Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Racing => Topic started by: morbihan on November 23, 2019, 04:41:15 pm

Title: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 23, 2019, 04:41:15 pm
Route and controls released today.
https://www.transcontinental.cc
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on November 23, 2019, 06:42:45 pm
Can't see any route or controls there  :-\ Do I need to watch the video?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on November 23, 2019, 07:12:15 pm
Can't see any route or controls there  :-\ Do I need to watch the video?

I think the presentation is going on at LMNH at the moment.  Might need to wait until it’s posted on the website.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 23, 2019, 07:24:29 pm

Mikko Just tweeted.

Breast to Burgas. Via Roubaix and Romania.

This looks great, tho I'm slightly worried that this means Pavé on the CP1 parcour. I hate pavé...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on November 23, 2019, 07:34:04 pm

Mikko Just tweeted.

Breast to Burgas. Via Roubaix and Romania.

This looks great, tho I'm slightly worried that this means Pavé on the CP1 parcour. I hate pavé...

J

Are you entering for a second crack at it?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 23, 2019, 07:35:36 pm

Are you entering for a second crack at it?

Yes. I have unfinished business. If I don't complete it in 2020, I'll be back in 2022 to have a 3rd go. 2021 crashes with LEL.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 23, 2019, 07:46:04 pm

At least I know how to get back from Burgas by train...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on November 23, 2019, 07:54:14 pm

At least I know how to get back from Burgas by train...

J

This time you'll have time to get used to the heat as you head east. Best of luck with your preparation.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 23, 2019, 07:59:15 pm

This time you'll have time to get used to the heat as you head east. Best of luck with your preparation.

Yep, and 1000km run up to get to the mountains.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 23, 2019, 08:47:22 pm

Website seems to be slowly updating, lots of dead links for the cp specific pages, but it outlines the route at least.

Start: Brest
CP1: Roubaix, France
CP2: Grosser Speikkogel, Austria
CP3: Durmitor, Montenegro
CP4: Transalpina, Romania
Finish: Burgas, Bulgaria.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 23, 2019, 11:49:54 pm
I was at the launch. Can confirm that there is pavé parcours though I don't know if it's been finalised.

I wouldn't be too stressed about it, if it does go through the arenberg the tarmac on the right will be open and the gutters are really not so bad. I shouldn't think there will be much in the way of length. If the racers are lucky they'll be able to use the velodrome showers to freshen up!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 24, 2019, 12:16:18 am
I was at the launch. Can confirm that there is pavé parcours though I don't know if it's been finalised.

I wouldn't be too stressed about it, if it does go through the arenberg the tarmac on the right will be open and the gutters are really not so bad. I shouldn't think there will be much in the way of length. If the racers are lucky they'll be able to use the velodrome showers to freshen up!


I've done Paris-Roubaix before, I know what to expect. Last time I needed ice on my arms from the rattling.

The canny dot watcher will go down the pave after the riders, and collect all the stuff that falls off to ransom back to us :p

Interesting a quick sketch route goes very close to Bitche and Fucking, as well as the other Brest...

I wonder what the finish parcour will be.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 24, 2019, 12:32:22 am
I think the parcours to be more concerned about is this one in Romania.

https://www.transcontinental.cc/cp4-tcrno8

Romania and the Carpathians are one of the few places in continental europe you might have a reasonable chance of running into a bear or wolves. It really isn't something to be sniffed at, especially if riders are going to be riding through the night and wild sleeping, with bike bags crammed with sandwiches giving off a delicious whiff.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50473443 https://www.wildtransylvania.com/p/safety-tips-bears.html
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 24, 2019, 12:58:07 am
I think the parcours to be more concerned about is this one in Romania.

https://www.transcontinental.cc/cp4-tcrno8

Romania and the Carpathians are one of the few places in continental europe you might have a reasonable chance of running into a bear or wolves. It really isn't something to be sniffed at, especially if riders are going to be riding through the night and wild sleeping, with bike bags crammed with sandwiches giving off a delicious whiff.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50473443 https://www.wildtransylvania.com/p/safety-tips-bears.html

Nah, I'm so slow the bears will have eaten all the riders ahead of me and be full by the time I get there :p

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Ivo on November 24, 2019, 10:29:49 am
Yet again the TCR organisation has a weird concept of safety. Stressing helmets on the one hand and sending riders through bear and landmine infested area's on the other hand. Not my concept of safety.
(When riding from Austria to Durmitor you'll have the choice between the heavily trafficed magistrale or the landmine infested borderlands between Croatia and Bosnia. With this routechoice it's only a matter of time before a rider blows himself/herself up when trying to sleep in a boobytrapped house in an abandoned village.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 24, 2019, 10:33:38 am
Yet again the TCR organisation has a weird concept of safety. Stressing helmets on the one hand and sending riders through bear and landmine infested area's on the other hand. Not my concept of safety.
(When riding from Austria to Durmitor you'll have the choice between the heavily trafficed magistrale or the landmine infested borderlands between Croatia and Bosnia. With this routechoice it's only a matter of time before a rider blows himself/herself up when trying to sleep in a boobytrapped house in an abandoned village.

In the new year I may have some questions on route choice for this leg.

The bears don't worry me, I'm more concerned for idiots with guns aiming for bears and missing, or idiots in cars who value being 30 seconds earlier more than my life.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on November 24, 2019, 10:50:11 am
Yet again the TCR organisation has a weird concept of safety. Stressing helmets on the one hand and sending riders through bear and landmine infested area's on the other hand. Not my concept of safety.
(When riding from Austria to Durmitor you'll have the choice between the heavily trafficed magistrale or the landmine infested borderlands between Croatia and Bosnia. With this routechoice it's only a matter of time before a rider blows himself/herself up when trying to sleep in a boobytrapped house in an abandoned village.

In the new year I may have some questions on route choice for this leg.

The bears don't worry me, I'm more concerned for idiots with guns aiming for bears and missing, or idiots in cars who value being 30 seconds earlier more than my life.

J

I'd be concerned about the fierce dogs kept to keep bears off livestock.  Maybe I've read too many stories about those dogs.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Salvatore on November 24, 2019, 11:52:13 am
Yet again the TCR organisation has a weird concept of safety. Stressing helmets on the one hand and sending riders through bear and landmine infested area's on the other hand. Not my concept of safety.
(When riding from Austria to Durmitor you'll have the choice between the heavily trafficed magistrale or the landmine infested borderlands between Croatia and Bosnia. With this routechoice it's only a matter of time before a rider blows himself/herself up when trying to sleep in a boobytrapped house in an abandoned village.

In the new year I may have some questions on route choice for this leg.

The bears don't worry me, I'm more concerned for idiots with guns aiming for bears and missing, or idiots in cars who value being 30 seconds earlier more than my life.

J

I'd be concerned about the fierce dogs kept to keep bears off livestock.  Maybe I've read too many stories about those dogs.

Same here. Sheepdogs in Romanian uplands (and elsehwere in that neck of the woods) are not the mans's best friends we see in the UK whose job it is to keep the sheep in line. Their job is to protect sheep from wolves, and unless you are a sheep or a shepherd, you might as well be a wolf as far as they are concerned. I've seen one in action in the Fagaras Mountains. It was a huge beast and had knocked someone down and was poised to continue the attack before a whistle from a shepherd indicated to it that we weren't a threat (and it became as friendly as a little puppy).
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Carpatin.jpg)


But I'm sure it will be fine.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mzjo on November 24, 2019, 01:37:14 pm
Yet again the TCR organisation has a weird concept of safety. Stressing helmets on the one hand and sending riders through bear and landmine infested area's on the other hand. Not my concept of safety.
(When riding from Austria to Durmitor you'll have the choice between the heavily trafficed magistrale or the landmine infested borderlands between Croatia and Bosnia. With this routechoice it's only a matter of time before a rider blows himself/herself up when trying to sleep in a boobytrapped house in an abandoned village.

In the new year I may have some questions on route choice for this leg.

The bears don't worry me, I'm more concerned for idiots with guns aiming for bears and missing, or idiots in cars who value being 30 seconds earlier more than my life.

J

I'd be concerned about the fierce dogs kept to keep bears off livestock.  Maybe I've read too many stories about those dogs.

Same here. Sheepdogs in Romanian uplands (and elsehwere in that neck of the woods) are not the mans's best friends we see in the UK whose job it is to keep the sheep in line. Their job is to protect sheep from wolves, and unless you are a sheep or a shepherd, you might as well be a wolf as far as they are concerned. I've seen one in action in the Fagaras Mountains. It was a huge beast and had knocked someone down and was poised to continue the attack before a whistle from a shepherd indicated to it that we weren't a threat (and it became as friendly as a little puppy).
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Carpatin.jpg)


But I'm sure it will be fine.

If it were me (and it most certainly won't be,not on your life) I would be inclined to hang my sandwiches in a tree at least 5m away from where I planned to sleep. That way the bear or wolf will probably be distracted long enough for you to wake up and exercise plan B (whatever that might be). And don't count on the landmines as protection, the wildlife will have a much better idea where they are than any human being.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Ivo on November 24, 2019, 04:09:15 pm
Yet again the TCR organisation has a weird concept of safety. Stressing helmets on the one hand and sending riders through bear and landmine infested area's on the other hand. Not my concept of safety.
(When riding from Austria to Durmitor you'll have the choice between the heavily trafficed magistrale or the landmine infested borderlands between Croatia and Bosnia. With this routechoice it's only a matter of time before a rider blows himself/herself up when trying to sleep in a boobytrapped house in an abandoned village.

In the new year I may have some questions on route choice for this leg.

The bears don't worry me, I'm more concerned for idiots with guns aiming for bears and missing, or idiots in cars who value being 30 seconds earlier more than my life.

J

I'd be concerned about the fierce dogs kept to keep bears off livestock.  Maybe I've read too many stories about those dogs.

Same here. Sheepdogs in Romanian uplands (and elsehwere in that neck of the woods) are not the mans's best friends we see in the UK whose job it is to keep the sheep in line. Their job is to protect sheep from wolves, and unless you are a sheep or a shepherd, you might as well be a wolf as far as they are concerned. I've seen one in action in the Fagaras Mountains. It was a huge beast and had knocked someone down and was poised to continue the attack before a whistle from a shepherd indicated to it that we weren't a threat (and it became as friendly as a little puppy).
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Carpatin.jpg)


But I'm sure it will be fine.

If it were me (and it most certainly won't be,not on your life) I would be inclined to hang my sandwiches in a tree at least 5m away from where I planned to sleep. That way the bear or wolf will probably be distracted long enough for you to wake up and exercise plan B (whatever that might be). And don't count on the landmines as protection, the wildlife will have a much better idea where they are than any human being.

Exactly. I've once heard a German soldier on EU duty in Bosnia use the word 'Minensuchtiere' Minesearchinganimals (he ment sheep). Whenever you could see their traces, the field could be considered safe.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 24, 2019, 04:32:20 pm
I was intrigued to see the start in France.

Does that mean no aerobars, no mass start, or have they cleared it with relevant authorities?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mzjo on November 24, 2019, 06:38:08 pm
I was intrigued to see the start in France.

Does that mean no aerobars, no mass start, or have they cleared it with relevant authorities?

Now I am intrigued as well. I didn't think there was any federation in France that specifically banned aerobars. They can be used in other audax, just not PBP as far as I know. Is my knowledge that far out of date?
I can see that a mass-start race might cause complications, but surely not any more than anywhere else? Please someone enlighten me?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: JonBuoy on November 24, 2019, 06:47:46 pm
Aerobars were permitted on PBP this year provided they didn't extend beyond the brake levers  when they were checked.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 24, 2019, 08:54:17 pm
I was intrigued to see the start in France.

Does that mean no aerobars, no mass start, or have they cleared it with relevant authorities?

Now I am intrigued as well. I didn't think there was any federation in France that specifically banned aerobars. They can be used in other audax, just not PBP as far as I know. Is my knowledge that far out of date?
I can see that a mass-start race might cause complications, but surely not any more than anywhere else? Please someone enlighten me?

It's French law, not PBP-specific: no (normal) aerobars in mass start events. 
I've not actually looked up the law myself but that is what is the generally held belief. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mzjo on November 24, 2019, 09:03:46 pm
Aerobars were permitted on PBP this year provided they didn't extend beyond the brake levers  when they were checked.

Yes I forgot that. Let's say permitted without restrictions (and now someone will say that there are restrictions)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 10:55:39 am

I'm guessing another start parcour designed to spread the field out again. So the mass group is split up within the first 50km or so.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 12:57:38 pm

Well that's new. They've had too many people apply get a place then, not take the place, so they have put in a £25 fee to enter. Non refundable (tho it counts towards your race fee if successful).

I wonder if that will reduce the numbers applying, or of it will just piss off those who don't get a place even more.

Reading the race manual now.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 25, 2019, 01:45:10 pm

Mikko Just tweeted.

Breast to Burgas. Via Roubaix and Romania.

This looks great, tho I'm slightly worried that this means Pavé on the CP1 parcour. I hate pavé...

J

Plenty of routes into Roubaix that don't rely on pave'... it would be stupid to force riders to ride on the Paris-Roubaix pave'... it's just a recipe for disaster, with bikes loaded with bags and other stuff that can break or fall off and cause injury.

PR pave' is a lot more brutal than anything seen in the Flanders... it's the most unforgiving terrain I have ever ridden on
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Kim on November 25, 2019, 02:06:01 pm
Pavé, BEARs and landmines?  I expect the NCN routes of Surrey will be busy with riders training for the conditions...  :)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 25, 2019, 03:19:32 pm

Well that's new. They've had too many people apply get a place then, not take the place, so they have put in a £25 fee to enter. Non refundable (tho it counts towards your race fee if successful).

I wonder if that will reduce the numbers applying, or of it will just piss off those who don't get a place even more.

Reading the race manual now.

J
Yikes. I understand charging to register for the race but non-refundable if you don't get one is really shitty.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 25, 2019, 03:47:56 pm

Well that's new. They've had too many people apply get a place then, not take the place, so they have put in a £25 fee to enter. Non refundable (tho it counts towards your race fee if successful).

