Twentyfour12 is an endurance Mountain Bike Race around a course of approximately 14km, entirely off road, with a family friendly festival vibe.
As the name suggests there are multiple races taking place at the same time on the same course a 24hour race, a 12hour one starting at midday and another 12 hour one at Midnight- the Torchbearer12. The venue offers space and facilities for camping, all on site. The venue is perhaps England's finest with beautiful scenery, a flat arena/camping area complimented by a course that has been host to five rounds of the Cross Country World Cup in the 1990s and continues to have a superb reputation for variety and fun riding and is able to withstand some horrible weather and still be rideable.
The idea is quite simple, you race as many laps as you can in the time allowed and as long as you have started a lap before the finish time you will be able to complete it. There are lots of different categories in each race and there should be something that appeals to all levels and ability of rider from novices through to very experienced and all levels of equipment and lighting. The main 12 and 24 hour races start at midday on Saturday the 29th of July, the 12 hour race finishes at midnight with the 24 hour one continuing onto Midday on Sunday. As one 12 hour race finishes then another begins as the Midnight category breathes new riders onto the course. The venue has lots of space for camping with showers, toilets, water, trade stands, bike shops, bike wash, massage, entertainment and mechanic support, plus our lighting partners Exposure will be on hand to keep your batteries charged throughout the night. All you need to do is bring your bike, helmet, a set of lights (the info below may give you an idea of how good they need to be), a tent (or caravan/motorhome) and get entered.
So which race do you choose?- Well ask a few questions of yourself first
Have you raced your Mountain Bike off road before? Do you have people who will be able to keep you and your bike moving? Do you have high quality lights with a long 'burn time' (how long they will last before needed recharging). Can you perform well with little or no sleep? What preparation will you do? Will it freak you out being alone in the dark woods at night...
There are lots of other questions but this event is meant to be endurable and enjoyable so if you have lots of No answers to those questions then you should really be thinking about getting some like minded souls together to form a team or a pair, this will make the weekend more sociable and will aid your ability to proove that you spent the weekend taking part in a 24 hour mountain bike race when you go back to work on the Monday.
12 hour options
Yes that's right just you and your bike doing as many laps as you can in the time allowed. There are two solo categories under 40 and over 40. Male categories now sold out.
2 of you means someone to hand over when you're tired, wet, injured or you just fancy a brew, men, women and mixed pair categories available.
Teams of 4
4 of you spread the load, which means strategy and planning or just arriving at transition to find noone there and shouting very loudly until your cries are heard. Also means that not everyone needs amazing lights with plenty of opportunity to recharge both yours and the lights battery.
Riding the 12 hour event means you get to finish at midnight sit round the barbie, crack open some beers and heckle the brave souls who are carrying on for the full 24.
Torchbearer12This race offers solos only at a crazy time and alot more darkness to contend with. There will be a separated start area to spread out the Torchbearer riders before joining the main course.
The Torchbearer12 starts at Midnight and finishes at Midday on Sunday
24 Hour options
This category will form the Exposure 24 hour solo National Champs in 2017. Keith Bontrager says you don't race for 24 hours solo, you just exist. Well that may be true but there are some mad people out there who do it regularly and can perform well without any sleep, these people usually have a dedicated team of helpers keeping them fed, watered and working (often affectionately known as pit bitches). These people should be marvelled at and celebrated (riders and bitches). This category is limited to 120 riders and is sold out in male categories for 2017
Same as 12 hour pairs...except twice as long. In many riders opinion 24 hour pairs is harder than 24 hour solo for deep psychological reasons...find out if you agree. This category also sells out...we have no idea why it is popular...prizes will be awarded for top 3 in each category.
4 or 5 riders in a relay format, you can choose who goes when and whether they ride 1,2 or 3 laps at a time (this means less changing over and less time wasted in the relay transition), this also means that you just be able to get some sleep but make sure you have a good alarm clock for that 4am changeover. For 2017 there are male, female and mixed categories plus sub categories of veteran and grand veteran in he male category.
Veteran Male Teams (combined age 170+ for 4 riders and 210+ for 5 riders), Grand Veteran (combined age 210+ for 4 riders and 260+ for 5 riders)
Just for Fun
That's right lots of fun, up to 8 riders means that you will spend the majority of the time drinking coffee, looking at the trade stands, watching the entertainment, eating crepes, drinking coffee and sleeping, with just the occasional inconvenience of actually riding your bike for the odd lap. Also means you won't have to invest in a very expensive set of lights to take part. There are no prizes in Just for fun but the top 3 teams do get to stand on the podium.
A few questions answered
Can I bring my Dog?
Yes well behaved dogs are welcome, please keep them on a lead during the weekend and respect the wildlife that live in the park.
Is there a solo tent?
Yes we make one available but with so much camping near the track not many people use it. As along as you rejoin in the same place you can leave the track go to your pitch, get sorted and rejoin.
I'll be knackered...can I stay Sunday night?
Yes this is okay but not all facilities wil be available after Sunday afternoon and we will lock the gates at 2200.. You must leave by Monday lunchtime though.
Do I need to book a campsite pitch?
No there is enough room for all but obviously the early arrivals will bag the prime spots. You are never more than 100m from the track though and everything is within walking distance. Camper vans and caravans are welcome.
Can I bring my family?
Yes, Newnham is a lovely setting for camping and each year there are more families, we try to add a few touches to ensure the kids are happy including their own race on Saturday Morning.
No campfires please