I decided to do Revolve24 months ago, and now it’s only a week to go, so am I ready?
What is Revolve 24?
Revolve24 is a full weekend of endurance cycling, fun and friendship at the iconic Brands Hatch motor circuit in Kent. The main event is the 24-hour race, but as I’ve got a prior commitment on Saturday night (Health Bloggers Community Awards) – and I’ve not done as much training as I would have liked – I’m doing the 6-hour event as part of a pair. There’s also the option of a 12-hour challenge and a 4UP team time trial. (To add more excitement [or to shame the MAMILs!], the final round of British Cycling’s Youth Circuit Series is taking place.
I’m already anticipating how much fun it will be and thinking of who I can rope into a team for the 24-hour challenge next year. I love camping events with friends and a larger team would make it possible for me to bring M with me. She’ll also be old enough to join in with the family activities then, including free ‘Ready Set Ride’ sessions on balance bikes! Also, camping there at the weekend will mean that we can indulge a little at the bar if we want to (not that I’m suggesting anyone should drink and ride!)
Revolve24 is now in its 4th year. It’s the cycling equivalent of Thunder Run or Endure 24. With over 1000 cyclists, it’s bound to be a lot of fun. I know there will be plenty of teams and individuals who will be riding competitively in the hope of winning their category, but I’m sure there will be people like me who are there for the craic or to achieve a new PB or some kind… and there will also be plenty of people raising money for good causes like at any endurance event.
How tough is it?
In previous years, winning teams have covered up to 460 miles in 24 hours, which is an incredible distance.
I think watching motorsport on TV often gives people a false sense of what the track layouts are like. Sure there are some hairpin bends, but they generally look pretty flat, don’t they? Well, cast your mind back to 1986 (assuming you’re old enough to do that) when Nigel Mansell won the British Grand Prix. That was the last time that it took place at Brands Hatch, so for many people, it was the last time that they’ll have seen this circuit, so you might have forgotten that before Druids Corner there is Hailwood Hill. The word ‘Hill’ is no hyperbole – it describes a 9% incline! The KoM for this section is held by Olympian Jason Kenny. He completed it in under 10s last year, which is an average speed of 33mph!
The good news is that the tarmac is beautifully smooth with nary a pothole, unlike my local cycling grounds in the New Forest!
My plan had been to cycle in a pair with Stu, but his arm is in a cast after a rounders accident, so he is currently unable to cycle. That left me with a dilemma, so I appealed to friends to help me out. Luckily, Sergio has just completed an Ironman, so he’s cycle-fit and 3 hours on his bike will feel easy to him. Sergio also understands that I’m not cycling to win!
How’s my training been?
Maybe ‘Have you done any training?’ would be a better question. I’ve not been on my bike nearly as much as I’d have liked. I’m not currently cycling to work and when I do cycle it’s more often on a hybrid with a heavy trailer. Hopefully, that will have been good training.
I’m also more used to short distances. It’s about 3km to work, so I’m quite good at short bursts with steep hills, but I don’t think swapping after every lap is a good strategy!
Next weekend is set to be a big one for me: a trip to my aunt’s house, Bushy Park parkrun, the Health Bloggers Community Awards and then Revolve24. Then it’s fingers crossed that Stu gets his cast off in time for Serpentine Swim, a few more parkruns and a festive 10k to round out 2018.
After a Di2 incident ended my Wales Sportive this year, I’ll be spending Thursday checking that my bike is ready for action as well as testing my legs.
I’ll be Tweeting and ‘Gramming during the event and you can keep up with the action by following @revolve24 or #Revolve24 and there’s also a Facebook page. I’ve also downloaded the app.
I’ve already started planning events for 2019 and beyond and my international wishlist is stacking up. I’m determined to complete the Long Course Weekend in Wales and am planning to take part in the Mallorca version. It would be sad not to do LCW in Huskisson, Australia to complete the set. I’d also love to do a few more Aussie parkruns whilst visiting my siblings. Depending on if/when I go, perhaps I could take part in one of the Australian events. There’s an event in Adelaide in March and then one in Sydney in November.
If you’d like to take part in Revolve24 in 2019, you can register your interest at revolve24.com.
I’ve also received an email about my deferred entry to RideLondon next year. Hopefully, I’ll have more luck and the weather will be good.