I wonder if that will reduce the numbers applying, or of it will just piss off those who don't get a place even more.

Reading the race manual now.

J
Yikes. I understand charging to register for the race but non-refundable if you don't get one is really shitty.

Considering being part of it is an outlay in the thousands, I don't think anyone who is serious will be put off by a £ 25 gamble for a place.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 25, 2019, 03:50:44 pm

I'm guessing another start parcour designed to spread the field out again. So the mass group is split up within the first 50km or so.

J

The long start parcour was a new thing for Burgas.  There are so many fewer roads there than in western Europe and the main road out of Burgas is normally non-cycling so they needed to do something different.  When it started in Geraardsbergen it was a case of eveyone going their separate ways from the top of the Mur.  I'd expect something similar in Brest - a short loop round somewhere, maybe over the bridge and out of the city, then everyone going their own ways off into the night. 
It was fun because you were soon on your own, but would then meet other riders at junctions and roundabouts for the first few hours. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 25, 2019, 03:52:07 pm
The £25 to enter thing does seem a bit odd.  I expect most people who got a place would happily pay an extra £25 to compensate those who had missed out!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 25, 2019, 04:24:21 pm

Well that's new. They've had too many people apply get a place then, not take the place, so they have put in a £25 fee to enter. Non refundable (tho it counts towards your race fee if successful).

I wonder if that will reduce the numbers applying, or of it will just piss off those who don't get a place even more.

Reading the race manual now.

J
Yikes. I understand charging to register for the race but non-refundable if you don't get one is really shitty.

Considering being part of it is an outlay in the thousands, I don't think anyone who is serious will be put off by a £ 25 gamble for a place.
The TCR organisers always mention in their events that money shouldn't be an obstacle to participation. To then follow this up by demanding what could amount to 3 hours wages for some in non-refundable dough without even getting a place in the race seems regrettably regressive to me.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 04:56:35 pm
The £25 to enter thing does seem a bit odd.  I expect most people who got a place would happily pay an extra £25 to compensate those who had missed out!

What surprises me most is that it isn't £25 to apply. It's £25 to start applying. You don't even get the race manual until you cough up. I'd have put the £25 to submit, rather than to start it. There's info you get from the race manual that I've not found on the website, which would perhaps enlighten peoples decision making process.

I can understand it. 63 women were offered places on no7, 40 made it to Burgas. I don't know how many of those 63 paid up.

Approximately 20 riders who were offered a place, and paid their £350, didn't pick up their cap in Burgas.

If they have the same ~1000 people apply as in previous years, that's £25000 netted. A not inconsiderable amount, but on an event like this it doesn't go far.

The TCR organisers always mention in their events that money shouldn't be an obstacle to participation. To then follow this up by demanding what could amount to 3 hours wages for some in non-refundable dough without even getting a place in the race seems regrettably regressive to me.

There's an interesting gender element to this. I'm currently unemployed, so £25 is not inconsiderate, that's most of a week's food. So to gamble £25 for the chance to ride is quite a gamble. *BUT* Unless Fiona has inspired an extra 100+ women to be crazy enough to enter, the chances are that I'll get a space again. My odds are good. But to all the 1st time men, your odds ain't great. I probably wouldn't apply if it wasn't stacked in my favour so much.

I wonder if more people would have volunteered for tcrno7 if they'd known it's £25 to play the lottery for no8?

J

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 25, 2019, 05:00:37 pm
PR pave' is a lot more brutal than anything seen in the Flanders... it's the most unforgiving terrain I have ever ridden on

the most notorious arenberg trench will be one of them, my stategy would be to let some air out of the tyres and ride slowly - it's only 2.5km after all (20min?)..

things should be attached to a bike in a way that they stay attached.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 05:08:10 pm
the most notorious arenberg trench will be one of them, my stategy would be to let some air out of the tyres and ride slowly - it's only 2.5km after all (20min?)..

things should be attached to a bike in a way that they stay attached.

Actually no. Check the race manual. Unless things change dramatically between v0.0 and v1.0, it doesn't go through arenberg.

Arenberg I could deal with, there's tarmac down the side, and a good gutter. There are other sections that are much more brutal. I also had the issue that I had to stop and remove all the shrubbery from my rear mech as I was riding in the gutter, and it was pulling all the grass out.

I'll wait to see what the official parcours says, but I'd be tempted to walk anything under about 400m.

Agree with you on the attached to the bike. Given the quality of the roads as we head east, this is going to be a good shake down of kit... Pun very much intended...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 25, 2019, 05:59:17 pm

The TCR organisers always mention in their events that money shouldn't be an obstacle to participation. To then follow this up by demanding what could amount to 3 hours wages for some in non-refundable dough without even getting a place in the race seems regrettably regressive to me.

If you want an event to be accessible to all, the first thing you do is a circular route A back to A, so that travel cost is significantly cheaper.
Then you make sure you provide somewhere basic to sleep, being that a roof of some sort, like a farm barn or a village hall.

Organisers have done neither, so clearly money is an entry barrier. I've never looked into it, but I would assume 4 figures is  the starting point.
As such, £ 25 is really peanuts. It's probably just there to deter time wasters and people who think 25 pounds are a lot of money and clearly don't have the means to race safely.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on November 25, 2019, 06:44:14 pm
I've never looked into it, but I would assume 4 figures is  the starting point. As such, £ 25 is really peanuts.

There's a huge difference between paying £25 to participate in an opaque selection process completely outside your control that for the majority ends in rejection, and any expenses you incur to actually do the event. Rich people can afford to spend money to get nothing.

(I don't envy the task of selecting people for such a high profile event. I think it's only a matter of time before it's invite only or has actual qualifiers or some such)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 06:46:15 pm
If you want an event to be accessible to all, the first thing you do is a circular route A back to A, so that travel cost is significantly cheaper.
Then you make sure you provide somewhere basic to sleep, being that a roof of some sort, like a farm barn or a village hall.

Organisers have done neither, so clearly money is an entry barrier. I've never looked into it, but I would assume 4 figures is  the starting point.
As such, £ 25 is really peanuts. It's probably just there to deter time wasters and people who think 25 pounds are a lot of money and clearly don't have the means to race safely.

Thing is, if you are cash poor, but time rich, you can do the race really cheaply. If you bivvi along the way, your only outgoings are your food. Assuming you have the bike.

I think the cost isn't the issue, so much as the fact it's such a gamble for so many people.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 25, 2019, 06:56:50 pm
re budget, everyone's situation is different and there are many ways to do the race. e.g. one guy was riding a 100e bike with few upgrades last year and he was doing just fine. if you carry your own sleeping arrangement accomodation cost is minimal. food bill varies, you eat for 3-4 people, so it adds up quickly (mine was around 600e - discount supermarkets and occasional restaurant). travel to the start and from the finish - depends where you live. accomodation at the start and finish - again it depends.
for the amount of experiences and memories tcr races were the best vfm "holidays" i had and they didn't cost "thousands".
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 25, 2019, 07:53:42 pm
re budget, everyone's situation is different and there are many ways to do the race. e.g. one guy was riding a 100e bike with few upgrades last year and he was doing just fine. if you carry your own sleeping arrangement accomodation cost is minimal. food bill varies, you eat for 3-4 people, so it adds up quickly (mine was around 600e - discount supermarkets and occasional restaurant). travel to the start and from the finish - depends where you live. accomodation at the start and finish - again it depends.

In the thousands... just like a I said above... low or high thousands is down to the individual.

At the back of an envelope...

Travel to Brest + one night B&B shall we say 300 GBP
14 days of food, maybe 500 GBP
7 nights in various B&B along the way and other 7 nights bivvying let's say 400 GBP
One night at the finish in a decent place plus a decent meal let's say 100 GBP
Travel back to UK let's say 200 GBP with a lucky flight to Luton + train + extra to load a bike
ANd let's say another 100 pounds of extras

that's £ 1,600... maybe it's possible to do it for less... not a lot less
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 25, 2019, 07:56:48 pm
Re the entry fee, its been put in place to discourage places being taken up by riders who are hedging bets and not totally committed to race.
 I appreciate that 25 quid can mean different things to different folks and Im sure that the team thought long and hard about just how to go about addressing it as sensitively as they could. I doubt if anyone could come up with a perfect scenario to resolve the issue of no shows.
  The  organisation are hyper aware about being inclusive. There are multiple examples of this in the race ethos from encouraging the inclusion of female racers until parity is reached, to spreading the net as geographically and culturally far as they can.
To that end the manual states that the excess from the application fees will be used as a bursary to assist under funded riders.

On to other things.. whats the deal with all the attention on the pave? How bad can a few km of cobbles be on a slow moving endurance bike? But then Ive never done pave.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 25, 2019, 07:57:11 pm
If you want an event to be accessible to all, the first thing you do is a circular route A back to A, so that travel cost is significantly cheaper.
Then you make sure you provide somewhere basic to sleep, being that a roof of some sort, like a farm barn or a village hall.

Organisers have done neither, so clearly money is an entry barrier. I've never looked into it, but I would assume 4 figures is  the starting point.
As such, £ 25 is really peanuts. It's probably just there to deter time wasters and people who think 25 pounds are a lot of money and clearly don't have the means to race safely.

Thing is, if you are cash poor, but time rich, you can do the race really cheaply.

Yebbut then you're not racing, and shouldn't really enter.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 08:56:57 pm
On to other things.. whats the deal with all the attention on the pave? How bad can a few km of cobbles be on a slow moving endurance bike? But then Ive never done pave.

It shows... I did Paris-Roubaix sportiv in 2018. I did the short version, which included 35km of pave. At the end of the 114km I had to get ice from the first aiders to put on my forearms. The shaking of the Pavé had caused the muscles and tendons in my arms to inflame.

A few segments of pave on the parcour will be survivable. 20+ it's gonna really hurt.

yebbut then you're not racing, and shouldn't really enter.

I'm sorry but I can't follow the logic here. Why does bivving every night preclude you from being competitive?

I was suggesting that if you rode to the start, and rode home again, then race between the two, sleeping in bus shelters, and under bushes, you don't need to have a hotel every night. There's a cheap youth hostel in brest, etc...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 25, 2019, 10:06:45 pm
everything costs money but tcr does not have to be expensive.
 Costs are probably comparable to doing 12-15 UK audaxes.
 Food is cheap east of Austria, as are hotels.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 25, 2019, 10:32:42 pm
everything costs money but tcr does not have to be expensive.
 Costs are probably comparable to doing 12-15 UK audaxes.
 Food is cheap east of Austria, as are hotels.

I was actually surprised by how easy it was to find hotels. Much easier than on RatN. One of the reasons I'm thinking of ditching the bivvi kit and relying on hotels for tcrno8.

Food shops were pretty rare along the start parcours of no7. Will make sure to plan resupply properly on the final leg this year.

Unless I'm reading things incorrectly, the 2 ferries across the danube we're limited to don't run 24 hours, so that's going to be a fun one to coordinate.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 06:50:06 am

Unless I'm reading things incorrectly, the 2 ferries across the danube we're limited to don't run 24 hours, so that's going to be a fun one to coordinate.

J

Ha - I hadn't spotted they were ferries!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 26, 2019, 07:01:07 am
everything costs money but tcr does not have to be expensive.
 Costs are probably comparable to doing 12-15 UK audaxes.
 Food is cheap east of Austria, as are hotels.

That can vary a lot... I can do my local BP for 7 quid all included, or I can do a remote 600 which is going to cost me well in excess of a 100 pounds all in.

I'm not saying you have to earn 6 figures to do TCR, but I don't think you can do it if you clock shifts at Deliveroo either. Money is an entry barrier.
It is no coincidence that Apidura, Rapha and other premium brands thrive out of this and similar events
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 26, 2019, 07:10:01 am
There is a crucial distinction between 'cost' and 'entry barrier'. If you  want a place and start saving £5-10 a day between now and June 2020 that is one thing. What is more abrupt is announcing that registration opens Monday and that you have to give the organisers £25 which is likely to not even get you a place (I expect most applicants will be disappointed).
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 09:07:48 am
everything costs money but tcr does not have to be expensive.
 Costs are probably comparable to doing 12-15 UK audaxes.
 Food is cheap east of Austria, as are hotels.

That can vary a lot... I can do my local BP for 7 quid all included, or I can do a remote 600 which is going to cost me well in excess of a 100 pounds all in.

I'm not saying you have to earn 6 figures to do TCR, but I don't think you can do it if you clock shifts at Deliveroo either. Money is an entry barrier.
It is no coincidence that Apidura, Rapha and other premium brands thrive out of this and similar events


I meant a dozen all day rides with a bit of travel and a decent amount of food.

But Chris White has analysed this stuff to death.  He reckons €1200 is the minimum.  Someone could go lower, but it would start to get a bit extreme and you need some contingency if you have to pack or if you get caught in a storm and need to dry out, etc.
https://ridefar.info/races/costs/ (https://ridefar.info/races/costs/)

Not everyone uses kit from the sponsors. I don't: there are plenty of alternatives and some are much less expensive.  I have used Apidura kit but have found other stuff to be better for my specific needs. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 26, 2019, 09:14:56 am

But Chris White has analysed this stuff to death.  He reckons €1200 is the minimum.   

Not a million miles from my back of an envelope calculation of £ 1600 at current exchange rate.

Now, back to the point, if one is prepared to invest north of a thousand quid in the event, plus the inevitable cost in preparing for the event (clothes, bags, maybe bits for the bike like new tyres, new cables, new chain, new cassette, new bottom bracket and whatnot, maybe a few long events in preparation for the main event)... I don't understant how the same person could complain about having to spend £ 25 to enter a ballot.
When you buy a ticket for the lottery is not that you ask for your money back if you don't win. That is not an entry barrier to anything
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 09:16:37 am
Re the entry fee, its been put in place to discourage places being taken up by riders who are hedging bets and not totally committed to race.
 I appreciate that 25 quid can mean different things to different folks and Im sure that the team thought long and hard about just how to go about addressing it as sensitively as they could. I doubt if anyone could come up with a perfect scenario to resolve the issue of no shows.
  The  organisation are hyper aware about being inclusive. There are multiple examples of this in the race ethos from encouraging the inclusion of female racers until parity is reached, to spreading the net as geographically and culturally far as they can.
To that end the manual states that the excess from the application fees will be used as a bursary to assist under funded riders.

