The Summer Solstice 24h Mountain Bike Race
To do anything for 24 hours straight sounds like a bad idea. No sleep, fatigue, monotony, repetition – there's no way it's going to be fun. Riding a mountain bike for that long is even worse. Hence why hundreds of interesting people sign-up every year to do it.
The Summer Solstice 24 Hour takes place each year on the solstice. Teams or individuals ride a 15km course in the woods all day and all night with the winners completing the most laps. The course itself isn't the challenge – it's not very difficult – it's the lack of sleep, darkness, and hallucinations that you have to watch out for. Some people go to win, I'll be happy to finish.
JOURNAL // March 18, 2018
Picked up my bike for the race today. I drove out to Brantford to grab it, pretty happy. It's a Cannondale F29 with a Lefty fork. Regular price $2600; I was able to get it for $1400.
It needs a little work—new bottom bracket, maybe a couple cables, a fork seal, and a cleaning—but otherwise it’s in good shape. It could also use some small things like new grips and tires but I’m ok with that since grips are cheap and I can use the worn tires on the street and buy new ones for the race.
My favourite thing is how it looks with that colour scheme, and I keep hearing all kinds of good things about that Lefty fork. I also love how that fork on one side looks weird and broken. It just doesn't look right.
Journal // January 30, 2018
We have a team, Fiasco
It's been a wild week getting a team together. At one point we had seven people and almost became two teams. Then it dropped down to three before settling down. Our final team count is five. And with that, we officially registered for the race.
The team is:
- My friend Steve, who's easily the craziest adventurer I personally know, regularly traveling alone to put himself into life-threatening situations.
- Kevin, who was one of my race school students last summer. We stayed in touch sharing bike rides over Strava of all places. He seemed sufficiently out there in his activities to be up for a 24h race.
- Kevin's brother, who I've never met but is (according to Kevin) out of shape but still down, making him possibly crazier than Kevin.
- AJ, who I met through work and knew for a total of 2 days before she joined the team. AJ is petite and unassuming but is easily the most hardcore cyclist of everyone and is probably going to keep this whole operation together when we start falling apart at Hour 18.
The team name: 'Team Fiasco'
This is gonna be good 😁
Journal // January 21, 2018
The team is coming together
We need a group of 4 riders to register a team for the Summer Solstice. There's the option of riding solo but that is properly insane, especially for a first attempt. With 4 riders you ride approximately one out of every four hours – six rides in total and roughly 90km over the 24hrs.
This week the team has three people – one more and we can register. It's 80% sold out so there's not much time.
Journal // January 9, 2018
Calling all masochists
Reaching out to some friends and posted on Facebook to see who's interested in something like this. We'll see what the response is. I'm looking to get a team of 4. That would mean a one hour lap every three hours. Seems manageable enough.
Journal // January 7, 2018
The First Failed Attempt
This won't be my first attempt at the 24 hour Summer Solstice. Back in 2009 I tried it with a group of friends but it rained the whole time and the muck was so thick that you had to stop every few hundred meters to pull the mud from your bike. A lap could take over two hours with riders walking half the course.
After 12 hours they called the misery off – there'd be no 24 hour race that year.
This year (if we can do it) will be my first time riding a 24 hour race.