The uniqueness of 24 Hour racing explained

There are very few things like a 24 hour event. Even if XC is not your passion, getting a group together and committing to it may be the best bonding experience – with mates AND your bike! – of the year.

Its almost hard to explain the feeling when your body goes ‘ok, I guess we’re doing this, fine, keep going’. You get so tired you legs just go almost numb, and you enter a new zone of riding that is very very different.

The quiet of riding in the middle of the night, just your tires and occasional wildlife piercing the silence. The feeling of coming into the pits and seeing riders going through the same thing as you. Riding from dark into dawn is a very magical experience, seeing the world light up around you.

Depending on how big your team is, you can make the race a huge challenge or perfectly doable for a weekend warrior.

If you have some brave friends, time to rally the troups, a 24 hour race is something you talk about for years! – The Jetblack 24 Hour has its home in the Lidsdale State Forest in Rydal near Lithgow – set against the backdrop of the beautiful Seven Valleys Region.

New to 24 Hour racing?

There is a 6+6 hour option as well (race start is with the 24 Hour riders at 12pm on Saturday and you stop at 6pm. Then, you’ll go out again at 6am and finish with the crowds at 12pm on Sunday)

The race categories are:

  • 24H Solo
  • 24H Teams – Categories for male, female, mixed (if appl.): Pairs, Teams of 3 and 4, as well as Junior Team of 4. We will also run an Open 6 Team category.
  • 6+6H – Categories for male, female, mixed (if appl.): Solo, Pairs, Teams of 3 and 4, as well as Junior Team of 4
  • Special sub-categories – check out the RACE CATEGORY & ENTRY section for more category information about:
    • Masters (40+)
    • Super Masters (50+)
    • Singlespeed


  • Training Focus: Prioritise endurance rides and back-to-back sessions to build stamina. Incorporate night rides to adapt to low-light conditions.
  • Interval Training: Boost your speed and strength with interval sessions. Mimic race conditions to enhance your performance.
  • Nutrition Plan: Develop a fueling strategy for sustained energy. Experiment with different foods during training to find what works best for you. Everyone is different and generally, liquid foods are recommend as they are easier to digest and will be absorbed by the body quicker.
  • Rest and Recovery: Factor in rest days before and after the event to prevent burnout. The 6+6 hour racing option provides crucial downtime for recuperation – riders rest over night and re-start at 6am on Sunday.
  • Gear Check: Ensure your bike is race-ready. Test your lights, brakes, and overall bike condition well in advance. We will have a neutral support on site, however, it is expected that you arrive at the event with your race-ready bike.
  • Mental Preparation: Visualise different race scenarios. Develop a positive mindset to tackle challenges during the race. We will have a marshal point at the half-way mark of the course and roaming marshals on course too.
  • Hydration Plan: Plan your fluid intake, considering the weather and exertion level. Practice hydration during long training rides.
  • Sleep Routine: Adjust your sleep schedule to align with the race timings. Quality sleep is vital for recovery and race-day performance.

Remember, the team racing options in a 24-hour event not only add a social dimension but transforms the experience into a true mountain biking party. We’ll have a DJ pumping out tunes well into the night – the event centre will go quiet after 10pm and we’ll wake you up again at 5:30am.

6+6 hour option offers a unique format for rest and recovery, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a balanced ultra-endurance experience.

Packing List

  • Camping Gear: tent, sleeping bag, hleeping pad, headlamp/flashlight, table & chairs, cooking equipment – note, the event has food & coffee providers on Sat and Sun.
  • Clothing: riding gear and watch out for weather forecast – we’ll give you a heads up in the week leading into the race, think of bringing: waterproof jacket, long-sleeved jersey or layers for cool evenings, comfortable off-bike clothing, extra socks and underwear, cycling gloves
  • Bike Gear: your steed of choice, make sure your bike is race-ready and serviced, helmet, spare tubes and a bike pump, multi-tool and bike repair kit (we’ll have neutral bike support, but always good to have things at hand), lubricants and chain cleaner, chain link! and any bike-specific spare parts, water bottles or hydration pack
  • Lights: if you race at night, don’t forget your lights and that they are charged (check out the Magicshine offer 2023 here) – we will have a re-charging station at the event to plug in your batteries.
  • Personal Items: sunscreen, insect repellent, personal hygiene items (there are hot showers at the Showground), towel, prescription medications (we have a First Aid crew on-site, but be mindful of special supplies you may need)
  • Nutrition: energy bars and gels, hydration supplements, portable snacks, water (there are water tabs at the Event Centre to refill your bottle or hydration pack)
  • Miscellaneous: we will issue you your personalised race number plate and timing chip, some people like riding with their GPS device, camera or smartphone for memories (race photos by our photographers are included in your entry! Download links will be emailed out after the race), don’t forget your phone charger (bring portable charger optional)

Remember to adapt the list based on personal preferences, the expected weather, and any specific personal requirements. Enjoy the race and camping experience! – Don’t forget, there are accommodation options nearby in the Seven Valleys Region, check out our Destination Guide here:

Need more convincing?

Watch and share this epic vid from the event and get pumped up!