On to other things.. whats the deal with all the attention on the pave? How bad can a few km of cobbles be on a slow moving endurance bike? But then Ive never done pave.

I'm sure they thought about it and considered other solutions but it does seem odd. 

What is the issue: is it people deciding not to ride at the last minute (no shows) or people declining their place immediately after being offered one and before they have paid? 

If people no-show after paying £350 then bringing forward £25 is hardly going to change things, so I assume it isn't that. With people who decline before they have paid, it would be early enough to run another ballot on those who had missed out and make a second round of offers.

EDIT
What it might be is exactly that - people hedging bets because they might be trying for other events.  I think last year the entry window might have overlapped with SRMR and  some people may have applied for both in the hope of getting one.  With more events coming along and also with less chance of getting a place, hedging bets becomes a more rational strategy. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 10:05:57 am
What is the issue: is it people deciding not to ride at the last minute (no shows) or people declining their place immediately after being offered one and before they have paid? 

It's this. People being offered places, but then not even making the first payment.

Quote
EDIT
What it might be is exactly that - people hedging bets because they might be trying for other events.  I think last year the entry window might have overlapped with SRMR and  some people may have applied for both in the hope of getting one.  With more events coming along and also with less chance of getting a place, hedging bets becomes a more rational strategy.

For anyone who hasn't volunteered before or isn't a woman, the odds of getting a place are not in your favour. So given there are other races around the same time (SRMR, NC4K etc...), it's entirely reasonable to hedge ones bets. But if you're contemplating any of those, then £25 isn't going to be a major barrier.

I just hope it doesn't put too many women off. 40 of us rode in 2019, after 63 were offered a place. I don't know what effect Fiona will have on this but it would be great to more women riding.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 26, 2019, 10:49:51 am
I'm sorry but I can't follow the logic here. Why does bivving every night preclude you from being competitive?

I was suggesting that if you rode to the start, and rode home again, then race between the two, sleeping in bus shelters, and under bushes, you don't need to have a hotel every night. There's a cheap youth hostel in brest, etc...

"If you are cash poor but time rich you can do the race cheaply", that suggests quite a few things, not just riding there, and none of them will make you faster.

1) Riding there.  Not the best preparation for a race, especially if you're bivvying.  Still quite expensive unless you take cooking kit, in which case what do you intend to do with your extra kit before the start?  Remember, it's a linear race.
2) Bivvying during a race.   I'll defer to people like Zigzag, but the hotel approach has won it enough that it seems pretty certain to be faster.  Right?
3) Cooking for yourself.  If you're taking extra kit to cook rather than buying prepared food, you're not really racing at all are you?  You're touring.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 26, 2019, 11:16:06 am
my view is that even if using hotels is faster (if well planned) the difference of saving few hours  for someone mid-pack would be neither here nor there, e.g. finishing 67 vs 76 - who cares.. for most people the aim is to finish before the race is over, to arrive in one piece, to give their best shot.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 11:16:29 am
"If you are cash poor but time rich you can do the race cheaply", that suggests quite a few things, not just riding there, and none of them will make you faster.

1) Riding there.  Not the best preparation for a race, especially if you're bivvying.  Still quite expensive unless you take cooking kit, in which case what do you intend to do with your extra kit before the start?  Remember, it's a linear race.

Emily Chappell rode to the start of every race she entered.

Quote
2) Bivvying during a race.   I'll defer to people like Zigzag, but the hotel approach has won it enough that it seems pretty certain to be faster.  Right?

What are you defining as racing? are only the top 10 racing? Are only those who aim to do it in sub 12 days racing?

I entered race around the Netherlands, knowing full well I'd probably come last, I gave it my all, and in the end, came 2nd. Was I racing? or touring?

Quote
3) Cooking for yourself.  If you're taking extra kit to cook rather than buying prepared food, you're not really racing at all are you?  You're touring.

Tell that to the riders of the SRMR.

Who said anything about cooking anyway? Food is dirt cheap once you pass by about Austria, and if you are sensible, you can get stuff pretty cheap in the west too.

One rider on RatN who was going faste then me until they scratched, had a tent, and a stove, and cooked their own porridge each morning. Were they not racing?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 11:29:58 am
my view is that even if using hotels is faster (if well planned) the difference of saving few hours  for someone mid-pack would be neither here nor there, e.g. finishing 67 vs 76 - who cares.. for most people the aim is to finish before the race is over, to arrive in one piece, to give their best shot.

And for some, they enter it just hoping to survive, and end up doing much better than they thought they would.

IMHO, everyone who makes it to the start line is racing. They may not be racing each other, they may be racing the weather, or the route, or their own inner demons. But every one of them is racing.

If you're doing it on a budget, or you're doing it with dietary requirements, then you're racing on a higher difficulty level. But you're still racing.

J

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Paul H on November 26, 2019, 11:47:35 am
I'm not saying you have to earn 6 figures to do TCR, but I don't think you can do it if you clock shifts at Deliveroo either. Money is an entry barrier.
TCR6 fastest female Ede Harrison, is/was a deliveroo rider, or it might have been Just Eat.
https://advntr.cc/ede-harrison-transconrace/

And I know of at least two this year, though I can't remember the names.  One as their only income, the other as a part time job to fund their cycling.

I don't think cost is a barrier if you live in the West and are employed, in any job, you'd just have to want it enough. If money really is that tight, a couple of hours deliveroo three or four nights a week or some other part time work would easily fund it. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on November 26, 2019, 12:02:57 pm
The problem with the £25 isn't the affordibility per se, it's who it puts off. IIRC there've been studies of job applicants where the more hoops you make people jump through, the more likely you are to end up with nothing but overconfident upper/middle class white men, independent of actual ability to do the job.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 12:05:27 pm
TCR6 fastest female Ede Harrison, is/was a deliveroo rider, or it might have been Just Eat.
https://advntr.cc/ede-harrison-transconrace/


Exactly. Being a woman cycle courier has historically been very good for increasing ones chances of winning...

*applies for job as bike courier*

Quote
And I know of at least two this year, though I can't remember the names.  One as their only income, the other as a part time job to fund their cycling.

I don't think cost is a barrier if you live in the West and are employed, in any job, you'd just have to want it enough. If money really is that tight, a couple of hours deliveroo three or four nights a week or some other part time work would easily fund it.

To an extent I agree, but you have to be careful how you state it. It's very easy to fall into the trap of poor people are poor because they just don't want to not be poor hard enough.

If you are single, and make the TCR your sole goal, foresaking everything else, then income should not be a major hurdle. You can even combine some training with earning money (see deliveroo et al).

I think what urked me the most was that you only find out about the £25 when you start applying. If you've carefully budgetted that you need x by January for the first payment, and y by April for the second. Knowing about it a couple of weeks ago you could have done 3 hours over time to make sure you had it.

I think it should have been £25 to submit, not to start the process. In 2018 I started to apply, but then chickened out and did RatN instead. But by being able to look at the form, and know the sort of things that are asked, it allayed a lot of my concerns ready for when I applied for real in 2019. Looking at the form doesn't cost race control anything, it isn't until you hit submit that you commit to anything or tie up any meaningful resource.

I can see why they did it, I just think advanced notice, and moving they payment to the submit button, rather than the begin button, would have been better. But then if we want to play their game, we play by their rules, they own the ball afterall.

The problem with the £25 isn't the affordibility per se, it's who it puts off. IIRC there've been studies of job applicants where the more hoops you make people jump through, the more likely you are to end up with nothing but overconfident upper/middle class white men, independent of actual ability to do the job.

Yes, there is that. As someone who speaks at conferences about how to increase diversity in the tech industry, this is the sort of thing that comes up a lot.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 26, 2019, 12:30:36 pm
The problem with the £25 isn't the affordibility per se, it's who it puts off. IIRC there've been studies of job applicants where the more hoops you make people jump through, the more likely you are to end up with nothing but overconfident upper/middle class white men, independent of actual ability to do the job.

one hundred thousand times this.

It would have been great if some kind of money like this would be specifically waived if the applicant was of a historically under represented capacity and tbe dough ringfenced for promoting a more inclusive race. Call it the Mike Hall inclusive transcon racer fund or something.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on November 26, 2019, 12:41:57 pm
I'm an under confident middle class white man.

Therefore I'm not applying.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 26, 2019, 12:43:22 pm
IMHO, everyone who makes it to the start line is racing. They may not be racing each other, they may be racing the weather, or the route, or their own inner demons. But every one of them is racing.

well, seeing people on the road and at controls i'd say 50/50 racing/touring. the thing is it is difficult for others to see if people are pushing or taking it easy (or somewhere in between), so it's down to every person's perceived effort, which is fine.
the idea of achievement by just getting to the start line - well, someone* could just turn up to the start without any preparation whatsoever (with increased probability of scratching), say, this weekend. it is only an achievement if someone has put a lot of effort and work into preparation - which i hope most people do in order to ride the best they can, along the lines of this guy (https://mediumthrills.wordpress.com/2019/11/24/fancy-a-bike-ride/?fbclid=IwAR0TVg81e6ECc5nQ61UBFp_23IoWmnSiuVWmxZ4XjtiMECO-tmKPUVUQaEA).

* someone who knows what to take with them, how to fix the bike, how to navigate, is in good enough shape etc.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 01:33:38 pm

"If you are cash poor but time rich you can do the race cheaply", that suggests quite a few things, not just riding there, and none of them will make you faster.

1) Riding there.  Not the best preparation for a race, especially if you're bivvying.  Still quite expensive unless you take cooking kit, in which case what do you intend to do with your extra kit before the start?  Remember, it's a linear race.
2) Bivvying during a race.   I'll defer to people like Zigzag, but the hotel approach has won it enough that it seems pretty certain to be faster.  Right?
3) Cooking for yourself.  If you're taking extra kit to cook rather than buying prepared food, you're not really racing at all are you?  You're touring.

Riding there depends where from, eg plenty of people rode to Geraardsbergen from London, over a couple of days. 

While Kristoff and James hotelled, I believe that Josh Ibbett mostly bivvied when he won and Fiona did approx 50:50.  Mike bivvied a lot on his events and, in the remoter races, bivvying is a necessity.  I think the essence of Kristoff and James' approach is being organised and having a timetable more than it is about hotels.  I think Mike was less timetabled (although I've never checked the IndyPac tracker to see if that is actually true), but that worked for him.

Cooking when alternatives are availalbe is not racing.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 01:40:42 pm
my view is that even if using hotels is faster (if well planned) the difference of saving few hours  for someone mid-pack would be neither here nor there, e.g. finishing 67 vs 76 - who cares.. for most people the aim is to finish before the race is over, to arrive in one piece, to give their best shot.

I'm afraid I care!  I raced hard when I did it, even though it was for 31st place!  I recall Mike writing something about the race for [32nd] place being as important to those involved as the race for first. 

^ But I agree with your other post - I see a good proportion of riders who are taking it a little bit easy, chilling out in cafes and riding fast but short days.  These guys typically overtake me at least once a day!

^My approach for IndyPac, after winter when I had hardly ridden let alone trained, was just to turn up and see how it went.  I still raced just as hard, just I was a couple of km/h or so slower than I could have been if I was in shape.  I wasn't taking anyone's place.  But for TCR, in summer, oversubscribed, I couldn't imagine not trying to get in the best shape I could.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 01:51:35 pm
I'm not saying you have to earn 6 figures to do TCR, but I don't think you can do it if you clock shifts at Deliveroo either. Money is an entry barrier.
TCR6 fastest female Ede Harrison, is/was a deliveroo rider, or it might have been Just Eat.
https://advntr.cc/ede-harrison-transconrace/

And I know of at least two this year, though I can't remember the names.  One as their only income, the other as a part time job to fund their cycling.

I don't think cost is a barrier if you live in the West and are employed, in any job, you'd just have to want it enough. If money really is that tight, a couple of hours deliveroo three or four nights a week or some other part time work would easily fund it.

Essentially, if you are wealthy enough to take a holiday abroad - which not everyone is - TCR is not an expensive holiday.

Lots of ultra-riders work as bike couriers which, nowadays, mainly means Deliveroo and similar.  Steve Abraham is one example, but others I know off the top of my head include Stephane Ouaja and Kai Edel, who have both finished at the sharp end of TCR / TABR / IndyPac and Thomas Jacquelinet, who won TPR. Women include Franziske Kuhne, Lulu Drinkwater and of course, Emily Chappell - although she has now moved on.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 26, 2019, 02:04:14 pm
QG: No the person with a tent wasn't racing.  I don't think the event was oversubscribed?  If it was, s/he shouldn't have been there.


"If you are cash poor but time rich you can do the race cheaply", that suggests quite a few things, not just riding there, and none of them will make you faster.

1) Riding there.  Not the best preparation for a race, especially if you're bivvying.  Still quite expensive unless you take cooking kit, in which case what do you intend to do with your extra kit before the start?  Remember, it's a linear race.
2) Bivvying during a race.   I'll defer to people like Zigzag, but the hotel approach has won it enough that it seems pretty certain to be faster.  Right?
3) Cooking for yourself.  If you're taking extra kit to cook rather than buying prepared food, you're not really racing at all are you?  You're touring.

Congratulations on getting 31st place, rather than 35th or whatever you'd have got had you not raced so hard!

Riding there depends where from, eg plenty of people rode to Geraardsbergen from London, over a couple of days. 

While Kristoff and James hotelled, I believe that Josh Ibbett mostly bivvied when he won and Fiona did approx 50:50.  Mike bivvied a lot on his events and, in the remoter races, bivvying is a necessity.  I think the essence of Kristoff and James' approach is being organised and having a timetable more than it is about hotels.  I think Mike was less timetabled (although I've never checked the IndyPac tracker to see if that is actually true), but that worked for him.

