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Holiday Craziness!There is a reason why they call it the 'silly season', and some of our members have been trying to outdo each other in the silly stakes. Joris van der Tang decided to see how far he could ride in 24 hours starting from Miami, Florida.
Here's the story in his own words:
The idea I had was to ride from midnight until midnight the next day. So after a day of work on Friday I was planning to be in bed at 5 in the afternoon but I had too much stuff to get ready for the ride so I ended up sleeping less than hour before we had to leave for Miami. Andy, our 3rd engineer kindly drove me there. Lots of people out on their Friday night wondering what the hell I was doing of course. I rode 100km back towards the shipyard in West Palm Beach where I had left two fresh bottles at the gate. I quickly grabbed those and within a minute I was back on the road again.
At 05:00 Charlie and Remon met up with me in the car loaded with supplies. They followed me around for the rest of the day, giving me the "pro experience" of handing me bottles and food out the window all day. I couldn't have done it without these guys because looking for service stations to buy water and food takes too much time. I picked this day for my ride because the wind was reasonably good, but also not perfect and there was plenty of crosswind or lack of tailwind. I got rained on a few times but overall the weather was good. The first six hours were easy. After nine hours a few things started to hurt and after 12 hours I started to wonder what the hell I was doing.
I thought of giving up so many times but I didn't want to disappoint my support crew who had given up their weekend to help me out. So that kept me going the rest of the day. I stopped twice quickly for a nature break, once for the bottles at the yard and a few times for a red light. Because I didn't want to stop I ran through a lot of red lights or did the "legal" turn right on a red, U-turn and right again. Half way through I had about 35 km/h so I thought that reaching my goal of 800 km was going to be easy but getting around Jacksonville cost me a lot of time because it was rush hour in the afternoon by then and there were so many lights!
The wind also changed and when it got dark again, motivation went down. The last three hours of the ride I had to work really hard to keep the average speed above 33.4 so that I would get my 800km. When I finished at midnight we were in the middle of nowhere in Georgia. I got off my bike and pretty much collapsed. Everything was hurting. Feet, knees, but, wrists, back, shoulders, neck. I was broken! Charlie and Remon helped me climb into the car and it took 6 hours to drive back to West Palm Beach. Even though there was plenty of glass on the road I was very fortunate that my tubulars didn't flat (spare wheels were in the car). Fun fact: Up until 1969 the 24 hour record was 816km and the current record is 896 km at an airport in Germany.