23rd January 2018
Written by Sharlene Harding
Two Adelaide cycling friends started talking about this event in January 2018 called 'Revolve24'. My response is “I'm not doing that! Its TDU time and there's so many events to enter I can't pay for them all.” Next thing, Davin (my husband) has decided to enter the event as a Soloist, so now I start to think well if I'm going to support him maybe Alison and I should enter the 6 hour event, that way we can be there to support him while the other is riding. Okay, let's do the 6 hour. Days later we decide that if we are going we may as well do 12 hours. Okay done, we will register soon.
Weeks later Alison and I still haven't registered. We just keep talking about it. I start talking to David Fell online about Davin's registration. I tell him I'm planning on entering as a 12hr duo. David then asks if we are interested in the 24hr Challenge as he has two friends in Sydney from his Triathlon club that are interested in the event. That is the moment Team Confetti began.
David brought the four of us together and what a match we were! Within the team was Mimi, Jen, Alison and Sharlene. We were doing it for the experience! We started chatting online about all sorts of details including food, travel plans, sleeping arrangements, team name (ours was inspired by our jersey design). We didn't chat about our riding plans until we got together on Saturday 13th Jan at The Bend - the first day of the Revolve24!
Mimi and Jen have ridden and trained together and Alison and I have done the same. Apart from that we didn't know the other pair's level of ability. However what we were sure of was that we were going to have a go, enjoy the experience and hopefully finish.
Dani and Stan are the two awesome people who supported us with every wish e.g. feeding, fetching and refuelling whilst being constantly on the lookout for our other rider soloist, Davin. Stan even had his whiteboard on pit lane giving out timing information on the last day. They made the Revolve24 fun!
Team Confetti headed out for the orientation lap around 1.30pm on Saturday "This track is awesome," and " so smooth!" We were buzzing with excitement however that was very short lived as when we hit the 3rd corner we were slammed with gale force winds and sand that stung like one thousand bees! Suddenly, no one was talking, we had to use all our strength to keep the bike upright and the sand out of our eyes and mouth. I remember leaning into the wind so I wouldn't be blown off the track. We got back to our pit garage still buzzing but the topic of conversation had changed. The wind was brutal.
Now time for Revolve24. Alison was our first rider, followed by Mimi, Jen and lastly myself. Our ride plan was one hour each then two rides of two hours each, reverting back to one hour each to the finish. All the while Dani and Stan kept our ride times in line and sent us for naps, as sleep was tough and nonexistent!
Darkness soon rolled on, the wind died down, beautiful lights started appearing on the track. It was magic, calm, serene and quiet. The only noise to be heard was the swish of a bunch flying past, or the generator that ran the flood lighting on the tightest corner, but the best noise was the supporters and other team mates standing on pit straight cheering on tired riders.
The sun came up and still pedals were being turned, the riders were looking very weary, but the clock is still counting down. We heard a huge cheer as now we are under one hour to go. We are going to make it. I was waiting in pit lane for Jen for our last team transition. "Let's finish this" I remember calling out.
The wind has increased again! I manage to pump out about 5-6 laps, and then I see my girls. Team Confetti was waiting for me on turn five. I became so teary, we rode together till the flag fell. We were pumped, proud and tired. We crossed the finish line together, just four cyclists that came together to experience the 'Revolve24'.
The Bend Motorsport Park is still under construction, but that venue is going to be world class. Yes, there were teething problems, but we had what we needed, bathrooms, hot showers, somewhere to rest and the smoothest surface I have ever had the pleasure of riding on. The event organisers did everything they could to make our event a success, and the had some hurdles to jump over The sand and wind just added to the experience. Am I glad to have entered? Definitely, and will I be back? Hell Yeah! I can't wipe the 'Revolve24' smile off my face.
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