Cooking when alternatives are availalbe is not racing.

Riding there: London to Gerardsburgen, sure, but it's a lot further for most people.  For anyone who is far enough away for riding to save much cost, it will also (especially if bivvying) impact race prep.

Cooking: yes.  QG's comment about the SRMR is just silly, it's a completely different situation - and yes I've ridden in all the countries used by both races.

Accommodation is kinda the same: sure you'll need to bivi in remoter areas but if you're planning to bivi the whole time to save money, you're optimising for cost not for speed.  The race is now oversubscribed enough that I think anyone entering - particularly anyone entering with the privilege of being in one of the protected categories - who isn't absolutely optimising for speed, needs to take a very stern look at themselves.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 26, 2019, 02:13:30 pm
my view is that even if using hotels is faster (if well planned) the difference of saving few hours  for someone mid-pack would be neither here nor there, e.g. finishing 67 vs 76 - who cares.. for most people the aim is to finish before the race is over, to arrive in one piece, to give their best shot.

I'm afraid I care!  I raced hard when I did it, even though it was for 31st place!  I recall Mike writing something about the race for [32nd] place being as important to those involved as the race for first. 

^ But I agree with your other post - I see a good proportion of riders who are taking it a little bit easy, chilling out in cafes and riding fast but short days.  These guys typically overtake me at least once a day!

^My approach for IndyPac, after winter when I had hardly ridden let alone trained, was just to turn up and see how it went.  I still raced just as hard, just I was a couple of km/h or so slower than I could have been if I was in shape.  I wasn't taking anyone's place.  But for TCR, in summer, oversubscribed, I couldn't imagine not trying to get in the best shape I could.

Got to chirp in here too ZigZag.  Disagree. Just as in, say a marathon, you end up being super competitive with the racers around you. Think of the four hour finishers pulling hamstrings as they try to outspent each other over the line. The ones already up the road and over the hill are in a different race.
  TCR Example. Last year there was a small group of us bringing up the rear who ended up in the CP hotel at Bjelasnica a day after the cutoff.  Heading up the climb in the morning I was delighted to see lights behind me, but then pissed to see one rider already on his way down. He instantly became my rabbit to chase to Meteora.
 Of course that all went tits up an hour later when I took an unplanned detour into the karstik badlands below the mountain for a day. I was pissed to be lost, but because I'd let him go too.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 02:19:21 pm
Congratulations on getting 31st place, rather than 35th or whatever you'd have got had you not raced so hard!

Thanks.  If I'd taken it as easy as some I reckon I could have easily come in 50th or 60th.  But being paced up that hill in Montenegro helped!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 26, 2019, 02:24:09 pm
Shhhhh!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 26, 2019, 02:32:23 pm
yes, i did say "to give their best shot" which includes competition among riders mid pack, urgency, adrenaline, and associated emotions (if there is still energy left to feel them!..). but whether that translates into 67 or 76 place on the gc is largely irrelevant, in my eyes at least.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 04:57:07 pm
QG: No the person with a tent wasn't racing.  I don't think the event was oversubscribed?  If it was, s/he shouldn't have been there.

But he was faster than me, had he finished he would have done so at least a day ahead of me. I was racing Shiela and Aujke. Why wasn't he?

Quote

Accommodation is kinda the same: sure you'll need to bivi in remoter areas but if you're planning to bivi the whole time to save money, you're optimising for cost not for speed.  The race is now oversubscribed enough that I think anyone entering - particularly anyone entering with the privilege of being in one of the protected categories - who isn't absolutely optimising for speed, needs to take a very stern look at themselves.

So because I have no chance of challenging for the top 10, even tho I will be going as fast as I can possibly go, you suggest I shouldn't even be entering?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 26, 2019, 05:02:49 pm
Presumably the rider who came twelfth riding fixed gear in 2017 (iirc) isn't the real deal either  ;D ::-)

Make sure you wear skinsuits and TT helmets to make the criteria, everyone! And don't forget to shave your legs!

Though saying that, I have been eyeing up one of these.... https://ridefar.info/2016/12/the-most-comfortable-cycling-clothing-one-piece-outfits/#Louis_Garneau_Course_Skin_Suit
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 05:18:50 pm

Well that's an interesting one.

This just went past on twitter:

https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1199370949885337606

I have mixed feelings on this one if it happens. On the one hand, holy fuck I get to race against a pro tour rider (sure I'm gonna lose, but still). On the other hand, no fair! you can go ride the tour/giro/vuelta, which I can't.

Should you be allowed to race an amateur event with such limited capacity, if you have a pro tour license?

Something I love about ultraracing is that it is so accessible. All the training in the world will never let me ride the Giro, but I lined up in Amerongen, next to a 24hr TT world champion, a 24hr tt world + national champion, and a Transam winner. In Burgas the night before the race one of my cycling heros sat with me, gave me some advice, and we had a nice chat about the race ahead. We lined up the next morning before they disappeared up the road. They gave me their number if I want to ask them for advice. But I'm too scared to text them.

I'll never win. But I'll give it my best shot.

J

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 05:27:16 pm
Presumably the rider who came twelfth riding fixed gear in 2017 (iirc) isn't the real deal either  ;D ::-)

Make sure you wear skinsuits and TT helmets to make the criteria, everyone! And don't forget to shave your legs!

Though saying that, I have been eyeing up one of these.... https://ridefar.info/2016/12/the-most-comfortable-cycling-clothing-one-piece-outfits/#Louis_Garneau_Course_Skin_Suit

I agree, it's not a sensible course to ride on fixed so.

Some people do wear skin suits - it comes down to a trade off of aero vs comfort and also pockets.   Aero helmets are not much used because of ventilation: they wouldn't work for long days in the heat. 

I used wheel covers for IndyPac.

Most legs are shaved, at the start, at least. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 05:29:13 pm

I agree, it's not a sensible course to ride on fixed so.

Some people do wear skin suits - it comes down to a trade off of aero vs comfort and also pockets.   Aero helmets are not much used because of ventilation: they wouldn't work for long days in the heat. 

Everyone looked at a guy weirdly for lining up in Amerongen in a skin suit. 97 hours later when he crossed the finish line in first, we didn't think it as crazy...

Quote

I used wheel covers for IndyPac.

Most legs are shaved, at the start, at least.

I had a razor with me on the tcr this year. Not intentionally, I hadn't realised it was still in the bottom of my frame bag.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 26, 2019, 05:31:45 pm
10 days to look at a win, 13-14 days to look at a competitive finish... the time limit is 16 days... if you set off to finish > 16 days, you're taking the piss
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 26, 2019, 05:48:57 pm
re: giving the best shot.

most people think that they try their hardest, but in reality they don't (myself included). tired body and brain looks for any excuse to stop and not ride. therefore the 11th ice cream stop that day, full night's sleep where five hours would do, postings on social media etc. and that's fair enough, we are not robots.

on the final night it was around 100km left to go and i was knackered, but could have continued and be done with it. instead, i took five hour sleep stop in order to finish in daylight feeling like a human rather than a zombie. did i give my best shot? more like "good enough" shot and was content with my decisions.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 26, 2019, 06:42:25 pm
I remember reading about motor racing that there are two attitudes: the Juan Fangio approach, in which you win at the slowest speed possible, and the Stirling Moss attitude that the car will explode through extreme abuse the instant it crosses the line. I may have got the wrong names, but you can surely find the names of ultraracers to fit.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 26, 2019, 06:51:52 pm

Well that's an interesting one.

This just went past on twitter:

https://twitter.com/DeGendtThomas/status/1199370949885337606

I have mixed feelings on this one if it happens. On the one hand, holy fuck I get to race against a pro tour rider (sure I'm gonna lose, but still). On the other hand, no fair! you can go ride the tour/giro/vuelta, which I can't.

Should you be allowed to race an amateur event with such limited capacity, if you have a pro tour license?

Something I love about ultraracing is that it is so accessible. All the training in the world will never let me ride the Giro, but I lined up in Amerongen, next to a 24hr TT world champion, a 24hr tt world + national champion, and a Transam winner. In Burgas the night before the race one of my cycling heros sat with me, gave me some advice, and we had a nice chat about the race ahead. We lined up the next morning before they disappeared up the road. They gave me their number if I want to ask them for advice. But I'm too scared to text them.

I'll never win. But I'll give it my best shot.

J
I really hope he enters and does a ludicrous solo breakaway from the start line  ;D
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 26, 2019, 06:54:58 pm
QG: No the person with a tent wasn't racing.  I don't think the event was oversubscribed?  If it was, s/he shouldn't have been there.

But he was faster than me, had he finished he would have done so at least a day ahead of me. I was racing Shiela and Aujke. Why wasn't he?

He wasn't racing because he was a) carrying a tent, b) carrying a stove and c) cooking his own porridge every morning.  Those are all deliberate  choices that will make you slower.  If you start an event with the preconceived intention of doing a slower time than you could do, in order to save the price of a few gas station breakfasts, you're not racing you're taking the piss. 

But you knew that already. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 07:00:35 pm

He wasn't racing because he was a) carrying a tent, b) carrying a stove and c) cooking his own porridge every morning.  Those are all deliberate  choices that will make you slower.  If you start an event with the preconceived intention of doing a slower time than you could do, in order to save the price of a few gas station breakfasts, you're not racing you're taking the piss. 

But you knew that already.

Actually, he got a better nights sleep than I did when I got hyperthermia. He was able to produce hot food on demand when it was bloody cold and bleak. There were stretches where availability of food was a problem, hundreds of kilometres infact where nothing was available. The strategy of having some food available, and because of the flatness the weight penalty isn't a major issue. I'd say it's actually a strategy that deserves some consideration in the midfield.

Had I not caught the last orders at a restaurant in Lauwersoog, I would have been totally fucked. Another 20 minutes and I wouldn't have made it. He on the other hand could setup a tent, make a big pot of porridge, and warm up. Me? I had my feet wrapped in tin foil, and lost an hour hugging a radiator...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 26, 2019, 07:28:47 pm
Yebbut you're not out to get a good night's sleep, you're out to win.  If you can't get to the next warm bed, you need to ride until you can.  This is the Netherlands, not Kyrgyzstan.  I'm pretty sure I know which rider you're talking about and he's raced at a high level in the past and more than deserves a cuppa when he wants one.  Stopping for a brew when you're feeling a bit cold ain't racing though, and you're doing violence to language if you suggest it is.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 08:44:42 pm
Yebbut you're not out to get a good night's sleep, you're out to win.  If you can't get to the next warm bed, you need to ride until you can.  This is the Netherlands, not Kyrgyzstan.  I'm pretty sure I know which rider you're talking about and he's raced at a high level in the past and more than deserves a cuppa when he wants one.  Stopping for a brew when you're feeling a bit cold ain't racing though, and you're doing violence to language if you suggest it is.

That is a mistake many riders made, massively underestimating what it means to ride here when the weather is against you. I got frost injuries to my toes from the cold, as well as suffering from hypothermia at one stage. But hey, it's the Netherlands, how hard can it be...

Never been accused of doing violence to language. Nice turn of phrase.
J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 26, 2019, 08:51:08 pm
The hardest ride of my life was in Belgium. I was almost in big trouble. As in, on the verge of emptying out train station refuse sacks to use as a bivvy bag, and looking for combustible wood on the roadside to start a fire with. Having to ride the bike to try to stay warm, all while on the verge of nodding off at the handlebars. It's a fool who underestimates the low countries, which is exactly what I did, and it nearly went badly wrong.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 26, 2019, 08:59:32 pm
The hardest ride of my life was in Belgium. I was almost in big trouble. As in, on the verge of emptying out train station refuse sacks to use as a bivvy bag, and looking for combustible wood on the roadside to start a fire with. Having to ride the bike to try to stay warm, all while on the verge of nodding off at the handlebars. It's a fool who underestimates the low countries, which is exactly what I did, and it nearly went badly wrong.

Yeah, I got the frost injuries from that one. Last December I crashed 3 times in the final 50km of a 200k audax, due to ice.

It's not so much that the conditions are worse than the uk at the same latitude, but that resources are sparse (my nearest station to bail out at was basically next to the arrivé). On RatN once you Turn left at the google datacentre, until you get to Harlingen, there is very very little by way of bars, restaurants, cafes. Not to mention the opening hours are somewhat provincial.

What I think exacerbates it is that people think of it as "just a ride in the Netherlands", and so don't make the same prep as they do for ride in other places, and people wonder why I have so much junk on my bike...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 26, 2019, 09:02:42 pm
What's this frostbite thing got to do with a race in the middle of summer?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 26, 2019, 09:02:55 pm
I was kicking myself something fierce at 3am on that ride, as I'd left my gore Tex Bibi bag at the HQ to save weight.

But then maybe if I'd had it, I'd not have finished the ride.

This is a weird sport.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 26, 2019, 10:24:38 pm
re: giving the best shot.

most people think that they try their hardest, but in reality they don't (myself included). tired body and brain looks for any excuse to stop and not ride. therefore the 11th ice cream stop that day, full night's sleep where five hours would do, postings on social media etc. and that's fair enough, we are not robots.

on the final night it was around 100km left to go and i was knackered, but could have continued and be done with it. instead, i took five hour sleep stop in order to finish in daylight feeling like a human rather than a zombie. did i give my best shot? more like "good enough" shot and was content with my decisions.

I tipped you as a podium contender before the race so, yes, I agree, it wasn't quite your best shot. Not at the same level as your pbp rides!

I realise I take it more seriously than most others I meet. I don't stop at restaurants, don't do social media, don't do photos and, the only time I've finished an ultra, I only had one hour's sleep on each of the last two nights. Partly its coming from a time trialling background which gets me into the mindset of keeping pushing. But I'd really, really hate to get to the end and think I could have done it quicker.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 26, 2019, 10:55:17 pm
i have my excuses* for the below par tcr result; pbp is a childs play compared to tcr.. :)

* one common thing with all excuses is that no one believes them
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: perpetual dan on November 27, 2019, 02:08:07 pm
Speaking from a position of significant inexperience, a couple of comments up there reminded me of things...

