“The Mont” is THE annual 24 hour mountain bike race which took place in Kowen forest, Canberra this weekend. It attracts around 2,400 competitors who compete either as intense, non-stop solo riders or in relay teams. The race began at midday on Saturday and ran (or should that be cycled?) continuously until midday on Sunday. Competitors began the race by running 800 meters or so to their bikes, to kick start the next 24 hours of cycling.
Rainy weather late this week meant the track was pretty muddy. Great efforts by the organisers and volunteers meant the worst areas were covered by road base gravel. The riders endured cold and windy conditions overnight, particularly difficult for those who travelled here from more temperate climates.
Highlights for spectators included a rather narrow, slippery bridge at the bottom of a section of steep track (not so great for many riders who found themselves a bit wetter and muddier than originally planned). Lots of riders get into the spirit of the race with one whole team decked out in pink tutus. Also fun to watch was a team whose bicycle repertoire included a tandem cycle.
Each lap was 19 kilometers and generally took something close to an hour to complete.