Overland Journal participated again in this year’s Epic Rides mountain bike race event called the Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. It is one of the largest 24-hour mtb events in the world, and takes place just north of Tucson, Arizona. We had two sponsored teams entered in the race: one 4-man relay team, and a solo rider. The 4-man team consisted of Scott Brady (of Overland Journal & Expeditions West), Travis Schanafelt (of Safari Pacific), Jim Feehan (of Here be Dragons Adventures), and Mike McMaude (fellow adventurer & all-around good guy). Christophe Noel (of Raven Singletrack) was our overall organizer, team captain & solo rider. Supporting the teams were Zach & Jonathan of Overland Gourmet, Jeremy Edgar of Overland Journal, and Expedition Portal members Heidi, Dave & Tim.
The event had over 1,800 riders this year, and probably a total of over 3,000 people camping in “24 Hour Town.” We started arriving on Wednesday evening to get a good camping spot for Overland HQ. Parked in the camp was the Jeep J8, two Earthroamer LTs, and a few Toyotas & Land Rovers. We used the Zero DS from Zero Motorcycles to get around and see the rest of the campground without creating any noise-pollution. The electric motorcycle drew a lot of attention—mainly because of how quiet it was.
The race started at noon on Saturday with a Le Mans start. Christophe the solo rider took part in the fray, as well as Jim who took the first lap of the team relay. It was great weather for the first few hours of the race, but then a ferocious storm blew in with high winds & plenty of rain, causing many riders to seek refuge in their tents for the night. Travis was out on the trail during the majority of the storm, suffering 3 flat tires and getting completely soaked. The team ended up doing a total of 7 laps (about 119 miles), and Christophe rode 8 laps (136 miles).
We encountered many cool expedition rigs at 24 Hour Town, aside from those parked in the Overland HQ campsite:
Overall it was a great weekend, spent with good friends. Overland Gourmet prepared some delicious meals for us, and we all shared some great stories around the campfire. Even though the rainstorm put a slight damper on the race, we got to witness some beautiful southern Arizona sunrises & sunsets. Until next year!