Learn From A Master
ANDY WARREN HAS BEEN DOING 24 HOURS OF ADRENALIN RACES FOR 14 YEARS. THIS 40 YEAR OLD, FATHER OF TWO, WHO IS MARRIED TO THE ‘WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS’, LOVES TO RIDE AND SO DOES HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. WHILE HE GREW UP IN KAMLOOPS, HIS CAREER TOOK HIM OUT TO CALGARY 15 YEARS AGO.
WE TALKED TO THIS SELF-PROCLAIMED NON-CONFORMIST “WE TYPICALLY TAKE THE WAY EVERYONE ELSE DOES SOMETHING, THEN DO THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE”, ABOUT HIS 24 HOURS OF ADRENALIN EXPERIENCE OVER THE YEARS AND GOT THE INSIDE SCOOP ON WHY HE DOES IT, WHAT HE LOVES ABOUT IT AND SOME ADVICE FOR THOSE NEWBIES IN THE CROWD.
What is the best part of the event for you?
The buzz and the camaraderie, both around the venue and on the trail. I love how most folks are encouraging to other riders, stop to help each other out and are really out for a good time…and Crazy Larry in his tutu is pretty fun too. always good to get out with a big group of women on MTBs and encourage and inspire them to ride more!
Were you surprised by how you handled any part of the event?
That I finished a solo event and was able to ride across the line…I did this race with almost no training as we had babies at the time and we had renovated our house that spring too. I was pretty shocked that I made it through 12 laps…It was all mind over matter.
How do you prepare for the event?
The first few years, there was training, pre-race team meetings schedules and spreadsheets…In the latter years as our kids were growing through the really young stages and work responsibilities grew, we basically registered a team, then waited until the day before the event, threw our gear in the truck and drove out to set up…We try to ride a few times a week anyway so that was considered ‘training’.
Describe your experience over the years and what about the event makes you keep coming back for more.
Fourteen years, eighteen races, three different venues, four different bikes, five man, four man, co-ed, solo and now it’s time to try out the two-man gig. I’ve lost track of all the great people I’ve ridden the race with, as I’ve switched teams or changed up the roster almost every year….I guess it helps me to keep it fresh.
Some years have been all about the competition, some years have been just about having fun and enjoying the ride, while a few years have turned out to be an exercise in survival. There was one race in Silverstar that had snow, rain, wind, and bears blocking the course. Two years ago our tent (along with many others) blew away with most our gear fourteen hours before race start. Another year we had to tie the tent to our truck during a 3:00 am dust storm. One most
memorable moment was in Whistler where there was a fellow playing the bagpipes while I crossed the finish line. I could go on…and on.
I’ll note that I’ve never actually placed higher than fourth in any race, so after all of the above, why do I keep coming back? Mountain biking is largely a one-person sport where you socialize only when you stop, yet there is a camaraderie I’ve experienced during every race, out on course, that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.
I enjoy the ride, the courses are always fun, it’s a goal to work towards improving every year, and it’s always a guaranteed good time.
What is one piece of advice that you’d give to those doing their first 24HOA?
Come ready for anything, and whatever personal ideals you live by at other traditional types of races, throw them out the door because this is a completely different mindset…And make sure your tent is bolted to the ground. Nothing is too much :)