26th April 2019
Written by Sharlene Harding
Sharlene first considered riding in a 2-person team in the 6 Hour Challenge in 2018. She ended up riding in a 4-person team in the 24 Hour. In 2019 she went solo in the 24hr. Pretty amazing #thisgirlcan.
In Sharlene’s words, here is her experience, written the day after the 24hrs before!
“Let’s wrap this Revolve24 thing up! 24 Hour Solo Challenge, 434.3km / 20hr 23min 43sec of ride time / 11627 calories burnt / 1920m elevation / 21.3km avg. OMG!
Did I just sit on a tic tac (saddle to you non-riding people) for that long? How am I feeling now? Honestly, it does not feel that I just rode for that long. Yeah everything hurts. My right thumb is numb. I have sharp shooting pains from my left hand to my elbow. My quads are resisting any movement. I can’t look over my left shoulder. The privates are not too bad. (I know all you bike peeps are interested in that bit. If you want more info I will tell you in private!).
Surprisingly my shoulders are not giving me too much grief. I have been a little delicate and often had the shakes this morning and on the verge of tears. Davin’s hugs made that better!
I slept in the car after we left the track and collapsed into bed, leaving no 1 son and Davin to unpack the car. 13hours sleep! I woke at some stage with no idea where I was but thinking I should be riding......
The plan was to get 400km minimum as I was going to be pretty grumpy with myself if I didn’t. I’m happy to say I was pretty chuffed with my smooth take off at the start, with Davin holding my Bombtrack Audax now known as No #5. This was not a race for me as I was riding with some pretty strong super-human women in the solo 24 Hour Challenge and there was no way I would hit the podium, so the ride was about me. I was promptly overtaken in the first lap by almost everyone, but that was ok, I wanted to hit a pace that felt consistent- it fell a lot over the 24 hours! The sun was hot, and all I was wishing for was sunset and the cool of night to appear.
Around 5.30pm the headache was getting worse and the shoulders were so painful that I hit the pits for painkillers. At this stage I was thinking there was no way to get through the event......Night came and rode with the sound of a fast paceline of riders, the wind then the peace of the wind at my back...The night is the most magical! I did need to look away from the red tail lights until the headache passed as I was concerned they would trigger a migraine.
I came into the pits to eat and get full bottles, but at 5.30am I think I was hitting a wall. I needed to lay down flat so off to the wagon for a cat-nap. I woke and dressed for the cold morning. Damn it was cold and foggy. Suddenly I was wishing for the sun to come out.
Davin was the best! He only yelled at me twice to get moving and when I was resisting more laps at the end. The last 5 hours were so slow, 15 mins per lap is not a good time, but the pedals were turning.
All the amazing girls and partners in the pits. They provided painkillers, leg rubs, icepacks, warm hugs, escorted toilet trips (in case I ran away, lol!), caught me when my knee was bursting with pain and took pics.
Revolve24. Your event team are brilliant! And holding the jersey for me - I wasn’t going to wear it until I had earnt it.
Support on the track-from the beautiful girls I ride with often to the strangers doing the same thing as me.
Thanks to the bee that hit me in the face and didn’t sting me.
To Mr Davin Harding for being a top pit crew. The food was not too cold or hot but just right, the electronics didn't fail, and I saw you almost every lap at the fence cheering me on.
Thanks to Margaret Boylan for what you do for us all.
Big superstar mention to 4 solo female Revolvers plus me. All female solo riders were still smashing out the laps to the end whilst many of the men didn’t appear to be on the track!
Next??? I ride across the USA, March 2020.
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