We asked Kevin Pullen, a regular rider (and winner) of our Dirty Weekend Challenge some tips on how he prepares for the big event. Here is what he had to say.
1. Bike Preparation
Ensure your bike is running tip-top, I always have a full service on my race bikes 2 weeks out from any 24hr, allows me some time to also fine-tune anything in that 2 weeks beforehand. I’m pretty fussy with my setups so spend a lot of time ensuring everything is just the way I like it
Bring spares! Brake pads, chains, shoes, helmet, tubes, tyres – Stuff goes wrong, sucks to have trained for months and have to stop because you forgot a spare tyre or chain!
2. Body Preparation
Depending on what you’re looking to get out of the event will really play the part in this, mine starts seriously around 10 weeks out from an event & stops 7 days before. The week leading into the race is all about resting & eating as much as possible (Best part of the training!)
Make sure you have tried your nutrition plan before the event, things will possibly not end well if you try stuff for the first time in a 24hr event… trust me on that one lol
3. Pit Crew
The biggest thing to any solo rider is the pit crew, without these wonderful people we wouldn’t be able to ride in circles for hours and hours! It’s very important that you are both aware of what you want to get out of the event & that as a rider you let them know in advance what you like (As during a race simple things like communication disappear…). I’m lucky enough that my amazing wife supports me while I do stupid things!
The biggest part of the race is overnight, practice riding at night a lot, 12 hrs of darkness is a long time if you’re not used to it. But the biggest thing I recommend to anyone is train with your light on your helmet as much as possible, 12hrs with 300-500 grams of extra weigh will hurt a lot by morning if you don’t train with it on
5. Most importantly – Have fun!!
If you’re not enjoying it, whether its the suffering or just being out there, then there really isn’t any point riding for 24hrs right 🙂 We are a weird bunch that ride 24hrs, you’ll either love it or hate it!
When out on the track, always chat with people, helps kill time & helps forget your hurting, always easier to be nice & polite on the trails. That said, some times talking is hard, we grunt a lot on Sunday haha.
So in summary, EAT lots, TRAIN in race conditions, REST as much as possible, butter up your wife, (or find a willing friend or family member) to be support crew and be PREPARED, and most of all HAVE FUN! So that gives you the long weekend to fine-tune the logistics and your crew.
Thanks for your wisdom, Kevin.
Psst… now you have all the tips, why not have a crack out our Mountain Bike Event – The Dirty Weekend.