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My "trusted" 24 hour guy just dropped a bomb on me....job complications preventing him from supporting my solo attempt.

While I am pitting with a few others (a duo team and another solo) - the dedicated support will be limited.

I am 100% committed at this point. Any suggestions to ease the pain or make a self support easier?
 

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Not sure what your food plan is, but I'm assuming it's pretty well dialed at this point. For what it's worth, I find food preparation to be the most necessary form of race support for me. Preparing snacks/meals takes time. Time that I don't have. And if I do have time to get off the bike, I certainly don't want to spend it preparing food. If you can prepare your food ahead of time, or if you can convince the others to prepare it for you, you shouldn't be in bad shape.
 

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Depends, are you hoping to podium or just testing yourself to see how you can do? I did my first solo 24 unsupported and it wasn't too bad. Was a little tough refilling camelbacks by myself at 2am though. Every race since then has had at least one support person.

If you are thinking of racing to win or place at the front a pit crew is very important. Wasted time in the pits can add up to hours of time not turning laps which is really hard to make up on the trail. Having food, water, and lights ready when you come through is a great time saver and then there is the issue of bike maintenance. Even if you have 2 bikes, there are little things needed to keep them running smoothly all weekend.

Good luck with your first solo. Gotta warn you though, it is addicting.
 

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I've gone without not looking to podium but to stay on the bike as much as possible. Here's what I felt worked well:
-Bottles pre-filled/mixed and in a cooler
-Gels/Food in a ziploc and marked
-2nd helmet with light already attached
-Kit changes laid out in the tent
 

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This is always an interesting question. I have a system down to where I can run a solo 24 on average "almost" as fast without crew as with. I have had some crew in the past that simply got in my way and others that saved me from serious time delay. SoloSteve is correct in that it is difficult if not impossible to make up for compounded delays lap to lap if you are doing task work normally assigned to your crew.

I save time by going on a liquid diet for a 24 so I don't have food prep issues, etc. I don't have battery recharge issues as I have enough burn time, etc. The important thing I need a crew member for is the unforseen bike issues at 2am where I can simply drop the bike in the pit, grab bike #2 and do a lap while the crew is working on the first bike.... In addition, having a crew member to lube your chain while you are grabbing clothes, a new bottle, etc saves time.

To say you won't podium without a crew member is false....it is just harder to do so and everything needs to go correctly. The bottom line is a solo 24 is quite doable without crew and it sounds like you may have others around you to help a little if absolutely necessary. You may also ask around before the race to see if anyone has a spare crew member or some capacity to help you. Have a great race and you will do fine running solo while doing a solo! :thumbsup:
 

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I done most of my 24 hr races with out a support person. I would rather not have anybody if it is somebody that I have to train the day before, It's just hard to get podems no matter what,I have done it with support & with out. the first time I had somebody that knew what he was doing was a guy from our shop that already knew how to keep the bikes up and going but where he was most useful was looking at the leader bord. I need to know where the guy in front of me is and where the guy behind me is at and I also want a report on their lap times and mine. this is the kind of info that can crush a guy that might be gaining on you if you can open the gap back up. But if I am alone I have found that I can ask the people that are doing the scoring as to what place I am in and I try to find out what number the guys are in in the front of me and behind me,but I try not to worry about that till the next morning I just try to keep my head down and pedal.

I use two of the plastic three drawer things also the hanging shoe things to put stuff in like clothes and dry food MARK THEM! & I hang (if it's not going to rain)my shirts,jacket that I am going to use at night,night gloves & arm/leg warmers are in the top drawer I also use two 5 day ice chest one for food and the other for bottles and some of my bottles are my food smoothies I freeze them and some of my other drinks like the hourly bottles. I also like to use two pop-ups one is my living place and the other is my shop & I have a table in the shop with lube and brushs and tools layed out on the table so that if I have to stop clean some mud and crap out I can put the bike in the stand do it to it and grab two fresh bottles and go.
 

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Good crew is worthwhile

... I have had some crew in the past that simply got in my way and others that saved me from serious time delay. SoloSteve is correct in that it is difficult if not impossible to make up for compounded delays lap to lap if you are doing task work normally assigned to your crew...

...To say you won't podium without a crew member is false....it is just harder to do so and everything needs to go correctly. The bottom line is a solo 24 is quite doable without crew and it sounds like you may have others around you to help a little if absolutely necessary. You may also ask around before the race to see if anyone has a spare crew member or some capacity to help you. Have a great race and you will do fine running solo while doing a solo! :thumbsup:
I've done 24 solos on my own, have had minimal crewing, and have had motivated but inexperienced crew. Never have had an ace crew, and I can see how it would be nice.

