on Sunday with no trouble, getting rides almost instantly and meeting a prospective unicyclist and someone who had tried it once upon a time.
*Edit: the funny thing about hitching home was that I saw a car with mountainbikes strapped to the rack and I said “They must have been to the Day/Night Thriller”. We got a bit closer and I recognised the red Trek frame and realised it was Thomas, who had given me the ride to Taupo. I waved as we overtook.