Ghiorse succeeds in BSAFE 24 Hour Challenge
Chris Ghiorse completed his BSAFE 24 Hour Challenge of riding 500km in 24 hours at 10.58am, Sunday, just over an hour before the deadline of noon. His actual distance was 507.88km. A number of support riders, joined by a fresh group of riders, continued for the remaining hour to achieve their personal goals. In the final tally, Chris and the eleven sponsored support riders covered 2,701.5 km in 24 hours – and raised $23,767 at the last count – pledges and donations are still being made.
The course looped the Sir Francis Drake Highway between Port Purcell roundabout and the main roundabout in Road Town, covering 3.602km per lap. The average speed, including all the rest stops and traffic lights, was 21.92km per hour. The actual ride speed averaged 26.2km/h. Chris explained: “To put this into perspective I had 19 hours, 21 minutes and 12 seconds of forward movement. I spent roughly 3 hours, 40 minutes not moving. I took seven food and calls of nature breaks, for a total of about an hour and fifty-five minutes. This means I lost over an hour and forty-five minutes to the traffic lights. My original calculations were based on not giving away more than 2 hours in total!”
Using a team of strong and fresh riders – now known as the Midnight Express – to pull him through the hard early morning hours, and an unexpected but very welcome, Police escort from 6am until the finish, Chris managed to surmount what could have been insurmountable – the new traffic lights. The Midnight Express consisted of Andrew Thompson, Gareth Thomas, Orano Andrews, Thomas Layer, Richard Morgan and Alastair Abrehart.
“I have been planning this 24 hour event for months and I tested what kind of pace I could do with the type of fitness I anticipated I would have; and also if I didn’t have any support. I felt confident that I could do the 500k and then 10 days ago they put in those new lights.” said Chris. “I feel like I got away by the skin of my teeth because the ride ended up being a lot more complicated and harder than I would have liked.”
The large distances covered by the group does not reflect the physical strain that some of the riders suffered. With the exception of Chris, all stopped for a rest, with some suffering from what can be best described as gastric distress, a result a bad food choices combined with the physical exertion of the ride.
Thomas Layer, a visiting rider from St Thomas, commented on the ride: “From the bare-knuckle challenge of staying in the saddle for so long and fighting for each and every kilometer; to contending with the stop-lights, roads and drivers; to the ability to keep my eyes from going crossed as we fought our way through hours of sleep deprivation; there has not been another event that has pushed me so much as the BSAFE 24 Hour Challenge. My body is now weak, spent and sore (but happy). I would do it again in a heartbeat!”
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