Rocky Trail’s first 24-hour race was a challenge not only because we were fairly new to the game but also because the weather threw everything at us. At one of our first meetings with JetBlack’s Tony Simmonds and his team, David Grupe had told us about the Del Rio Resort and the downhill trails he and his crew had been building there. So Juliane, Martin and every friend they could rope in headed out there and started building what would become the so infamous Del Rio XC track.
The terrain was incredibly steep and hard to work with and some of the trails were right on the edge of ‘rideable’ on a good day. The race itself was a tough one: “It was a wet one…” – probably sums it up best. Torrential rain poured until way into the night and we decided to pause the race for a few hours and restart again in the morning. It was a hard weekend for organisers, riders and bikes, but together we pulled it off.
Looking back at the photos from that 2009 event, we can’t help but reminisce about our humble beginnings. Manual timing, paper results and building up experience from scratch. But so many familiar faces and lovely people around us, many of which still stand beside us today!
A huge thanks to Tony Simmonds, owner of JetBlack Products Australia today, and his former business partner Trent Fitzgibbons. To see their business grow and thrive has been an inspiration to us as entreprneurs ourselves! The trust these two guys have put in Rocky Trail is invaluable and has shaped our business as you know it today for the better.
A massive Cheers to the entire JetBlack crew, headed up by David Grupe and, of course, his partner Joanne Fox – these two are just such loyal supporters and dear friends! From day one they have helped us and instilled their passion for mountain biking into our events! We couldn’t imagine a downhill race without them!
The future of the JetBlack 24 Hour
A decade of rocky trails and still rocking on! – We are excited to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with the 10th edition of our flagship endurance event: the JETBLACK 24 HOUR. It has been an amazing journey and in 2018, the JetBlack 24 Hour with its JetBlack 6+6 Hour offspring will take place at Rydal Showgrounds near Lithgow and all that supported by the Lithgow City Council. Being the 24-hour event still standing in NSW and the ACT, we will offer an event centre and trails that can handle a large crowd and Rydal ticks all the boxes: toilets, showers, town water, a huge event centre and more importantly fast and flowy trails that are challenging to ride fast but not overly technical in nature and that can handle a bit of rain. We will be sure to entertain our riders in “classic 24-hour race style”!
Here are some impressions
… (burnt into our memories forever) from that very first JetBlack 24 Hour at Del Rio Resort on the Valentine’s Day weekend of 2009 (Photos: CyclePhotos):