After drinking a couple of my more potent than intended home-brewed American IPAs one evening, I found myself signed up for yet another bike race, the 'Kielder chiller'. This one looked to be tougher than most. For starters it was 24 hours long, consisting of a roughly 10km loop with the winner completing the most laps. It was also in February, the depths of winter, at a time when the long northern darkness lasts for 14 hours and the weather is potentially at it's worst. Held on the high and remote hills of Northumberland in the very north of England, with the start/finish at Kielder castle, it promised to be one of the harder challenges of the year.