If you're being passed by the same person every day then your strategies seem about equal to me. This year's win showed that there's alternative approaches to maximum exhaustion each day. Area under the curve wins.

Emily Chappel made an interesting comment about the difference between TCR and RAAM. Part of that was that being able to judge the difference between necessary rest of mind and body, and taking it easy is part of the race in TCR. In RAAM there's a team telling you what to do.



Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 27, 2019, 04:31:38 pm
Area under the curve wins.

Wow, the most interesting metaphors in this thread... first frostbite as a proof of how hard it can be to ride a bicycle in Europe (in summer???), now mathematical integration as a strategy to win a race...

Possibly the Newton-Leibniz classic?  :thumbsup:

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 27, 2019, 05:11:09 pm
No matter whether you go for the classic fig newton or the strawberry version, (http://www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com/biscuits/previous.php3?item=81) the chocolate-covered lesbian biscuits (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/features/the-27-best-biscuits-in-the-world/choco-leibniz/) are best. Not to be confused with lesbian tea, which is something completely different.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: perpetual dan on November 27, 2019, 05:16:31 pm


Possibly the Newton-Leibniz classic? 

:D

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on November 27, 2019, 08:15:28 pm
The problem with the £25 isn't the affordibility per se, it's who it puts off. IIRC there've been studies of job applicants where the more hoops you make people jump through, the more likely you are to end up with nothing but overconfident upper/middle class white men, independent of actual ability to do the job.

one hundred thousand times this.
+1
(that's just ONE, not 100,000 ;)  )

I haven't checked all the small-print yet, but it feels like they've got this wrong for TCR8. If it was a fiver to get your place, fair enough; that's close to the amount it "costs" them to process your application. But £25? Just to enter a lottery?? I suspect this would have put me off TPR.

I think a time-consuming entry process is far better for deterring tyre-kickers; if you look at LEL2013, there was a frenzy to CLICK THAT BUTTON at some crazy time, months in advance. Then on start day, dozens of riders DNSed without even bothering to claim the refund (£50? £100? dunno, do your own research!)

That sounds like a time-poor cash-rich thing to me, plain as day ...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on November 27, 2019, 08:37:35 pm

Quote
Thing is, if you are cash poor, but time rich, you can do the race really cheaply.
Yebbut then you're not racing, and shouldn't really enter.
So are you saying that any compromise on spending means you're not really racing?

That doesn't make sense - have you spent every spare penny on your "racing" this year??
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on November 28, 2019, 12:01:19 am
I threw my last few at you when you were pulling annoying faces at Hodnet.  Did I miss?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 28, 2019, 12:13:08 am
I'm going to be keeping a beady eye out for when the spots for volunteering will open. I'd hope to get the Belgium spot but would settle for Brest. Maybe Austria, though cycling London to there would be a bit of work.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 01:19:35 am
I'm going to be keeping a beady eye out for when the spots for volunteering will open. I'd hope to get the Belgium spot but would settle for Brest. Maybe Austria, though cycling London to there would be a bit of work.

If you're a volunteer, and not racing, ask a rider for their route from CP1 to CP2. It'll probably be pretty optimised. So you'd have no problems riding it, esp as you can do shorter days.

That said Austrian trains are pretty cheap, follow the Rhine as far as lake constance, then head up to Feldkirk and a train through the lumpiest bits.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 07:39:26 am

Quote
Thing is, if you are cash poor, but time rich, you can do the race really cheaply.
Yebbut then you're not racing, and shouldn't really enter.
So are you saying that any compromise on spending means you're not really racing?



Pretty much... a race is a race and one should aim at beating as many opponents as possible withing physical limitations. Sleeping in a ditch makes sense if it saves time, just like cooking. If it wastes time, then it's glorified touring
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 28, 2019, 09:26:42 am
it's glorified touring

That's certainly true of Audax. When I filmed some of the LEJOG record last year I covered some of the aspects which elevated the feat above 'touring'. Anyone can ride LEJOG, and there have been 'unsupported' record attempts. The glory-making aspects of the RRA LEJOG record are readily apparent, largely the validation by almost continuous observation. That makes it credible, but expensive. The history contributes to the status, and provides a rich background for stories. It was a story before the internet, and continues to be a fixture of 'legacy' publications.
TCR is an inevitable development. A core of 'stars' to provide enough mass of interest for the other participants' social media to orbit around. The MSM like women to focus on, so Fiona's success has generated a need to control the entry process. It's interesting to see how that process went wrong at PBP, with a big question mark over the validity of the ride of the first woman back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8TCfnE8Zv0
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 09:42:33 am
it's glorified touring

That's certainly true of Audax. When I filmed some of the LEJOG record last year I covered some of the aspects which elevated the feat above 'touring'. Anyone can ride LEJOG, and there have been 'unsupported' record attempts. The glory-making aspects of the RRA LEJOG record are readily apparent, largely the validation by almost continuous observation. That makes it credible, but expensive. The history contributes to the status, and provides a rich background for stories. It was a story before the internet, and continues to be a fixture of 'legacy' publications.
TCR is an inevitable development. A core of 'stars' to provide enough mass of interest for the other participants' social media to orbit around. The MSM like women to focus on, so Fiona's success has generated a need to control the entry process. It's interesting to see how that process went wrong at PBP, with a big question mark over the validity of the ride of the first woman back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8TCfnE8Zv0

I don't think LeJoG record is a relevant example, because it is a race against the clock.. "contre la montre"... it's a time trial!

TCR is not a time trial, it is a race against opponents. I appreciate people aim at doing it in less than 14 days or whatever, but ultimately in a race, being 17th or 21th does make a difference, whereas finishing in 13 days or 14 doesn't.

Nobody looks at how long it took the winner do finish the Tour de France, but we all look at the final classification... TCR is no different. It's not a time trial, it's a race... very different thing.
If folks don't get that point, then they don't get the spirit of the event.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 28, 2019, 09:51:27 am


I don't think LeJoG record is a relevant example, because it is a race against the clock.. "contre la montre"... it's a time trial!

TCR is not a time trial, it is a race against opponents. I appreciate people aim at doing it in less than 14 days or whatever, but ultimately in a race, being 17th or 21th does make a difference, whereas finishing in 13 days or 14 doesn't.

Nobody looks at how long it took the winner do finish the Tour de France, but we all look at the final classification... TCR is no different. It's not a time trial, it's a race... very different thing.
If folks don't get that point, then they don't get the spirit of the event.

Any event which forbids 'drafting' is a time trial. I'm more interested in the systems of glorification.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 10:23:42 am


Any event which forbids 'drafting' is a time trial. I'm more interested in the systems of glorification.

But it's not about the time, just like nobody should care about the time of the winner in a time trial... the win matters. Time is a reflection of course and weather conditions, per se it is a meaningless number.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 28, 2019, 10:29:44 am
Sorry, but TCR is a time trial!

Time trials are non-drafting races against opponents doing the same course which, for TCR as RRA LEJoG, is defined by a few points rather than a set course.

People who are interested in it and know a bit about it often ask 'how long did it take you?'

The difference between TCR and RRA record attempts is support.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 28, 2019, 10:40:23 am
Long distance race site Ridefar.info has published an article giving an overview of the new race.

https://ridefar.info/races/transcontinental-race/tcr-no8/

It'll probably be kept up to date with new info.

Quote
The finish party has been announced as Saturday evening, August 8th, which is the end of Day 15. It will therefore probably be an even bigger challenge for people to arrive before the finish party this year than it was in previous years.

I think this is a good way to give a 'soft steer' to make it clear that this is a race.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on November 28, 2019, 10:42:00 am


Any event which forbids 'drafting' is a time trial. I'm more interested in the systems of glorification.

But it's not about the time, just like nobody should care about the time of the winner in a time trial... the win matters. Time is a reflection of course and weather conditions, per se it is a meaningless number.

It doesn't actually matter how much a record is beaten by, only that it is beaten. Whether the record to be beaten was set a minute earlier, a year earlier or a decade earlier isn't particularly important either.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 28, 2019, 10:47:09 am
Long distance race site Ridefar.info has published an article giving an overview of the new race.

https://ridefar.info/races/transcontinental-race/tcr-no8/

It'll probably be kept up to date with new info.

Quote
The finish party has been announced as Saturday evening, August 8th, which is the end of Day 15. It will therefore probably be an even bigger challenge for people to arrive before the finish party this year than it was in previous years.

I think this is a good way to give a 'soft steer' to make it clear that this is a race.

Chris White, the author, is planning to ride again in 2020.  He ran a control last time so he should be guaranteed a place. 

I agree with his comments on length.  I did a rough sketch, and it is certainly long, and it looks like it will have significantly more climbing than this year's event. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 10:54:43 am
So you are saying it's about finishing fast rather than finishing first?

Then it's not a race... a race by definition implies beating the opposition, regardless of the time. Time is completely irrelevant, especially when the course changes every year.

Drafting or non drafting are simply rules of the race, but a race nonetheless
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 28, 2019, 11:09:22 am
So you are saying it's about finishing fast rather than finishing first?

Then it's not a race... a race by definition implies beating the opposition, regardless of the time. Time is completely irrelevant, especially when the course changes every year.

Drafting or non drafting are simply rules of the race, but a race nonetheless

it's a race in time trial format. if you ride fast you will finish accordingly (in the best position that reflects your fitness and faff and sleep optimisation) somewhere on (or out of) the gc list. if you time trial better (i.e. faster, longer, or both) than the rest of the field and long enough and use your time efficiently you'll be the first to finish automatically. race is a description that everyone understands, time trial usually requires further explanation and sounds less intriguing/appealing.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 11:18:55 am
Long distance race site Ridefar.info has published an article giving an overview of the new race.

https://ridefar.info/races/transcontinental-race/tcr-no8/

It'll probably be kept up to date with new info.

Quote
The finish party has been announced as Saturday evening, August 8th, which is the end of Day 15. It will therefore probably be an even bigger challenge for people to arrive before the finish party this year than it was in previous years.

I think this is a good way to give a 'soft steer' to make it clear that this is a race.

Longer, and with more climbing than no7, and yet with slightly less time before the cut off. Looking at the numbers the climbing is heavily loaded into the CP2 -> CP4 leg nearly 17000m of climbing in about 1300km (excluding the parcour). Around CP3, there's very little alternative routes available it's a sort of one road in one road out type of thing.

I'm trying to work out if I can get CP1 -> CP2 to under 10000m of climbing without making it longer than the current 1280km. I know climbing is my weakness, so for me a little extra distance to avoid climbing is worth it for me.

The 1600m from the valley floor up to the start of the Cp4 parcour is quite a chunk of climbing, but the first 200km after CP3 looks scary in terms of climb.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on November 28, 2019, 12:06:30 pm
There are plenty of stories from TCR of riders checking their competitors' trackers and adjusting their sleep stop lengths (etc) accordingly. You can't do that on a time trial.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on November 28, 2019, 12:16:15 pm
It is an advantage to start a time trial behind your competitor, so that you have a ‘rabbit’ to chase. It is commonplace to monitor your performance relative to your main competitors during a time trial.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on November 28, 2019, 12:25:13 pm
It is an advantage to start a time trial behind your competitor, so that you have a ‘rabbit’ to chase. It is commonplace to monitor your performance relative to your main competitors during a time trial.

My supporters had a copy of my schedule along with keeping an eye on where some other key riders were.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 28, 2019, 12:28:48 pm
It seems to be a time trial for the front runners, an Audax for those wishing to finish before the party, and glorified touring for those who want to finish after the party.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 28, 2019, 12:56:42 pm
<...>
I know climbing is my weakness, so for me a little extra distance to avoid climbing is worth it for me.

The 1600m from the valley floor up to the start of the Cp4 parcour is quite a chunk of climbing, but the first 200km after CP3 looks scary in terms of climb.

J

good news is that there is plenty of time to make climbing your strength. bad news is that nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 12:59:33 pm

good news is that there is plenty of time to make climbing your strength. bad news is that nothing worthwhile comes easy.

I'm hoping the new job will help. If you have any tips of how to train for climbing when you live in a flat country, please let me know.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 28, 2019, 01:07:58 pm
You could give one of these a crack!

(http://www.stickybottle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Unusual1.jpg)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 28, 2019, 01:13:53 pm

good news is that there is plenty of time to make climbing your strength. bad news is that nothing worthwhile comes easy.

I'm hoping the new job will help. If you have any tips of how to train for climbing when you live in a flat country, please let me know.

J
Smash your legs up in the gym (loads of squats etc) then go out and ride in a bigger gear than you would normally use into the wind with ballast on the bike.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 28, 2019, 01:16:24 pm
<...>
I know climbing is my weakness, so for me a little extra distance to avoid climbing is worth it for me.

The 1600m from the valley floor up to the start of the Cp4 parcour is quite a chunk of climbing, but the first 200km after CP3 looks scary in terms of climb.

J

good news is that there is plenty of time to make climbing your strength. bad news is that nothing worthwhile comes easy.

Also time to take a good hard look at your current gear ratios.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 28, 2019, 01:21:29 pm
There's no magic, just try to improve your W/kg.  On turbo, on road or both
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 28, 2019, 01:34:08 pm

good news is that there is plenty of time to make climbing your strength. bad news is that nothing worthwhile comes easy.

I'm hoping the new job will help. If you have any tips of how to train for climbing when you live in a flat country, please let me know.

J

ok, my 2p.

following a structured plan on an indoor trainer would be the optimal solution. failing that, hill repeats twice a week, every week; if there are no hills within rideable distance, it's worth taking a train/driving. first month 1 hour long sessions, second month 1.5h, third and following months 2h. another alternative is doing hilly rides, if traveling is possible. ride up the hills hard and take it easy everywhere else. on flat terrain - high intensity intervals, say, reaching ~170bpm and keeping that intensity for as long as you can. few minutes easy pedaling and repeat again x 6...8. this would be my idea for hill training in addition to general cycling and one longer/easier ride per week.

recovery is equally (if not more) important, i.e. good nutrition, quality sleep, low physical and mental stress.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 01:45:55 pm

Also time to take a good hard look at your current gear ratios.

