[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/12/imgp1573.jpg]I caught the only showing of the film, 24 Solo, at the historic La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, Calif. The film introduced me to the world of 24-hour mountain-bike racing as well as Chris Eatough, six-time 24-hour solo world champion. The story offered a behind-the-scenes view into the training and personal life of Eatough during his quest for his seventh consecutive title.
On average, Eatough rides six to seven days a week for three hours. Occasionally, he?ll step up to a seven-hour ride in the weeks preceding a major endurance event. He believes that the consistent training allows him to maintain a higher intensity than if he were to train with longer outings, which would prevent him from riding as frequently. This also allows him to stay competitive all season long, as he enters an average of two cross-country races per month in addition to the major endurance events.
I grew up an avid mountain biker on the east coast, riding a long network of trails that double as snowmobile trails in the winter. Thus, I have always respected the sport and I believe this film has expertly portrayed the ?endurance spirit? that I often reference. The mental and physical fortitude that Eatough displays during both training and competition reveals the extreme nature of the sport. 24-hour solo riders are competing against something more formidable than other riders -- themselves.
Although 24-hour racing is not for everyone, Roy Wallack from Dirt Rag Magazine breaks down 24-hour racing essentials in his article, 'Round the clock racing: How to ride a 24-hour race. Wallack details the sports accessibility to relay teams and provides pointers to get you geared-up properly.
(Photo courtesy of Toby Guillette)