Having the right pit crew at your 24 hr Solo race can be the difference between winning and losing.
They will be your babysitters for 24 hours as you become less and less capable of looking after you basic needs such as eating and drinking. By hour 14 your brain functions at a level equivalent to a 3 year old so make sure you’ve gone through all the scenarios beforehand so your crew will know how to deal with you.
I will make an hourly que sheet for my crew with my desired foods and drinks for each hour of the race. Your needs will change as the race goes on but this will give your support crew a basic guideline. If possible I’ll try to have a support member out on track just before the feed zone so I can relay messages on to them and they can have what I need in the pit ready to go when I come by. Usually my fridays are spent organizing all the food as I place them in labeled zip lock bags to make to easy for my crew to identify.
One of the biggest duties of the support crew is to help keep there riders moral high. I’ve been lucky to have all kinds of friends and family help me in the pits over the years with each one of them offering there own special skills. I’v been selective with who is in my pits as there energy must be positive and match that of mine if I will be able to function my best. Some years I’ve had 6-8 people in and around the pits but this causes a bit of chaos. It seems 2 people is perfect, possibly a 3rd as long as everyone knows there rolls and they don’t get in each others way.
The past two World Championships I’ve won I’ve had my buddy and experienced 24 hour racer Leighton Poidevin in the pits and my friend Hiran from Radical Lights. They have been around 24 hour racing for a long time and can pretty much read my mind as I come through the pits, keeping the stops to a minimum. This past year Candace was the 3rd member in the pit and she did an amazing job looking after social media and helping the guys with anything they needed. The team effort that was put forth made my life much easier on the bike and I was able to focus all my energy on turning the pedals over and not what was going on in the pit area.
In my opinion the pit crew has a much more stressful job then us riders as so much of the riders success depends on them and they need to find a way to keep themselves awake all night without the added benefit of adrenaline or a heart rate going through the roof. Make sure you look after them as if you can have the same pit crew with you year after year it will be shown in your improving results as each race things will become easier for everyone.
– Cory Wallace