I have an 11-40 cassette, and a 38/28 chainset. Do you think I should go lower?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 28, 2019, 02:19:21 pm

Also time to take a good hard look at your current gear ratios.

I have an 11-40 cassette, and a 38/28 chainset. Do you think I should go lower?

J

I'm not qualified to say Im afraid QG. Im sure there are other members with lots more insight than me. Suffice to say that personally last year I had 1:1 ratio (34/34) and struggled with the ramps, admittedly with a recent fracture. It just wasn't enough and clipping in on a ramp was nigh on impossible.  I'm not getting any younger and will be downsizing on an upcoming build for touring and future races. I've selected 42/26 crankset with an 11/36 cassette and am exploring riding with flat pedals. If I struggle with that set up then its time for an e bike. 
There are a few charts out there that illustrate how much power you need to ride up what gradient in a specific gear, maybe worth a look.
Looks like you are geared pretty super low already mind you. I guess if you were running out of gears and weren't spinning out on the flats then it docent hurt to go even lower.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 04:19:40 pm
The recipe for rides with a significant altitude profile is fairly simple...

1) Lose as much weight as it's sensible... it can be a pound, a stone or 5. I expect anyone wanting to "race" would want to be in a normal BMI range at the very least.

2) Work on your aerobic power output... aim for something around (or in excess of) 3 Watt/Kg.. something you can sustain for an hour

3) Look at gear ratios of less than 1:1 for steep gradients

In this order... starting from the gears is a defeating attitude

Everybody who struggle with their climbing (unless they have knee or back issues) are let down by 1), 2) or 3) ... or a combination of them
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 04:54:51 pm


The recipe for rides with a significant altitude profile is fairly simple...

1) Lose as much weight as it's sensible... it can be a pound, a stone or 5. I expect anyone wanting to "race" would want to be in a normal BMI range at the very least.

Working on it, but it's hard as a side effect of the medication I have to take to not die is weight gain.

Quote

2) Work on your aerobic power output... aim for something around (or in excess of) 3 Watt/Kg.. something you can sustain for an hour

As discussed at length in a previous thread, it seems to be a general consensus that 3W/kg is just not realistic

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=108743

Tho Frank suggests that climbing some mountains at 130w is plausible. Being able to do that on day 1 is one thing, doing it on day 10 is another.

Quote

3) Look at gear ratios of less than 1:1 for steep gradients

In this order... starting from the gears is a defeating attitude

No it's not. Your bike needs gears to be able to be ridden, otherwise it's a balance bike. Therefore I may as well install gears appropriate to the target use, else it's just wasting money.

Just once, I'd like you to say something positive and nice in reply to one of my posts...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 05:13:25 pm



Just once, I'd like you to say something positive and nice in reply to one of my posts...

J

Primarily, I am trying to say something true. If you prefer to hear that you can climb anything with 1.5 Watt/Kg as long as the gears are low enough, then I can say that, but I don't mean it.

When  the power is too low, the speed is also too low and you simply can't stand upright... so you go down or you gracefully climb down and walk.
Cycling at  3 km/h uphill is not easy... balance becomes an issue

On a moderately loaded bike you will need 3.5 Watt/kg to travel at 8 km/h on a 10% incline... if you have 1.75 Watt/kg then you will only travel at about 4 km/h, dangerously close to falling off. Anything beyond 10% will realistically mean walking
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 05:20:53 pm

Primarily, I am trying to say something true. If you prefer to hear that you can climb anything with 1.5 Watt/Kg as long as the gears are low enough, then I can say that, but I don't mean it.

When  the power is too low, the speed is also too low and you simply can't stand upright... so you go down or you gracefully climb down and walk.
Cycling at less than 3 km/h uphill is not easy... balance becomes an issue

It was more the starting from a point of gears comment that annoyed me.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 05:23:40 pm


It was more the starting from a point of gears comment that annoyed me.

J

... because gears can only help so much and don't address the real problem. You need a trike if you want to cycle uphill really slow with very small gears... with two wheels gears don't help much
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 05:29:22 pm

... because gears can only help so much and don't address the real problem. You need a trike if you want to cycle uphill really slow with very small gears... with two wheels gears don't help much

But they are still something that can be really easily changed. There's no point running a 53/39 and an 11-28 cassette, when you're installing new gears anyway, it's a simple move to put in something low. To do otherwise, the inability to turn the pedals point kicks in at a much higher speed.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Kim on November 28, 2019, 05:29:50 pm
With two wheels gears help down to your likely stall speed, which makes it reasonably easy to work out the bottom limit should be, as you only need to know what a reasonable cadence for balancing the bike at low speed with a b0rked knee (or equivalent) is, rather than having to get into power and mass and gradient.

So you might as well start there, on the basis that the sooner you get the bike sorted out the sooner you can train with it.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: hatler on November 28, 2019, 05:49:19 pm
Can I just say I'm in awe of anyone who simply attempts TCR, let alone thinks they can finish it.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 05:53:39 pm

... because gears can only help so much and don't address the real problem. You need a trike if you want to cycle uphill really slow with very small gears... with two wheels gears don't help much

But they are still something that can be really easily changed. There's no point running a 53/39 and an 11-28 cassette, when you're installing new gears anyway, it's a simple move to put in something low. To do otherwise, the inability to turn the pedals point kicks in at a much higher speed.

J

Of course, as long as you realise that it's not with gears that you will get up the mountains. By the look of things, you have already a remarkably low gearing set up (28 x 40, if I understand correctly?)... I am surprised you can actually use it, as I think at a reasonable cadence, the speed is probably too low to be upright.

So, that leaves you with the real issue to deal with... power to weight ratio
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Kim on November 28, 2019, 05:54:08 pm
Can I just say I'm in awe of anyone who simply attempts TCR, let alone thinks they can finish it.

+1
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: zigzag on November 28, 2019, 06:22:22 pm
Of course, as long as you realise that it's not with gears that you will get up the mountains. By the look of things, you have already a remarkably low gearing set up (28 x 40, if I understand correctly?)... I am surprised you can actually use it, as I think at a reasonable cadence, the speed is probably too low to be upright.

So, that leaves you with the real issue to deal with... power to weight ratio

not sure if you are aware, but many mountain bikers are using 30x50 lowest gear and stay upright just fine, even balancing wheel slip. so while 28x40 is a very low gear there's nothing to be surprised about.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 28, 2019, 06:30:20 pm
Can I just say I'm in awe of anyone who simply attempts TCR, let alone thinks they can finish it.
Muchly. Even if they "do it touring".
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 28, 2019, 06:38:34 pm
Of course, as long as you realise that it's not with gears that you will get up the mountains. By the look of things, you have already a remarkably low gearing set up (28 x 40, if I understand correctly?)... I am surprised you can actually use it, as I think at a reasonable cadence, the speed is probably too low to be upright.

So, that leaves you with the real issue to deal with... power to weight ratio

not sure if you are aware, but many mountain bikers are using 30x50 lowest gear and stay upright just fine, even balancing wheel slip. so while 28x40 is a very low gear there's nothing to be surprised about.

I had a mountain bike, in the days when 28 x 36 was the smallest gear... usable in very few instances, but possible on a bike with 2.5 inch tyres, no load and very wide flat bars... on 25 mm tyres, with a loaded bike and road bars?... not so sure
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on November 28, 2019, 06:45:56 pm
I think it’s awesome you’re having another go.

Anyone prescribing a specific W/kg is telling you not to bother and that only certain body types should enter, and that sucks.

The lowest gear on my touring bike is 24x36 and it’s definitely still faster and more pleasant than walking and doesn’t feel anywhere near the lowest viable gear.

That said, focusing on very steep hills is probably less important than getting up very long, less steep hills, which I think are more numerous?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on November 28, 2019, 06:48:12 pm
TCR is not a time trial, it is a race against opponents.

... TCR is no different. It's not a time trial, it's a race... very different thing.
If folks don't get that point, then they don't get the spirit of the event.
Sounds to me like you don't understand time trials.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 28, 2019, 07:00:22 pm
THE SPIRIT OF THE RACE

“… whatever commentary might be shared online by spectators we are really in a contract of integrity with our peers and it’s only those who have really been there who know the nuances of what is involved…”

Mike Hall 2016

QG you are a peer. 
Do your thing. Train for Brest and the rest is all background noise.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on November 28, 2019, 07:33:12 pm
Of course, as long as you realise that it's not with gears that you will get up the mountains. By the look of things, you have already a remarkably low gearing set up (28 x 40, if I understand correctly?)... I am surprised you can actually use it, as I think at a reasonable cadence, the speed is probably too low to be upright.

So, that leaves you with the real issue to deal with... power to weight ratio

not sure if you are aware, but many mountain bikers are using 30x50 lowest gear and stay upright just fine, even balancing wheel slip. so while 28x40 is a very low gear there's nothing to be surprised about.

I had a mountain bike, in the days when 28 x 36 was the smallest gear... usable in very few instances, but possible on a bike with 2.5 inch tyres, no load and very wide flat bars... on 25 mm tyres, with a loaded bike and road bars?... not so sure

Hmm, 22 X 34 is Shimano's lowest gear of mountain biking from the 9 speed era. I still have that drive train on one of my bikes. That works out at .65 comparable to 30 / 50 which is .6 and 28 / 40 which is .7. Not sure where you get 28 X 36 from as I'm sure 36 on a cassette came after 9 speed.

It's perfectly usable , was so when mtn bikes were still in the 1.75"  1.95" range of tyre width, which is 44-50mm in modern parlance. Plus it was useable technical off road uphill.  If a hill was too steep you'd lift front wheel but for getting through technical uphill sections, perfect.  Sure some adventure bikes used on TCR won't be so far off those widths.

Good luck QG I'd say your gearing is fine. If you have to walk you have to walk, but by that point it'll be faster than riding anyway. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: orraloon on November 28, 2019, 08:34:40 pm
As there are sufficient numbers of proper TCR riders on here, a question from a Dotwatcher.

Volunteering for a CP.  I could not contemplate entering TCRn, too old, too much a hobby cyclist, etc.  I was thinking about volunteering for a CP.  But.  Should I get a place on that, given that volunteering gets individuals brownie points for getting accepted onto a future race, would I be blocking an aspirational 'proper' rider?

I'd like to help and support.  But I would not want to deprive someone of a chance to enter.

Or am I being too sensitive?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on November 28, 2019, 08:46:53 pm
I’ve just bought my first geared bike in, probably, 10 years.

My lowest gear is 34*28.  Should I be worried ?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Jurek on November 28, 2019, 08:56:26 pm
I think it’s awesome you’re having another go.

Anyone prescribing a specific W/kg is telling you not to bother and that only certain body types should enter, and that sucks.

The lowest gear on my touring bike is 24x36 and it’s definitely still faster and more pleasant than walking and doesn’t feel anywhere near the lowest viable gear.

That said, focusing on very steep hills is probably less important than getting up very long, less steep hills, which I think are more numerous?
I'm struggling to argue with the first line of that post
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 28, 2019, 08:58:07 pm

Sorry, I'm going to have to duck out of this thread, I've received a PM asking me to stop.

Thanks everyone for the supportive comments, maybe see some of you on the road.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Paul H on November 28, 2019, 09:03:45 pm

Sorry, I'm going to have to duck out of this thread, I've received a PM asking me to stop.

J
Tell them to sod off  ::-)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Jurek on November 28, 2019, 09:09:35 pm

Sorry, I'm going to have to duck out of this thread, I've received a PM asking me to stop.

Thanks everyone for the supportive comments, maybe see some of you on the road.

J
My bold
That'd be so cool.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 28, 2019, 11:35:06 pm
I’ve just bought my first geared bike in, probably, 10 years.

My lowest gear is 34*28.  Should I be worried ?

My first road bike was 34*28. I never carried really big loads (aside from myself...) up big chunky steep hills on it but for general riding I think it is adequate. I don't regret having moved to 34*32 though!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Bolt on November 29, 2019, 12:02:39 am
Good luck QG I'd say your gearing is fine. If you have to walk you have to walk, but by that point it'll be faster than riding anyway.
Absolutely! and I find in those "get off and walk" situations that it's good to consider that the small amount of time walking with the bike as being extremely beneficial for the miles that lay ahead... just keep moving :thumbsup:
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: paddyirish on November 29, 2019, 06:27:57 am

Sorry, I'm going to have to duck out of this thread, I've received a PM asking me to stop.

Thanks everyone for the supportive comments, maybe see some of you on the road.

J

Sorry you've been asked to butt out of the thread. I don't always agree with everything you say, but it is always interesting, polite and coming from a desire to be curious and to improve - I don't get why some people are so aggressive and dismissive.

I've not achieved anything like what you have, but it is clear to me that these events are about getting your bike, body and mind from start to the end as quickly as you can safely manage.  Only you know what your limits are and only you will recognise when you are surpassing them.  An awful lot of people at the top end of TCR07 and The Wild Atlantic Way, who were "racing" seemed to neglect one of the three and scratched as a result.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 29, 2019, 06:36:49 am
As there are sufficient numbers of proper TCR riders on here, a question from a Dotwatcher.

Volunteering for a CP.  I could not contemplate entering TCRn, too old, too much a hobby cyclist, etc.  I was thinking about volunteering for a CP.  But.  Should I get a place on that, given that volunteering gets individuals brownie points for getting accepted onto a future race, would I be blocking an aspirational 'proper' rider?

I'd like to help and support.  But I would not want to deprive someone of a chance to enter.

Or am I being too sensitive?

The race relies on good volunteers.  If you are not taking a starting place you are not stopping anyone else from having one. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 29, 2019, 06:40:35 am

Sorry, I'm going to have to duck out of this thread, I've received a PM asking me to stop.

Thanks everyone for the supportive comments, maybe see some of you on the road.

J

very odd....  :o
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 29, 2019, 06:45:50 am

Hmm, 22 X 34 is Shimano's lowest gear of mountain biking from the 9 speed era.

