Bontrager Twentyfour12 is an endurance Mountain Bike Race around a course of approximately 12-14km, entirely off road. As the name suggests, multiple races take place at the same time on the same course: a 24 hour race, a 12 hour one starting at midday and another 12 hour one at Midnight- the Torchbearer12.
The venue offers space and facilities for camping, all on site, beautiful scenery, and a flat arena/camping area. This is complimented by a course that has been host to five rounds of the Cross Country World Cup in the 1990s and continues to have a superb reputation for variety and fun riding - and it's able to withstand some horrible weather and still be rideable.
The idea is quite simple - you race as many laps as you can in the time allowed and as long as you have started a lap before the finish time you will be able to complete it.
There are lots of different categories in each race and there should be something that appeals to all levels and ability of rider - from novices through to very experienced - and all levels of equipment and lighting. The main 12 and 24 hour races start at midday on Saturday 7 July, the 12 hour race finishes at midnight, with the 24 hour one continuing onto Midday on Sunday. As one 12 hour race finishes, another begins as the Midnight category breathes new riders onto the course.
The venue has lots of space for camping with showers, toilets, water, trade stands, bike shops, bike wash, massage, entertainment and mechanic support, plus lighting partners Exposure will be on hand to keep your batteries charged throughout the night. All you need to do is bring your bike, helmet, a set of lights (the info below may give you an idea of how good they need to be), a tent (or caravan/motorhome) and get entered.
So which do you choose? Well, first ask yourself a few questions ...
Have you raced your Mountain Bike off-road before? Do you have people who will be able to keep you and your bike moving? Do you have high quality lights with a long 'burn time' (how long they will last before needed recharging?). Can you perform well with little or no sleep? What preparation will you do? Will it freak you out being alone in the dark woods at night...?
There are lots of other questions, but as this event is meant to be endurable and enjoyable, if you have lots of 'No' answers already, then you should really be thinking about getting some like-minded souls together to form a team or a pair! This will make the weekend more sociable and help back you up when you tell everyone at work on Monday that you spent the weekend taking part in a 24 hour mountain bike race!
12 hour options
- Solo - yes that's right just you and your bike doing as many laps as you can in the time allowed. There are two solo categories under 40 and over 40. Solo 12 hour has sold out every year so far.
- Pairs - 2 of you means someone to hand over to when you're tired, wet, injured or you just fancy a brew - men, women and mixed pair categories available. Pairs is also full every year.
- Teams - 4 of you spread the load, which means strategy and planning or just arriving at transition to find no one there and shouting very loudly until your cries are heard. Also means that not everyone needs amazing lights - there's plenty of opportunity to recharge both your own battery and the lights'.
Riding the 12 hour event means you get to finish at midnight, sit round the barbie, crack open some beers and heckle the brave souls who are carrying on for the full 24.
This race offers solos only at a crazy time, with a lot more darkness to contend with. There will be a separated start area to spread out the Torchbearer riders before joining the main course.
The Torchbearer12 starts at Midnight and finishes at Midday on Sunday 28 July
24 Hour options
Solo - Keith Bontrager says you don't race for 24 hours solo, you just exist. Well that may be true, but there are some mad people out there who do it regularly and can perform well without any sleep. These people usually have a dedicated team of helpers keeping them fed, watered and working (often affectionately known as 'pit bitches'). These people should be marvelled at and celebrated (riders and bitches). This category is limited to 80 riders in 2013.
Pairs - Same as 12 hour pairs...except twice as long. In many riders' opinion, 24 hour pairs is harder than 24 hour solo for deep psychological reasons...find out if you agree... This category also sells out...we have no idea why it is popular...prizes will be awarded for top 3 in each category
Teams - 4 or 5 riders in a relay format. You can choose who goes when and whether they ride 1,2 or 3 laps at a time (this means less changing over and less time wasted in the relay transition), this also means that you might just be able to get some sleep - but make sure you have a good alarm clock for that 4am changeover. There are 2 sub categories in this category for Masters (combined age 130+ for 4 riders and 160+ for 5 riders); and Veterans (combined age 170+ for 4 riders and 210+ for 5 riders). Prizes for top 3 in each category and trophies for sub category winners.
Just for Fun - That's right! Lots of fun! Up to 10 riders means that you will spend the majority of the time drinking coffee, looking at the trade stands, watching the entertainment, eating crepes and sleeping, with just the occasional inconvenience of actually riding your bike for the odd lap. Also means you won't have to invest in a very expensive set of lights to take part. There are no prizes in Just for Fun, but the top 3 teams do get to stand on the podium.
Map and Address
Map and Address