First one I did my little sister came out to help. It was super nice of her, but she had absolutely no idea what to do. She didn't know how to work on my bike, and was willing to do things but every time I'd come in to pit she'd say something like "do you need anything?"

What you need is somebody to shove food into your hands and say "here, eat this." Like, "It's cold, eat this hot soup. It'll only take a minute. I'll get you a dry baselayer and jacket. OK, take off that jersey and put this stuff on. OK, good, your bike's got fresh lube. Go."

My GF helped me out once, and she did a pretty good job, but again she did not really have any experience. And she doesn't want me to do things like eating part of a stick of butter even if it's the right thing to do. She can't see how that could be the right thing to do. But damnit, if I want to eat a quarter stick of butter at 4 am, that's what I should do!

I did really well once supporting myself, but then got cocky and crashed at 1 AM and took myself out of the race.

I think that if you're in it to win it, a motivated and experienced crew could save you quite a bit of time and keep you strong. But yeah, you can do without. Just plan ahead as much as you can. And you'll need to be your own voice of reason.
 

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My "trusted" 24 hour guy just dropped a bomb on me....job complications preventing him from supporting my solo attempt.

While I am pitting with a few others (a duo team and another solo) - the dedicated support will be limited.

I am 100% committed at this point. Any suggestions to ease the pain or make a self support easier?
It's totally doable given your situation (pitting with others) as long as you get yourself really organized on the morning of the race. Set things up so when you come in from a lap you know where your layers are, your batteries are, your tools are, etc. I'll say this part again because it's really, really important - get organized.

Food/hydration will be the trick depending on what you race on, if it's solids you can put that stuff in Tupperware containers and lay it out for easy pickings. If it's liquid fuel you can pre-mix all your bottles and put them in an ice chest.

If you are on liquid fuel and the folks you are hanging out with are willing to do bottle hand-offs in front of your pit area the first several hours up to night lights should be easy as you can keep ripping through the pit area and never have to stop.

Outline to your neighbours what your race should look like, how hard you are going to push yourself, and what your contingencies are. If things start going off track they need to know what you want to have happen and they need to know that stuff before the race starts.

I've raced a few 24 Solos unsupported and I've raced a few with top notch pit support, there's a big difference between those two scenarios. Just try to optimize what you've currently got, and don't worry about the things you can't control.

Of course there's a lot more to it than the simple points I just outlined but if you get these things sorted out you should be good to go.
 

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And she doesn't want me to do things like eating part of a stick of butter even if it's the right thing to do. She can't see how that could be the right thing to do. But damnit, if I want to eat a quarter stick of butter at 4 am, that's what I should do!
lol, things arent nearly as disgusting at 4am when you are several hours in to a 12 or 24 hr event are they?
 

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disgusting?

lol, things arent nearly as disgusting at 4am when you are several hours in to a 12 or 24 hr event are they?
Sir, there is nothing disgusting about butter. Butter is Good Food™

Sure, it's nicer to have it melting into a lovely waffle or piece of toast, but it's delightful all by itself as a tasty snack.

I will not stand for any more of this slagging on butter.
 

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In addition to all the good ideas above, something that helps me is a big translucent plastic bin that I line the bottom of with empty plastic drink cups. The cups act like little organizers for gels, mini-tools, electrolytes, aspirin, chamois cream, mini-snickers bars, extra glove, skullcaps, headbands etc. etc. etc.

Just a little better and quicker organization than everything in a jumble!

Oh, and ALWAYS a dedicated cup for the butter!
 

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I did the 24 hours of Exposure Solo without support and have to say I would have done better with support. You are better off having some one there. However, if that is not a choice then damage limitation is key.

Prep all your food and drink. Have everything super organised in your pit. Ask pits next to you if they might help out. Good luck!
 

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I had support this weekend at my first 24 hour solo and I feel it made a big difference. All the solo racers had their pit set up in the same spot and for several laps I was able to get into my pit after my closest competitor (who was unsupported) and leave before him, so every time that happened he had to chase...now in this case he was super strong and faster than me so having to make up a couple minutes for him was nothing, but psychologically it must have sucked.

One of my pit crew would grab my bike and run it to the bike wash for a quick cleaning and lube, while my other guy would get my food and fluids sorted for me. It worked great.
Zach
 
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