Want to race a mountain bike for 24 hours? Not into such a huge solo effort? How about roping three or four of your favorite riding mates into entering as a team? Do the math. Five riders over 24 hours means about five hours of total riding. Factor in the potential four hour break between efforts and maybe now it seems somewhere in the realm of possibility. Of course it does.
A lot of people are figuring out that 24 hour racing is not only possible, but a lot of fun. You don't have to have a pedigree in World Cup competition or be an Olympic hopeful. All you have to do is be prepared to ride and enjoy it. Then there are the always exciting night laps when mountain biking takes on an entirely new dimension under the stars and in the thin beam of a halogen light.
Preparation for a 24 hour race depends on your goals. If you are out to win your class, and there are a lot of classes, then being in top notch physical condition is obviously essential. If you are in a less-than-competitive mood and are just trying to have some good old physical bonding with your friends than the most important pre-race preparation is to make sure your bike is in good working order. Most of us can deal with our body starting to tire, but a broken bike may mean the end of your race.
There are 24 hour races throughout the United States. Granny Gear Productions organizes six races throughout the US while Twenty4 Sports holds four yearly events. Numerous smaller promoters also organize races. Check the local bike shops in your area for upcoming events.