NORTHERN Beaches Cycling Club (NBCC) took the biggest team of the metropolitan clubs to participate in a 24-hour bike race held in Busselton this month.
Known for its test of mental and physical endurance, the Delirium 24HR cycling event was held on a 2km circuit adjacent to the Busselton Jetty on April 14 and 15.
A surprisingly tactical race, riders must choose between working with other riders in faster-paced pelotons, benefitting from drafting, or a slow and steady pace to conserve energy throughout the day and night.
Riders would also attempt to optimise short rests to best recover and refuel in an event pit area.
As the day unfolded Duncan Rogers, who rode a total 402km, and Loren Dawson, who did 423km, appeared destined for second place in the duo format.
However, their relentless pace throughout the night saw them overtake the leading team, clock a combined total of 825km, and claim first place.
Karen McCulloch, despite being barely able to walk during her short breaks, maintained a steady pace to place third overall in the women’s open 24-hour solo event with 520km.
The overall category was won by Sabine Bird.
In the women’s 12-hour version, Kim Carr clocked a total of 283km.
In the solo open men’s category Rob Barrie was the best placed of the NBCC men with 548km.
In an exciting finish, the top two riders had a see-sawing lead, and after 794km it came to a sprint finish with Julian Hamilton just tipping Daniel Trinne to the line.
In the 12 hour version, Neil Foster was the best placed of the NBCC men with 334km.
Most evident over the 24 hours was the willingness of NBCC riders to work together at the front of the packs of riders.
Junior rider Keegan Dring (12) put in a herculean effort after falling from his bike early in the race when he took evasive action from a car driven illegally on to the closed circuit.
Sporting bruises and grazes, he returned to the race to the point of working with the adult team members to drive the pace.
By the second morning a line of adults was seen drafting off his lead as he rode to his own cadence and rhythm.
Keegan completed 178km for the 12-hour event with his fastest 2km lap recorded more than 35km/h.
Combined, the NBCC club members covered 5214km in 24 hours.
In the last few laps of the race, many of the surviving NBCC riders spontaneously made the decision to group together and they crossed the line as one, reflecting the true camaraderie of the club.