The rules are simple: You have a lapped circuit and 24 hours on the clock – who ever puts in the most laps in the shortest time wins. There is no need to navigate, so just get your head down and ride hard. It is that easy, right?
The bike restrictions are dependent on the race, though most allow pretty much anything without a motor. It is usually up to you to realise you’re not going to take your aero-road bike with 23mm tyres up and down boggy hills 24-hours (this isn’t a challenge, please don’t try!).
You can typically enter as a soloist, a pair, quads and occasionally larger teams for fun. Races are spread out over the year, giving you no excuse back out due to lack of training. So if the idea of riding races in the dead of winter, with more dark hours than light ones tickles your fancy – Check out Strathpuffer or the Kielder Chiller. Equally, if you’re looking to race an event less devoted to battling the elements and more on pushing your endurance to its limits – look at one of the summer races, like Relentless24, Longest Day Longest Ride, or TwentyFour12.
Used to riding these races? Think you can take on the pros? This year No Fuss events are hosting the World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation, WEMBO, championships. Read more here and I’ll see you there!
Each race may have slightly different rules with respect to completing flying laps, team sizes and camping on the track. Be sure to check your race pack for more information before rocking up on the site.
24-hour mountain bike racing is my favourite discipline by far. If you want to understand what you’re like when you’re sleep deprived, exhausted and freezing cold during a festival with more of a supportive atmosphere than a festival like Glastonbury – these are the races for you. They are raw tests of your physical and mental endurance.
By the end of the race, you’ll vow never to enter another race so stupid, but I guarantee you do!