22nd January 2018
Written by Sabine Bird
When I heard of Revolve24 from another fellow endurance rider in Perth, I was keen as a bean to get involved. 24 hour cycling races are simply fun: as a solo rider the long hours in the saddle nearly always bring you to a mental and physical low, particularly at night! But the addictive part emerges with the experience to push through these lows and come out on the other side, knowing the night is over, the biggest and most difficult part of the race is done, the atmosphere and cheering is only to increase from here, the coffee van is back up and running on-site… That feeling is so worth waiting for! Besides, the people that 24 hour endurance events attract are always fun and inspirational, and that’s why I love these races! In the case of Revolve24, it was to be part of a historic first-ever event, supported by the all-time great Stuart O’Grady as the race director and an outstanding bunch of decorated cyclists, including Olympians, the Australian Cycling Invictus Squad, and recent RAAM winners The Veloroos! So, hell yes (!), of course I wanted to be part of Revolve24.
With the most amazing, experienced and passionate support crew on board that an endurance cyclist can wish for, we came with the goal to hit the 600 km mark and also qualify for the Race Across America. Experience from other 24 hour races gave us the confidence that 600 km shouldn’t be too difficult to get to, however, extreme winds, quite some climbing over time, and the prospect of not being able to hide in a larger group, let our ambitions be guided by a more rational approach. Despite these goals, this time I wanted to absorb the atmosphere more than I’ve done in other 24 hour races; and while I was riding, I quietly celebrated the fact that another courageous and positive step has been made towards promoting the world of endurance cycling! Thank you David and crew!
The inaugural Revolve24 race was full of new experiences and challenges for all participants and support crews – and that’s what I love about this sport! From a personal performance view, I think I did ok. I had a blast out there, met my goals and had some serious fun - I would come back any time! Nevertheless, we identified (predictable) mistakes that I will have to work on for future endurance races… Endurance events like this provide a playground for me as an endurance rider to explore my own capabilities and allow to constantly shift initial race plans, and adapt to unforseen circumstances as the race progresses. In case of Revolve24, everything was different to my previous experience with 24 hour cycling!
A big thank you to my support crew, with John and Shannon: I know how much they always have to sacrifice to be as efficient as they are! And a huge thank you also to my coach Brad Hall from the Exercise Institute, who’s most supportive and crucial in the preparation for these races. Ultimately, as a rider for the Veris Racing team, I wouldn’t be where I am right now due to the ongoing support of all of our sponsors in our cycling development.
Now we are on a mission to tackle a real pinnacle of endurance cycling: RAAM in 2019…
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