Jessop Keene

Jessop Keene

Hard-Core First-Timer

How long have you been riding, and how did you start?

I started riding 10 years ago. I used to work with my dad a lot when I was younger and one day as we sat down to lunch, he told me about the summer he biked across the country. After hearing his crazy bicycle tales, I persuaded him to get his old Trek 520 fixed up so I could ride it. After I got on that bike, I never really got off…

Where did you hear about N24HC, and what made you interested in trying it? 

I ride with the local group and there is a guy that has ridden the N24HC three or four times now. He had been telling me about it for years and so finally when the opportunity arose to go and race, I did! I have always been interested in endurance riding but I wasn’t aware of all of these long distance races.

How did your expectations compare with the reality of your first ride?

I think it’s safe to say that I exceeded them. My one goal was to break 400 miles, and I wasn’t sure how possible that was. In the end I made it 482mi on Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies and Coca Cola. I did my best to set myself up for success: I rode with the lead pack, I ate while riding, and I STAYED ON MY BIKE.

How do you train?

The training I applied in anticipation for N24HC was simple. Since I am a student, I have very little time to train (especially for ultra distances). With school ending only five weeks before the ride, I had no choice. I had to literally live on my bike. A few hours after my last final of the spring semester, I jumped on a plane and rode my bike from San Diego to Boston in 21 days. Averaging 150-180 miles a day, I mercilessly whooped myself into shape. Riding all hours of the day and night and in all conditions, I found this approach to be an extremely effective training method.

What are your key words of wisdom for new riders?

Don’t get off your bike. Also feel free to sing and tell yourself jokes.