You might well be right... I no longer have it to check. It was a Deore LX 9 speed

Point is the granny gear was not much to go uphill, but rather to go over rocks or roots, to avoid "getting stuck" so to speak. I've never found it of any use up a long incline.


Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 29, 2019, 06:46:16 am

I had a mountain bike, in the days when 28 x 36 was the smallest gear... usable in very few instances, but possible on a bike with 2.5 inch tyres, no load and very wide flat bars... on 25 mm tyres, with a loaded bike and road bars?... not so sure

If I had a pound for every time I'd heard someone who hadn't tried it assert on a forum that someone else's gearing was too low, I could probably afford a new, bigger cassette!

I mainly associate this with old buffers on the CTC forum about 10 years ago, when I was setting up my touring bike with a 19" bottom gear: 34 at the back, the biggest you could get in 9-speed at the time, and a 22 ring inner on a triple.  They came from the era when such gearing was not available and lacked the imagination to believe it would work.  Their mantra was generally 'I would fall off if I pedalled that slowly.' 

But they wouldn't have done.  I did lots of touring on it, including a trip across France with a camping load of 20kg.  I generally travel lighter these days, but that bike now has a seat for my 2-year old daughter on the back and, in August I took her round the Isle of Wight - along with four (small) panniers.  That bottom gear was, is and always has been perfect for a very heavy bike with road bars on steep hills at very low speed!

My TCR bike has 30/46 on the front and 11-42 on the back, which gives a similar gear.  I've not had to walk on any on-road climbs with that, but I did at CP2 in Serbia.  That wasn't an issue of gearing, it was that it was necessary to go faster over the loose surface than I, or any of those around me, were able able to sustain.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 29, 2019, 07:07:26 am


My TCR bike has 30/46 on the front and 11-42 on the back, which gives a similar gear.  I've not had to walk on any on-road climbs with that, but I did at CP2 in Serbia.  That wasn't an issue of gearing, it was that it was necessary to go faster over the loose surface than I, or any of those around me, were able able to sustain.

The way I see it is that gearing is the last resort, once you've done the homework you look at the gearing if needs be.
It's a bit like having hip problems that prevent you from walking properly... training is a bit like doing the physio and the exercises prescribed, getting smaller gears is a bit like buying a stick and accepting that you'll never get better
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Jeff E on November 29, 2019, 08:29:45 am
Kicking Q off this thread seems against the YACF ethos.    She is not being abusive.   She is being inquisitive, and without her questions (aligned with her detailed experiences) we would not get members of the stature of Zigzag to respond in so much detail.   YACF is probably the ultimate resource for all but the very elite cyclist, but even James H and Zigzag will probably admit to still learning, as they push the boundaries of what is possible.     MODERATORS:  Please encourage Q to continue to contribute on all threads.   Her openness and honesty sets a good example for all forumites.   Those with less experience are not going to be encouraged to post, if they fear to be shot down like Q.    Q has shown great fortitude not only on her bike, but by continuing to post here, when others are only accepting the capabilities of those much younger, and with more resources, than Q.     YACF should be a Forum for ALL.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: hatler on November 29, 2019, 08:52:43 am
Yay !!  ^ ^ Exactly that. ^ ^  Though it's not clear who asked QG to stop posting on this thread.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 29, 2019, 08:53:18 am
It's not really clear what happened.  If someone sent her a message saying 'stop posting on the thread' I'd be surprised if she complied.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: DuncanM on November 29, 2019, 09:01:09 am


My TCR bike has 30/46 on the front and 11-42 on the back, which gives a similar gear.  I've not had to walk on any on-road climbs with that, but I did at CP2 in Serbia.  That wasn't an issue of gearing, it was that it was necessary to go faster over the loose surface than I, or any of those around me, were able able to sustain.

The way I see it is that gearing is the last resort, once you've done the homework you look at the gearing if needs be.
It's a bit like having hip problems that prevent you from walking properly... training is a bit like doing the physio and the exercises prescribed, getting smaller gears is a bit like buying a stick and accepting that you'll never get better
Alternatively, you can view gearing as being part of the system that is going to get you to the finish as fast as possible. Would you tell a TTer who does a sub 50 25 while grinding at 70rpm that they shouldn't have such a big gear available? Or tell a CX rider that they don't need low gears because they can just run if they can't ride their current gearing?
I don't see why having low enough gears to minimise walking while on a long event would be remotely controversial.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 29, 2019, 09:26:51 am

I don't see why having low enough gears to minimise walking while on a long event would be remotely controversial.

Not controversial at all.

I don't think I made myself clear. Initially, I said that looking at gearing was important in an event with significant altitude difference, but not as important as losing weight and increasing power/weight ratio.
If the latter cannot be addressed or has already been addressed, then gearing is next.
IMO it's never the starting point

I can't see how racing can be separated from training to improve those numbers, the two can only work in conjunction.

Too many people train without actually racing (the Zwift syndrome) and seemingly there are a few who race without actually training.

I don't race, so I don't train... I maybe cycle 8,000 miles per year, but I don't train to get better or faster or anything. If I wanted to race, I'd probably start training
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 29, 2019, 09:36:50 am


My TCR bike has 30/46 on the front and 11-42 on the back, which gives a similar gear.  I've not had to walk on any on-road climbs with that, but I did at CP2 in Serbia.  That wasn't an issue of gearing, it was that it was necessary to go faster over the loose surface than I, or any of those around me, were able able to sustain.

The way I see it is that gearing is the last resort, once you've done the homework you look at the gearing if needs be.
It's a bit like having hip problems that prevent you from walking properly... training is a bit like doing the physio and the exercises prescribed, getting smaller gears is a bit like buying a stick and accepting that you'll never get better

I think you are digging yourself into a hole! Have you been reading too much of this sort of thing on the internet?

You have to have one or more gears on your bike when you go out for your next ride.  Someone has to decide what that gear is or those gears are.  It could be the manufacturer, the guy in the shop or the rider.  Why shouldn't the rider have a say in it?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 29, 2019, 10:01:52 am


I think you are digging yourself into a hole! Have you been reading too much of this sort of thing on the internet?


Frank, there is no need to point fingers... it's just my experience... I started road cycling in the days of 42 x 23 as lowest gear, then it became 39 x 27, then it became 34 x 28 and then it became 36 x 34.
Have I improved my climbing ability as a result? Not an iota.
The small gear will get me out of trouble when I am really tired, so it's nice to have it, but it's not the remedy to lack of fitness. Training is the remedy
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on November 29, 2019, 10:24:39 am
S2L, what you actually said was that unless she doubles her W/kg overnight she's going to fall off on the first hill and might as well not bother.

Sorry to make this personal, but on this and other threads you've repeatedly failed to understand other humans who are different from you. Maybe step out of the thread until you do.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on November 29, 2019, 10:50:44 am
Good luck QG I'd say your gearing is fine. If you have to walk you have to walk, but by that point it'll be faster than riding anyway.
Absolutely! and I find in those "get off and walk" situations that it's good to consider that the small amount of time walking with the bike as being extremely beneficial for the miles that lay ahead... just keep moving :thumbsup:
+1

(Everyone's different - so clearly they have different kit and gearing needs. Seems like QG is on the right track.)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 29, 2019, 10:53:59 am
Sorry to make this personal, but on this and other threads you've repeatedly failed to understand other humans who are different from you. Maybe step out of the thread until you do.

I'll do just that...

Although I fail to see how my advice differs so much from Frank9755's
Quote
There's no magic, just try to improve your W/kg.  On turbo, on road or both
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on November 29, 2019, 12:02:36 pm
The only reason I can think that QG was asked to desist from this thread and complied is that the person who sent the PM is connected with the organisation of TCR08.  The only message she can have been given, in order that she comply, is that her place is at risk, if she continues  with some of the themes in this thread.

Now it could be, that her discussions in this thread, are considered to fall outside of the self supported ethos, even before the race begins. It may be the, are you racing or not question, is considered off limits, and raised some heckles.

A bit like a defence barrister, she may have been advised to remain silent, before she incriminates herself, as in loses the chance of a place at TCR08.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 29, 2019, 12:05:32 pm
Unlikely.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on November 29, 2019, 12:09:01 pm
If unlikely, and PM not from anyone connected with TCR08, I find it weird that a  PM would make QG leave the thread . Just weird.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 29, 2019, 12:09:55 pm
The only reason I can think that QG was asked to desist from this thread and complied is that the person who sent the PM is connected with the organisation of TCR08.  The only message she can have been given, in order that she comply, is that her place is at risk, if she continues  with some of the themes in this thread.

Now it could be, that her discussions in this thread, are considered to fall outside of the self supported ethos, even before the race begins. It may be the, are you racing or not question, is considered off limits, and raised some heckles.

A bit like a defence barrister, she may have been advised to remain silent, before she incriminates herself, as in loses the chance of a place at TCR08.

Replying to protect lostdot before this rumour gathers any hint of traction.

No, it's not from lostdot, or anyone involved in the race.

It's not from any of the forum moderators. It's a user who has objected to my contributing to this thread. I don't have the spoons for dealing with messages like that, so to reduce the chance of more people objecting, I chose to step out.

Hopefully this clarification won't trigger yet more PM's.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: hatler on November 29, 2019, 12:15:49 pm
Good grief.

Nothing like a free press.

That sounds like pretty shabby behaviour.

I think where we are interacting is commonly known as 'a forum'. The mysterious requester should perhaps remind themselves of what that word means.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: DuncanM on November 29, 2019, 02:03:36 pm
It's not from any of the forum moderators. It's a user who has objected to my contributing to this thread. I don't have the spoons for dealing with messages like that, so to reduce the chance of more people objecting, I chose to step out.

I think your contributions to this thread, in keeping with your contributions elsewhere, have been entirely beneficial. I see no reason why you should not continue to post here or elsewhere, and I'm sad that you feel that you should restrict yourself in such a way. I hope you continue to post as you have been and that you get to ride TCR and do as well as you are able (whatever you gearing or equipment choices).
I don't think PMs asking anyone to keep out of a thread (with the obvious caveats) are in keeping with this forum.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 29, 2019, 02:42:55 pm
For the life of me I can't imagine why someone would object to you posting queries and contributions on here QG.
 Its most odd.
If you do decide to duck out  I hope its not  because you feel bullied into it by one bizarre individual.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Pedal Castro on November 29, 2019, 02:45:32 pm
I’ve just bought my first geared bike in, probably, 10 years.

My lowest gear is 34*28.  Should I be worried ?

My first road bike was 34*28. I never carried really big loads (aside from myself...) up big chunky steep hills on it but for general riding I think it is adequate. I don't regret having moved to 34*32 though!

I toured the Lake District with 44x28 bottom gear back in 1979, we thought it strange to see a pair of Canadians at the foot of the Struggle with 36x36!!! I stopped halfway up to take of my top layer and REALLY struggled to get going again, feet strapped in, hanging on to the dry stone wall and heave! I think it took 3 attempts...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on November 29, 2019, 02:59:10 pm
It's not from any of the forum moderators. It's a user who has objected to my contributing to this thread. I don't have the spoons for dealing with messages like that, so to reduce the chance of more people objecting, I chose to step out.

I think your contributions to this thread, in keeping with your contributions elsewhere, have been entirely beneficial. I see no reason why you should not continue to post here or elsewhere, and I'm sad that you feel that you should restrict yourself in such a way. I hope you continue to post as you have been and that you get to ride TCR and do as well as you are able (whatever you gearing or equipment choices).
I don't think PMs asking anyone to keep out of a thread (with the obvious caveats) are in keeping with this forum.

Seconded.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: paddyirish on November 29, 2019, 03:39:22 pm
and thirded.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: hellymedic on November 29, 2019, 04:06:50 pm
+1thed
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 29, 2019, 04:42:58 pm
Good grief.

Nothing like a free press.

That sounds like pretty shabby behaviour.

I think where we are interacting is commonly known as 'a forum'. The mysterious requester should perhaps remind themselves of what that word means.
This, muchly.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: JenM on November 29, 2019, 04:55:55 pm
I've learnt much from the replies to quixoticgeek's queries over the years. As a forum we should be encouraging those who go off on big adventures and not be putting them down.

quixoticgeek - please come back.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: orraloon on November 29, 2019, 10:07:51 pm
Dotwatcher says just tell individual PM-er unknown to FRO.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: teethgrinder on November 29, 2019, 11:40:09 pm
Racing?
TCR is a race, whether you race seriously or not. Audaxes aren't races but some treat them as such. Trans Atlantic Way isn't a race, but a lot of us treated it as one.

Taking the piss?
I'd be careful about saying that about a rider with a different approach without knowing their reasoning. I can see the benefits of camping and cooking. Better sleep quality makes a huge difference. They may have food allergies, a specific feed plan that works for them, problems with strange beds etc etc. A tent can be erected quickly if you know how and you don't need to hunt it down.
Even if someone isn't doing it the best way possible, knowingly or not. They might be doing it the best way they possibly can. I know that quite a few don't really race. Just as in the London Marathon.

£25 to apply for a place?
Screw that IMO. YMMV.

Riding to the start?
Seemed to work for Lael Wilcox when she won TransAm. I also had an interesting discussion with Ian Walker (N-S cross Europe WR holder) about how he felt that he started going better after so many days into his attempt and whether riding to the start might possibly be and advantage.

W/kg for climbing?
I aimed for <3W/kg on Trans Atlantic Way and Trans Alba (low end of tempo for me, as a guess, as I didn't know my exact FTP). Only going harder when I had to to keep my balance. Hardly ever over 3.5W/kg. Much slower than my peers but it didn't seem to do them much good. I was carrying more luggage weight than most.
As said, improving your W/kg will help your climbing. Don't overlook weight/strength training. I don't have the flexibility to do squats without hurting my lower back (or I just can't do them right) so I do EMS, which is also helping with my flexibility.

Gearing?
I used 28/38/48 and 11-32 for Trans Atlantic Way and Trans Alba. I thought that'd be plenty low enough. I'd have liked a bit lower and I don't like spinning. Steepest hill was about 25% IIRC.


I don't think anyone knows enough to say that one way works better than another. Especially when you consider the variations in routes, weather, different events, different riders etc etc. Always good to see different approaches and ideas.


