Meet Chris St Jack. He rode the Dirty Weekend – a 24 hour mountain bike endurance event– on a single speed bicycle. His secret? Vegemite and honey rolls.
Chris St Jack is a little crazy. He’s raced his canoe 700 kilometres along the Yukon – entered into multiple adventure races – and last year in his own words decided to “throw himself into the hurt locker” when he took part in our Dirty Weekend enduro challenge. He rode 24 hours on a single speed bicycle.
Why the one gear?
“I love the honesty of it,” explains Chris, “You can’t hide on a single speed. You just don’t have any gears to hide behind.”
Taking part in a 24 hour MTB enduro is no mean feat. These brave (or crazy?) guys and gals that do these events are truly a different breed. What drives them?
“It’s not just about the physical challenge,” he asserts.
“It’s about pushing yourself to the edge – and willingly doing to it to yourself. You never get that opportunity in day to day life.”
Throughout the ride – Chris only stopped twice – and he didn’t crash once. But it was by no means easy. Pushing yourself to the limit hurts – the mind and the body.
“From about midnight onwards I was slogging myself,” says Chris.
“You find that redline and you hold yourself there – and you keep pushing and you keep pushing- and you say that’s one lap down. Riding a bike – it’s the simplest and at the same time the hardest thing you can do. ”
“My whole body was screaming at me to pack it all in in those final hours… that’s where the mental game really came into play.”
So what was the secret to Chris’s super human feat? First up was training. In the lead-up to the ride he was in the saddle 5-7 days a week clocking over 400kms.
The other secret?
“White vegemite and honey rolls – they were my absolute winner – they were race food supreme. 12 rolls got me through the 24 hours,” he laughs.
“Oh and watching sun come up is always magic – it gives you energy.”
Thankfully – you don’t have to be a madman to take part in the Dirty weekend. Many people do it for the fun – and in a team. (You can ride 6, 12, or 24 hours in teams of up to four.)
Chris’s advice for anyone wanting to take part: “Do a night lap – because it’s awesome. And remember that you’re there to have fun – don’t take it too seriously.”
Bike SA’s Dirty Weekend is South Australia’s only 24 hour mountain challenge in Cudlee Creek (right next to Adelaide) on the 2-3 May. With 6hr, 12hr and 24hr options, this is an epic adventure and above all a hell of a lot of fun along South Australia’s finest MTB trails.