Cyclists endure brutal 12-24 hour rides over weekend

Published 11:09 pm Sunday, August 19, 2018

When cyclist Dave McDonald’s son was a toddler, the boy bit another child. When asked why he did it, his response was simple.

“Because I can.”

For McDonald, and many of his fellow participants in a grueling cycling event in Washington over the weekend, this same attitude of justifiable crazy embodies their desire to ride bicycles for 24-hours straight in the annual Mid-Atlantic 12/24.

“It’s just craziness man,” McDonald said. “Why are you doing it? Because you can.”

For the more than 100 cyclists gathered for the event over the weekend, there were a variety of events to choose from. From 12-and-24 hour team relays to 100 mile races and the infamous 24-hour 400-mile ride, each event pushed the limits of human endurance.

REGISTRATION: Event organizers signed up nearly 100 riders from all across the country at Inner Banks Outfitters on Saturday.

For those tough enough to mark 400 miles in 24 hours, the reward is qualification to participate in Ride Across America, the nation’s toughest ultra-marathon cycling event, which takes riders from Los Angeles to New York City.

“Its really grown,” Race Organizer Melissa Maxwell said. “The first year we had it, it wasn’t a RAAM qualifier, but (including this event) there are only six or eight RAAM qualifiers in the world.”

Built up by Washington residents Maxwell and her co-organizer Alvin Maxwell, the event attracts cyclists from all over the country. Riding on a 26-mile loop through the Beaufort County countryside, qualifiers would have to do just short of 16 laps in the 24-hour period.

Starting from Washington high school, the group road on rural roads including Slatestone Road, Braddy Road, Pocosin Road and U.S. Highway 264. Local law enforcement provided support at major intersections.

To learn more about the Mid-Atlantic 12/24, visit