Adventures for All

24 Ore di Roma – American-Style Mountain Bike Racing in Italy

"My gweat fwiend Biggus is going all the way to Wome to wace!"

The United States owes a lot of its cycling culture to Italy – from cycling vocabulary to some of its most sought-after brands.

But American mountain bike culture has returned the favor: Twenty-four-hour racing has made its way to Rome. My Italian language skills are non-existent, so I’ll just say this – the official 24 Ore di Roma Twitter account followed me and grabbed my interest. It was the first I’d heard about 24-hour mountain bike races in Italy.

Is this Italy’s first? I have no idea. But it appears the 24 Ore di Roma course actually does go through Rome and follows the format laid down by the original 24 Hours of Canaan – and replicated by … well, just about everyone with a 24-hour race.

As an American mountain bike enthusiast with a taste for long races, I feel a twinge of pride: A format once only the purview of mentally mutated mountain bike perverts has made it to one of the world’s iconic cities – in a country where bikes are beloved.

It makes me wonder how many 24-hour races are going on worldwide. But that’s fodder for a future post.

If you are a mountain biker of means, book your ticket and hotel. Pack your bike. The fun starts Sept. 14-16.

And if you do go, bring your goofiest 24-hour race loungewear, costumes and attitude. Show them how a citizen of the country that birthed 24-hour mountain bike races rolls at 3 a.m.

If anyone who reads this can set me straight about the 24 Ore di Roma and its history, I’d love to hear about it.

4 Responses to 24 Ore di Roma – American-Style Mountain Bike Racing in Italy

  1. I don’t know much about 24h Roma, but 24h Finale in the northern Liguria region has been going on for more than 10 years and is one of the best international mtb races. It’s a huge party on the mesa overlooking in the Ligurean Sea where the race stages and the whole town is comes out for the night. This year they are introducing the World Endurance Solo championships a week before the traditional 24h race. The races are in May, and if you time it right you can also catch a leg of the Giro d’Italia in nearby Savona.

    http://www.wembo.com.au/italy/about/about-the-race

  2. Well, that sounds like a ton of fun to me! Have you gotten into the mountain bike thing, or do you stick with rock climbing?

  3. I used to mountain bike in Oregon. Love riding in the forest, hate riding in the desert. I stick to climbing in Finale. It’s equally famous for the thousands of limestone sport routes in the rocks that line the valleys feeding into the sea. The mtb is all bad-ass downhill. It looks freakin’ awesome, but I’m not near skilled enough to try it.

  4. Bettina says:

    Hi!
    I read that you are interested in the 24hour race in Rome, we are a sport agency in Italy and promote bike events and are official partner of several race organizers in Europe and in the rest of the world (Bike & More > http://www.bikeandmore.it). In our race program is also the 24-hour race in Rome. If you want you can have look on our homepage written also in english (not perfect, but I think you can understand…http://www.bikeandmore.it/contest.php?id=432&lang=3). The event is part of the series 24CUP race cup whereby Rome is the conclusive round of the series (also Finale Ligure is very famous!!). The day before the 24-hour race you can start for a very nice guided Bike Tour in the center of rome. It would be a pleasure having you in the 24hour race in rome. Registration can be done throw our agency or directly on the official homepage. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!
    Many greatings from Italy, Bettina

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