So that’s this year’s Revolve24 done and dusted. What an amazing event it was! Revolve24 is a 24-hour relay race around Brands Hatch. You can do it as a soloist (for 6, 12 or 24 hours) or in teams of up to eight riders. This year we brought four teams of eight riders (three all-male and one all-female) and also three soloists (one for the 12 hours and two for the 24 hours). We had two “Directeur Sportifs”, whose job it was to make sure everything ran like clockwork. There was even a motor home as a “mobile headquarters”. I was overseeing the whole thing and also racing in one of the teams.
First thing to say is that it was an amazing event, extremely well organised. Brands Hatch truly is a terrific venue. If you do it with a group of friends, the event is as interesting off the bike as it is on the bike! Last year’s Revolve24 was miserably cold and wet. This year we were much luckier as the weather was awesome (if a bit windy) during the day and quite mild (and dry) at night. From all the kit I brought (and I brought a lot…), my trustworthy ashmei bibs and a specially produced ashmei x Outcast Cyclists Gilet stayed with me for the whole 24 hours. Two items that in my opinion are way above the competition, or “outperforming the best” as I’ve heard said…
Looking back, what made it hard both physically and mentally was the fact that the call came from the ‘pits’ to be ready in 20 mins in the middle of the morning, having last done your stint at late o’clock. Those cakes (did I mention cake?), chocolate and lots of liquids helped riding into a headwind manageable, even when you felt your chest was about to explode. In the end though, everything was made OK by the fact that there were so many others going through the same feelings of tiredness, hunger and their bodies feeling like they had been thrown around in a washing machine like a wet rag. Crucially what helped us all get through it was the common sharing of laughter, fun and camaraderie among the most awesome group of men and ladies from Outcast Cyclists.
After 24 hours of fierce competition, one of our teams managed to win the Male 8-rider team competition (and come second overall). This was definitely the icing on the cake after an amazing weekend of banter, camaraderie, suffering and laughter! And obviously CAKE! For an event like this comfort (both on and off the bike) is paramount. And so is style! I think the lack of grippers and the compressive fit of the ashmei Bibs make a massive difference, as the legs don’t ride up even without the hassle of sticky silicon grippers. The Gilet fits like a glove, without flapping, and the off-centre zipper makes it easier to undo, without unzipping the jersey by mistake.
If you’re thinking about taking part in Revolve24 in 2019, don’t think twice. And don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any tips or advice, as I’ll be more than happy to help! I’m already planning our effort next year. And now I know my ashmei stuff is more than enough to cope with whatever the weather throws at me and comfortable enough to wear both on and off the bike, I’ll definitely pack much lighter!