Maplesville, AL, Ready to Host Enduro Motorcycle Event
12 May, 2016
And at Age 50, One Rider is Just Getting Started
Better with time?
Daryl Milstead is counting on it. For one, he’s participating in an enduro race, which is 24 hours long. For another, he’s doing it on an older motorcycle (or as he puts it, “one from way back when.”)
And for another, he’s hit the 50-year mark, whereas many of the other competitors will be significantly younger.
That part, at least, doesn’t worry him.
“In a traditional enduro race, you’re not racing against other racers so much as you’re racing against time,” Milstead explains. “Last year’s track was 11 miles; in this type of 24 hour enduro race, you do as many laps as you can do in 24 hours on the 11 mile course.”
The race, the Perry Mountain 24-Hour Challenge in Maplesville, Alabama, will take place from Saturday, May 28-Sunday, May 29. It starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and ends at 10 a.m. on Sunday. And in between that time, riders ride on a dirt course that stretches through the woods and countryside.
“My goal is to run at least 12 hours over the 24 hours and I hope to get in 24 laps,” says Milstead. “I plan to pace myself, resting every few hours, gassing up, eating , checking the bike to make sure the bike and I bike are there in the end”.
There are different classes for the race. Some riders are part of teams of up to six, some ride alone or in the ironman category (the term for one rider who competes for 24 hours straight) and some are family duo (two-person) teams but for the most part, each team only gets one bike.
Milstead is riding alone- Ironman, but he’s carrying the memory of his son Thomas Holt Milstead who died in December of 2014. Motorcycles, he adds, were a shared love the two men had.
Riding the motorcycle and preparing for the race, he notes, was cathartic, but also helps him focus on the positive.
“It’s something he and I used to do together, so it’s good to concentrate on that, but it also gets my mind off everything. This race is something T-Holt (his nickname for his son) always wanted to do so I am doing it in his memory.”
Total concentration is needed during the race, which will include a busy track. Milstead will be assisted by a pit crew of friends, family – and fellow employees. He’s the director of business development at Due North Media, which publishes Sports Destination Management.
And in that respect, he says, he really appreciates the understanding of economic impact.
“This race is in a little community and brings in as many as 500 riders, support crew and spectators. On race weekend all these people pull into this little store / gas station with their trailers and RVs as they need food and gas, so this is huge for the local gas station.”
“This is our economy,” says Brad Belcher, president of the Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club, which puts on the event. “Restaurants, cafes, gas stations –they’re all full from this.”
Belcher notes the club members, almost all of whom are motorcycle enthusiasts, are dedicated to making sure the race goes well for all involved and are a supportive community.
“It means more to us to put on a good event than anything else.”
Milstead has also benefitted from the support of several companies that have assisted him in his efforts. Vee Rubber has provided tires and Cyclops Adventure Sports has added lights (essential for night racing.) WolfSnout, a unique dust mask used by motorcyclists, and GraphicsMX, which makes custom motorcycle graphics, have also been essential to getting Milstead’s bike ready.
Milstead has been getting himself ready as well. He has been mountain biking to build up endurance, something he’ll need for the race.
“This has encouraged me to get back in shape and start eating right,” he notes.
And a successful race, he adds, will have a side benefit.
“My other goal in this is to hopefully convince other people to try to get active. I am 50 years old, and I am doing this; you can get up and do something active for yourself.”