Saturday, October 3, 2015

Race day #WEMBO 3rd/4th October 2015

WEMBO - Solo 24 hour MTB World Championships.

Weaverville, California. USA
3-4 October 2015.

Wow! Another big day.
I had the usual bad sleep with the night before nerves. Eventually I slept and eyes open at 7:50. Those drugs from the doctor were required. 
The massage I had yesterday was good to.

Ready to go.

There are a few things to do. Sort the clothes, load the bikes (not into the car this time. Lets just stick them in the back of Don's Ute), eat some breakfast, check the bikes are loaded, check the clothes are packed. What about the Garmin's, are they in?  

Wow no sore tooth this time. Yeah! Dentist not required.
Pretzels I've been told by the current World Champion. Eat pretzels. No fat, loaded to the gills with salt.
Shoes, helmet,  eat more pretzels.

It's now 9:30 on on way down to race headquarters in sunny Weaverville. Not to hot, it's going to be 66 today or 24 on the other side of the Pacific.

Paul is ready for his complementary support riders lap have fun buddy.

I stole this Pic.
 It's not my stuff but it is stuff.
Time to start laying the stuff out.

  • Hard Food. Bars, bananas, baked beans, S&V chips (more salt), oh! and the pretzels.
  • Soft food. Sports jells, jelly, chocolate and rice cream.
  • The drugs. All sanctioned UCI approved?
  • Lip balm and he Aussie bum juice.
  • Clothes. Nicks, jerseys, gloves, socks, shoes.
  • Hardware. Goggles, Garmin's, lights, helmet, the spare tube, speedy and hanger, the multi tool. Have I forgotten anything? Nah I thing I got it all.

Haych and Don Bradbury at the start line.  1 minute to go.

Lap 1. Goose Bumps.

As I ride across the start line I get instant goose bumps. Here we go. Weaver Bally Road.

Somewhere in the first 5 laps.
Lap 3. The freak show.

I've done the climb for a third time and I'm on to the flat.  What being lapped by the leaders already.  These guys are freaks.

Lap 4. Oh! the leg cramps.

It's usually at about this stage. 5 hrs in that the legs start cramping up. This year nothing, 24 hrs not a single cramp.
Why? Don't really don't know.

  • My preparation has been some what better.
  • I'm 6 kg lighter.
  • And then there was Jason's excellent advice about the pretzels.

Lap 5. Candy to a baby.

Never offer a 2 for 1 deal to a cyclist. It's like offering smarties to a fat kid.

Black Candy has done an outstanding job but it's time to retire for the night. Dave is ready. Lights on and off we go.  Weaver Bally Road again.

Lap 6. Smashing the DH.
The last down hill into transition.

Full on dark now I only need one light for the climb so let's turn off the head lamp to conserve batteries.
This decent is great....... Even at night.  I'm used to the track now. I know when to go, know where the rocks are, know when to brake. NOW. The down hill times are always slower. But amazing not more than 5%.
Garmin # 1 fails.  Oh! fuck no Garmin.  "If it's not on STRAVA it didn't happen". 1/2 a lap lost.

The down hill at #WEMBO 2015 was just that. 8 km of crazy, sick, fast down hill

This is what it looked like.

Lap 7. Party at the Crossroads.

There's a spot 1/2 down at the crossroads. Fantastic support all night.  Cow bells lots of noise. As I smash down over the rocks on the approach I think what will I see this time? The girl in the Bee costume. The 2 dudes doing the full monty.

Lap 8. Doing the Bradbury.

Oh! Shit here we go again. Weaver Bally Road. 
Still not walking. As I come up to the Green Gate there is another familiar face. Don my host dad is having a chat with his mates.  "Get back on your bike old boy" I yell as I roll past. He is now on his 4th lap. We have a nice chat across the top while he fills me in with race news.
Who's on first, What's on second. He has now meet and had a chat to Paul, Kate, Peter & Jason or their crew and knows who everyone is and how they are going  I'm in 5th place.

It's now as we start the decent on the official Don Bradbury trail that I have my first and only fall. Real tight turn in the dust at 0 kmh. I get stuck in the clips and fall over just meters or is that yards in front of the Bradbury. How embarrassing. And Don Bradbury does a Steven Bradbury.

Lap 9. The Night Continues.

Riding at night was in some places on the trail better because I couldn't see how sharp the sides of the track dropped away.

Lap 10. Or is it lap 11. 

I have officially lost count. But still not walking. 
Some are passing me. Are they 1, 2, 3,.....7 laps ahead.
I pass the occasional rider.  Not because I'm riding faster than they are but it's only marginally faster to ride rather than walk.

Lap 12. Into the a new day.

I see a glow on the horizon the sun is coming.

Somewhere in the great outdoors.

Lap 14. One more / two more? That be the question.
The after shot

I head out on my next lap. I know 5th place is 35-40 minutes behind me.  If I come in from this lap before 11.30am I am going to have to do another.  Weaver Bally Road...... Noooooooo!

All worked out fine, I finished at 23:54 just 6 minutes before midday. That's it, not going to do another now.
Finished. collect my Participation Medal and head for camp.

The Results. 

Remember my goal was to be ranked in the top 100 in the world.

Male 45-59 Age Category 4th Place.

Overall Placing ........46th.

Afterwards and thinking back.

This has been by far the easiest of my 24 hr events. No cramping and better preparation has helped here.  
The course on the other hand has been the toughest.  Initially the climbs where taking just over 30 minutes. By the end I think this was extended to 50 minutes plus. That's hard work.
The downhill was always the same.

The under carriage come out unscathed. The legs are sore. The neck shoulders and lower back OK. I walked away this time on my own two feet....... 

Some other facts.

Total distance - 290.5 km
Average Speed - 12.9 kmh
Elevation Gain - 6342 meters
Average Heart Rate - 132 BPM
Kilometers Walked - None, Zero, 0 
Jells Consumed -13
Energy Bars Consumed - 4
And a whole lot more junk food.
Calories Burned - 9702

Laps on Black Candy - 5
Laps on Dave - 9 

The Extended Bradbury Family


  1. Great writeup Haych. Embarrassed? I'm the one who should be embarrassed, what with all the walking I did! Fantastic job on the race!

  2. the amazing thing here is that there was no walking. The Hill - a beast, over 15% in parts, barely any relief, 5 km. Although slimmed down Haych isn't one of the 45kg ladies bopping up that thing. SImply AMAZING that he didn't walk it for 24 hrs, real Tenacity, grit.