Some Like It Hot: The JetBlack 24

Words by Craig Baylis | Images by Gilbert Romane / GiRo-Photo

There’s just something about the Jet Black Sydney 24 Hour that brings out the extreme riding weather. For the last few years (in a different venue) the Jet Black Sydney 24 Hour has had it’s share of torrential rain and scorching heat. Come last weekend, and with over 500 riders ready for anything, it was again heat that would keep everyone honest.

The start of the JetBlack 24 Hour in Sydney. A hot day for some hot (and delirious) racing.

Set in the Botanic Gardens of Mt Annan in Sydney’s South West the riding setup was perfect with a hard packed surface coated in fine dust for a slide, and a drift. Having now been around for a few years the Mt Annan trails have been naturally corrected by racing lines and with pace the little berms and pops reward creative riding.

There’s nothing like 24 long hours to fine tune your skills and groups of stoked riders were spotted beer in hand at one rocky gully roll down to check the fast lines and cheer on their mates.

Lewy Cressy enjoys the sweet trails of Mt Annan.

In true Sydney 24 Hour style as the sun set the beats went up. DJ Nigel Jeffries from Pedal 4 Pierce took time out from racing 24 Hour Pairs with Flow’s Craig Baylis to hit the DJ decks. Heads nodded throughout scattered tents and riders were sent away on laps with banging beats resonating in their heads. Sure beats packing an iPod!

With a crowd this big of course the DJ was going to get the tunes out.

At 24 Hour races day break often heralds more than just a magical sunrise.  With 18 hours of tough riding in the bag you often come across many strange events. Strange enough that’s it’s almost worth the entry fee alone!

One merry solo rider was heard to be loudly debating with himself about the merits of Wallace and Grommit. Another disheveled chap was seen to be dragging his protesting bike over a grassy knoll asking “Is this the quickest way back”. Seeming that he was heading in the complete opposite direction I’d say it was lucky a ranger sorted that one out.

A focused Andrew Hall probably wasn’t as delirious as some poor folk. But with a smile like that maybe he was?

Many riders treat the Sydney 24 Hour as their end of year party. With the jolly season oh ho so close it’s the perfect way to round out a racing year.

For full race results, visit www.rockytrailentertainment.com

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