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Friday, April 26, 2024

24 Hours In The Old Pueblo - What A 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race Feels Like (VC Video)

Push through the darkness, and the light will be so bright.
Tyler Pearce, aka The Vegan Cyclist of VC Adventures

What does a 24 hour mountain bike race feel like?

From responses to my series of posts of the 24 Hours In The Old Pueblo ("24 HOP"), I realized that many people, including endurance cycling friends, are not familiar with 24 hour mountain bike racing. It was a relatively small niche type of event that peaked in the early 2000's, then all but disappeared.

Somehow, over the years, 24 HOP not only survived, but thrived. And, now, here's a video race report that captures the essence of what it's like to race a mountain bike solo at that venerable event. It's great fun.

At the Friday expo with Tyler Pearce, vlogger and film maker VC, aka the Vegan Cyclist.
(image by Tyler Pearce)

Tyler Pearce, aka Vegan Cyclist of YouTube fame, recently published his story of racing solo at 24 HOP. In about 33 minutes of narrative and quickly paced video, Tyler describes the race concept, course, venue, vibe, and experience from his saddle as a first time solo racer near the tip of the spear. His take is informative and entertaining, with lots of footage flying around the cactus infused course.

As a solo racer at the same event, but at the other end of the spear, I really enjoyed this video. His description of the physical, mental, and emotional challenges and rewards could have been mine, and likely most other solo racers. We all were wrung out, passing through the same wringer at different speeds.

With a plan sounding eerily familiar, Tyler rode steadily through the afternoon and into the evening, pacing for a 24 hour race and forcing himself to take regular breaks to recover. Then, in the deep of the night, he "got a little arrogant," pushed too hard, and cracked. In the pre-dawn bleakness back at camp, Tyler concluded his race was over and fell asleep. An hour later, his son woke him and, somehow, in "the hardest one minute of my life," Tyler got up and back on his bike.

Ultimately, he completed 16 laps to finish 5th in the Open Solo Men category. Afterwards, Tyler addressed the question of what it feels like to race a mountain bike for 24 hours.

"It feels like everything. You feel the happiest you've ever felt. You feel the worst you've ever felt. You feel connected to nature, but you also are connected to nature (showing image of cactus stuck to his arm). You go through every range of emotion. You fight with every excuse. Everything goes wrong. Everything goes right. You live an entire lifetime in those 24 hours." 

As for 24 HOP specifically, Tyler simply says "the 24 Hours In The Old Pueblo is gotta be the best 24 hour race on the planet. I can't recommend it more highly."

I know that I hope to return in 2025. If you're considering it, know that registration opens on October 1 and last year filled in 2 hours 10 minutes.

What A 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race Feels Like.
(link to video by VC Adventures)

Links to the 5 part series of my experience at the 2024 24 Hours In The Old Pueblo. 24 HOP-Back At It24 HOP-Sticker Smiles24 HOP-Race Report24 HOP-Whiskey Tree24 HOP-People Make The Place.

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