With the transition into the new year approaching and Christmas already been it is a time to look back as well as forward. It has indeed been a big year for me. But the first 6 months of 2009 are set to be the epic'est yet with two 24 hour solos, one 12 hour and an attempt at the length of New Zealand record.
2008 has seen me for the first time at the World 24 hour solo champs. Undoubtedly the pinnacle of the year, the shear toughness, speed and overwhelmingness of this race was awesome. All those hours spent sliding around my home forest of clay (Mangamahoe) on inappropriate tires pay dividends.
A 24 hour solo mountain bike race requires major organisation and planning to run smoothly but my first major goal for 2009 will supersede this by four fold. With the current record for the length of New Zealand standing at over four and half days it is likely that I will be riding for a great deal longer than 24 hours. The date is set for April and many things need to come into place before then. As well as not losing sight of the other big race of the year, my second 24 hour solo world champs.
There will be much more updates on the length of New Zealand attempt in coming months as I start to sort out billions of finer points. I am not hugely experienced at ultra distance cycling so I am looking for advice, warning, assistance, reality checks, etc. There are already quite a few people really interested in helping and advising/warning me and I suspect it will take more than a few more.
The racing season will again kick off in my second home forest of Whakawerawera in Rotorua in March with the 24 hours of N-Duro. The Australian invasion is set to step up again this year, but most will just be competing in teams. With their 24 hour solo champs two weeks after it is unlikely there will be a trans-Tasman show down like last year.
For now I am off on an adventure around the Northern South Island over the New Year's holidays. With three of us travelling with bikes we hope to hit up some epic single track in the mainland.