Behind every 24hr soloist is someone who cleans bikes constantly, sorts out food, fills bottles with energy drink, feeds you all manner of food throughout the night and generally shouts words of encouragement at you everytime you pass through the pits. For me, that person is my wife Beth. Most* of my achievements are attributable to her.
There are times however, when I wish she wasn’t so confident in my ability. Such as around 9am on the Sunday morning of Sleepless in the Saddle. At 19 hours into the race, and with me lying in 5th place after a gruelling night of rain, mud and general grotty riding, she told me in no uncertain terms to get out of the pit area and go and catch 3rd place. Riding a bike for 24 hours messes with your head quite a bit, and you loose the capacity to do things like simple maths – I couldn’t figure out how the hell I was going to make up the time I needed to make 3rd place. Anyway, I put my head down and got on with it and as the hours ticked by towards the finish, I achieved Beth’s goal. I say Beth’s goal as I would never have imagined I could have achieved such a good result. But she was right. As usual.
* most, because I’m the one riding the bike ;)