I am sometimes asked "how do you manage to ride for 12 or 24 hours?" & "What do you think about when you are on your bike for 6-8 hours?" & "How do you get up at 3am most mornings to train?"
There are a few others, however these are the most common.
When we read Andrew Bell's story about the recent Scott 24 hour he talks about pain. Not just leg cramps that a some water, food & stretching makes better. He is talking about the sort of pain that not only physically hurts, but the sort of pain that grinds you down mentally especially when you know you have over 20 hours to go that makes you doubt your ability & makes you think you want to just throw your bike into the bushes, walk home & never ride again.
There is a very deep hole (I am starting to think it is bottomless or has a leak) inside that I need to fill. Committing to, training & preparing for & completing the crocodile trophy 12/24 hour races are some of those things that fills the hole.
Through out 2008 road & xc season I have stood on the podium steps a few times. These are not the moments that I remember or mean the most.
I remember fast corners, awesome single track, long-slow-tough-ball busting climbs.
One of my most vivid & exciting racing memories for this year was race 3 of the Inferno Series. 80kms or so long. Awesome 'Jaman' & I were smashing out rough single track, wheel to wheel. With in sight of each other for the entire race. I tell the story of this race often.
I have my own personal demons. They are well camoflaged day to day. So difficult to find. The best way I have found to flush them out of their hiding place so I can smash them is phsical & emotional stress. Go & do an endurance training ride or race. Find them, them smash them.