The 16th annual 24 Hours of Moab mountain bike race kicks off this Saturday at 12 noon. 24 hours, you say? Yep, we mean it’s overnight. Those crazy racers and their support teams go for 24 hours, battling poor night vision (hello, headlamps on helmets), invisible jumping cactus, sleep deprivation, and did we mention 550 racers? Welcome to Moab in mountain biking’s high season. With the unseasonably warm temperatures, this year’s race is sure to bring out plenty of cheering crowds and lookie-loos angling to get a glimpse of some of the crazier costumes.
24 Hours of Moab is definitely a sanctioned, professional race. However, it’s also governed by a sense of sheer, light-hearted silliness, which is most apparent in nutty dressing up and free-flowing booze. (All local laws still apply.) Approximately 5,000 people descend like fun-seeking locusts, consisting of racers, support teams, vendors, and an awesomely large cheering section. It’s kid-friendly, too, featuring the 24 Minutes of Moab kids’ race.
Think a combo of (a toned-down) Burning Man, professional bike race, and weekend festival full of shenanigans and hijinks. Hit it up, and enjoy.
[Photos courtesy of ultrarob]