Featured Race Jun 24, 2017
The 24 Hours of Summer Solstice race is held each year the weekend following the summer solstice. This race can be ridden as solo, tag-team, 5 person, or 6-10 person teams. As the largest mountain bike race and festival in North America, the 24 Hour race attracts riders from all over the world to compete and the 2016 race boasted 2,200 riders.
Hosted by Chico Racing, the 24 Hour race takes on a different course each year and typically includes about 60% doubletrack and 40% singletrack. The race starts at noon on Saturday and the last lap has to start prior to noon on Sunday (only laps completed before 1:00 pm on Sunday will be counted).
Racers range in age and ability as you are as likely to find a professional rider as you are an amateur out to try and survive the 24 hours of riding. Even though racing is the main attraction there are several family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained including a freezie chugging contest, live bands, a kids race, and the infamous mud bog.
Need to Know
There are several categories to choose from when registering, including a No-Night category for those uncomfortable with riding during the witching hours.
The 24 Hours of Summer Solstice race is organized by Chico Racing and in 2016 was hosted by Albion Hills Conservation Area. The 17 km track has a great mixture of terrain including doubletrack, winding singletrack, challenging climbs, fast descents, rocks, roots and some nasty sandy sections.
In keeping with Chico's fun-first mandate, the course doesn't include some of the more challenging climbs, but don't kid yourself, there are still some good ascents! The race starts with a great uphill stretch of doubletrack before dipping into the winding, fast singletrack. Much of the race takes on this formula with long doubletrack climbs followed by singletrack descents through the tall pines.
The course has a few rock gardens and great sections with roots, but anything that is overly advanced offers an alternative line. The options make it possible to accommodate most riding levels and also gives you a break for those night rides or when you might be feeling a little tired after 20+ hours of riding.
The course finishes with some singletrack past some campsites, a quick climb with some roots before some bermed switchbacks, a few whoop-de-doos, and many of the participants and spectators cheering you on.
History & Background
In 2016, the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice bike race celebrated it's 19th anniversary. This race has taken place at several Ontario mountain bike parks, but has seemed to have found its home at Albion Hills.