Best of luck quixoticgeek  :thumbsup:

(I hope you ignore whoever it was who tried to bully you into silence)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on November 30, 2019, 07:52:38 am
W/kg for climbing?
I aimed for <3W/kg on Trans Atlantic Way and Trans Alba (low end of tempo for me, as a guess, as I didn't know my exact FTP). Only going harder when I had to to keep my balance. Hardly ever over 3.5W/kg. Much slower than my peers but it didn't seem to do them much good. I was carrying more luggage weight than most.
As said, improving your W/kg will help your climbing. Don't overlook weight/strength training. I don't have the flexibility to do

Interesting. I always thought any W/Kg improvement had to come from a more efficient cardiovascular performance, rather than from more muscle mass. Certainly that seems to be the way doping has gone over the past 3 decades.
By doing a lot of strength focused gym work, doesn't one run the risk of offsetting any Watt increase by "beefing up" so to speak?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: teethgrinder on November 30, 2019, 08:40:59 am
Muscular strength and endurance isn't body building. Some women at the gym I go to have much better upper body strength and endurance than I do but probably smaller muscles. They're not big. I'd definitely want good muscular endurance and strength. Now is a very good time to start with weights + base miles, then the hard cardio several months before.
IIRC Beryl Burton and Eileen Sheridan did a lot of weight training. Neither of them had great big muscles.
Graeme Obree rode a big gear uphill as his strength training.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on November 30, 2019, 08:43:08 am
I went and watched the men's 60something kg weightlifting at the 2012 Olympics. Watching these dudes lift hundreds of kilograms over their heads was pretty astonishing. Unfortunately the womens event was cancelled  :(
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: FifeingEejit on November 30, 2019, 11:27:41 am
I remember reading about motor racing that there are two attitudes: the Juan Fangio approach, in which you win at the slowest speed possible, and the Stirling Moss attitude that the car will explode through extreme abuse the instant it crosses the line. I may have got the wrong names, but you can surely find the names of ultraracers to fit.
Fangio was also a bit ruthless, apparently punting both Peter Collins and Mike hawthorn into the hedges on the Nürburgring, a few weeks later Collins was deid.

Italian cars were a bit more reliable than British ones at the time too, even though vanwalls owed a lot to ferrari.


As for gearing I've got 22-32 on my touring bike, never cowped off it due to low speed, well below walking speed before feeling a need to put a fit doon.

Also some people taking the "race" element far too narrowly.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 30, 2019, 12:19:33 pm

Italian cars were a bit more reliable than British ones at the time too, even though vanwalls owed a lot to ferrari.


Up to a point, Lord Copper.  The Vanwall engine was closely based on Norton motorcycle practice.  The original and somewhat agricultural chassis was by John Cooper and its replacement by Colin Chapman.  The bodywork was designed by Frank Costin.  Tony Vandervell had previously run Ferrari 125 and 375 F1 cars under the "Thinwall Special" name which was enough to convince him that he could do better by starting from first principles.  It took a while, but in 1958 Vanwall won the Constructors Championship with six wins, compared with two each for Cooper and Ferrari.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: FifeingEejit on November 30, 2019, 10:50:36 pm
Ah, For some reason I thought it was the thinwall special Ferraris that were used when they entered and won the championship.

The wikipaedia article on vanwall gives a decent breakdown of what went into the championship car and its various flaws.

Erm Ive rather taken this off topic...

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on December 01, 2019, 08:04:51 am
ANYWAY ...

Re: application fees, entry lotteries, blah ...  I've now read about the bursary arrangement LostDot are setting up. This makes the £25 fee a little more understandable.
I'd say their intentions were wholly good, but I still feel it's not the right answer. Of course these things always evolve, and no system is perfect ...

EDIT: I only heard about this on Facebook - annoyingly, google can't find me a live page about it. [I don't understand why the Search Results page can show some particular phrase, but neither live page nor cached page contains it. Bah!]
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on December 01, 2019, 01:40:42 pm
ANYWAY ...

Re: application fees, entry lotteries, blah ...  I've now read about the bursary arrangement LostDot are setting up. This makes the £25 fee a little more understandable.
I'd say their intentions were wholly good, but I still feel it's not the right answer. Of course these things always evolve, and no system is perfect ...

Well said. Rory and Anna have had to buy out the rights to TCR at not inconsiderable expense. They are hyper aware of being inclusive and I am sure cognisant of the various feedback. As you say its a work in progress as the event gains more traction and if an alternative way to weed out entrants who have little or no intention of riding can be found Im sure the organisers will give it due consideration.
 Yup, ultimately I imagine there is always going to be some form of compromise and its one of the situations where they are never going to be able to please everyone.
I dont envy them their task and I just hope that folks keep their opinions kind and measured. Its not an easy thing that they do.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 11, 2020, 01:43:54 am

Just got an email from Lost dot.

Looks like I'm going to Brest!!!

613 people applied, including 64 women.

Who else got a place?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: chrisbainbridge on January 11, 2020, 07:52:54 am
Congratulations
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 11, 2020, 10:07:25 am
I've been lucky again.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 11, 2020, 12:43:33 pm
I've been lucky again.

Ahh so we do get to meet in Brest after all Frank, a year after you bailed on me :-)

Looking forward to racing against you. You too QG.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on January 11, 2020, 01:57:20 pm
Interesting. I always thought any W/Kg improvement had to come from a more efficient cardiovascular performance, rather than from more muscle mass.

“Active muscle mass involved during exercise is highly associated with VO2max and this relationship may explain partially age-related decline in VO2max. However, the influence of muscle mass on aerobic capacity in elderly athletes may be less, compared to younger athletes. Furthermore, central factors, such as the loss of HR and maximal cardiac output with aging clearly contribute to the reductions in aerobic capacity.“

From many of the studies on the subject.

Muscle mass used during exercise is highly associated with VO2 Max.  If you can recruit more muscle mass in the legs, you’ll increase that W/kg figure.  VO2 max is about oxygen take up, not just delivery. Recruit is also important as we don’t recruit 100% of the available muscle mass during exercise, but strength training increases how many of the available muscle fibres are engaged simultaneously during exercise. There’s some quite interesting studies on this as well.

Anecdotally since I started riding my new recumbent six weeks ago. I’ve been leg limited rather than cardio limited, after a year of mostly road bike and a quiet autumn.  So ramp tests would end as the legs gave out rather reaching max HR. I’ve been working on strength and committed to riding the recumbent every time since.  Recent ramp tests and I’m now pushing the HR 13 BPM higher before failure.  Definitely down to stronger and better adapted legs.

So for me leg strength work is definitely raising my max aerobic power.  My FTP On the recumbent has also risen 23% as I’ve got stronger. Admittedly from a low base (2.4W/ kg) for some.  I know I have efficient lungs for getting oxygen into my blood from the Kings College lung function study last May. From a similar starting point on road bike last year I reached 3.3W/ Kg (FTP) by late Spring and hope to do the same on the new recumbent.

So don’t neglect off bike strength work if you want to generate more power. Oh and my weight has remained pretty stable over same period.

And back to TCR no8...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on January 11, 2020, 02:34:23 pm
Congratulations / (or commiserations? :P ) to the YACF athletic crème de la crème. I have struggled with the whole pay-to-regoster thing, but assuming the bursary scheme does some good things, I think I'll volunteer. Hopefully the lost dot mob fast track me as I'd been ready to support at a transpyrenean control point, until the sponsor pulled out and they had to remove it. I hope to be saying hello to all of you personally come late summer.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: sojournermike on January 11, 2020, 08:29:57 pm
Interesting. I always thought any W/Kg improvement had to come from a more efficient cardiovascular performance, rather than from more muscle mass.

“Active muscle mass involved during exercise is highly associated with VO2max and this relationship may explain partially age-related decline in VO2max. However, the influence of muscle mass on aerobic capacity in elderly athletes may be less, compared to younger athletes. Furthermore, central factors, such as the loss of HR and maximal cardiac output with aging clearly contribute to the reductions in aerobic capacity.“

From many of the studies on the subject.

Muscle mass used during exercise is highly associated with VO2 Max.  If you can recruit more muscle mass in the legs, you’ll increase that W/kg figure.  VO2 max is about oxygen take up, not just delivery. Recruit is also important as we don’t recruit 100% of the available muscle mass during exercise, but strength training increases how many of the available muscle fibres are engaged simultaneously during exercise. There’s some quite interesting studies on this as well.

Anecdotally since I started riding my new recumbent six weeks ago. I’ve been leg limited rather than cardio limited, after a year of mostly road bike and a quiet autumn.  So ramp tests would end as the legs gave out rather reaching max HR. I’ve been working on strength and committed to riding the recumbent every time since.  Recent ramp tests and I’m now pushing the HR 13 BPM higher before failure.  Definitely down to stronger and better adapted legs.

So for me leg strength work is definitely raising my max aerobic power.  My FTP On the recumbent has also risen 23% as I’ve got stronger. Admittedly from a low base (2.4W/ kg) for some.  I know I have efficient lungs for getting oxygen into my blood from the Kings College lung function study last May. From a similar starting point on road bike last year I reached 3.3W/ Kg (FTP) by late Spring and hope to do the same on the new recumbent.

So don’t neglect off bike strength work if you want to generate more power. Oh and my weight has remained pretty stable over same period.

And back to TCR no8...

This, specicifity and eccentric vs concentric contractoin probably work to explain the gap between my running and cycling VO2max - both of which are lower than when I was in my 20s...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 12, 2020, 09:26:27 pm
I've been lucky again.

Ahh so we do get to meet in Brest after all Frank, a year after you bailed on me :-)

Looking forward to racing against you. You too QG.

Will be good to actually meet, given I feel like we've known each other for years!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 12, 2020, 09:28:37 pm

Just got an email from Lost dot.

Looks like I'm going to Brest!!!

613 people applied, including 64 women.

Who else got a place?

J

Congratulations, but, to be fair, you would have to have seriously annoyed them not to have got a place!

I have a hunch that there might be at least one other on the forum who might have got a place too...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on January 12, 2020, 09:32:37 pm

Just got an email from Lost dot.

Looks like I'm going to Brest!!!

613 people applied, including 64 women.

Who else got a place?

J

Congratulations, but, to be fair, you would have to have seriously annoyed them not to have got a place!

I have a hunch that there might be at least one other on the forum who might have got a place too...

I know of a couple.  Maybe they’re in shock or on the turbo ?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on January 12, 2020, 10:39:13 pm
When do they release the full list?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2020, 05:36:48 am
Not long before the start, when people have paid their final instalment and confirmed that they are riding. 
Probably early July.  I DNS'd in mid-June in 2018 and that was before the list came out.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2020, 05:45:08 am
I have struggled with the whole pay-to-regoster thing, but assuming the bursary scheme does some good things,

I may well be proved wrong but I have some misgivings about how they have implemented this. 

"Who are we looking for?
We would like the successful recipients of the bursary to represent the race as ambassadors, promoting the spirit of the Transcontinental Race and proving that you do not need deep pockets when you have passion, determination and man’s greatest invention at your disposal.
Our ideal candidate will be someone who can assist Lost Dot in our ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the race and ultimately cycling generally. We would be looking for candidates who can tell their story, from preparation and training to the finish, to a wide audience, hopefully inspiring more people to get pedalling."


Firstly, only a week to apply doesn't give people much time to get their things together, and then making it so that they will receive extensive publicity might not be everyone's cup of tea.  Some may be fine with it but others on low incomes may not want to give such a high profile to their personal situation, both for normal reasons of privacy and also because it could put extra pressure on them during the event.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on January 13, 2020, 10:52:39 am
That is true. I don't know. TBH I think it's now accepted that TCR is not a private personal challenge, it is a race with your name and face up on a live tracking leaderboard which thousands of people follow all around the world. Your background and general 'story' is liable to come under a lot of visibility.

Think I'll still volunteer to support the race. There are things they can do better but I think they're trying.

(https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/screenshots-eu-komoot/tour_embed_screenshots/06cc1bda452fa7b1d5739d0c90c16587_109635672.png) (https://i.imgur.com/egGKkIO.png)

Draft route...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on January 13, 2020, 11:35:49 am
Does anyone know what the number of applications was ?   I note that, among my peers, everyone that I knew had entered has got a spot.

Despite this being a bit of a long shot for me to enter, I had also discounted it as it was too difficult to get a ride.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2020, 12:41:12 pm
Entries were down on last year, 613. I think they were about 650 last year, and a bit more the year before.  IIRC correctly they were about 900 in 2017.  But more competition nowadays, and maybe a feeling that the last couple of routes haven't quite been as exciting as earlier. 

Shame you didn't enter! 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2020, 12:46:13 pm
That is true. I don't know. TBH I think it's now accepted that TCR is not a private personal challenge, it is a race with your name and face up on a live tracking leaderboard which thousands of people follow all around the world. Your background and general 'story' is liable to come under a lot of visibility.

Think I'll still volunteer to support the race. There are things they can do better but I think they're trying.


Agree with that, it's all well-intentioned stuff.  And much easier to make critical observations than to actually make the right call on things.

I think there's massive interest in the winner, but it tails off rapidly after that.  A few people have made an effort to promote themselves, either for a laugh or to get publicity for their own ventures.  And some people are sponsored by brands so they are essentially generating content for marketing purposes.  But for the average person who is not on the podium, not sponsored and not a raging self-publicist or tweeter, it is mostly only close friends and family who know much about what they are doing. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on January 13, 2020, 12:47:38 pm
I have a hunch that there might be at least one other on the forum who might have got a place too...

There is, one other forum member has confirmed on his latest video that he has got a place.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 13, 2020, 04:02:28 pm

Congratulations, but, to be fair, you would have to have seriously annoyed them not to have got a place!

I have a hunch that there might be at least one other on the forum who might have got a place too...

I was hoping there would be a fiona effect, and that 150+ women would have applied, and then we'd have a lottery.

Still, 1 more woman than last year...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on January 13, 2020, 04:19:28 pm
How much do we reckon the registration fees have left over minus the overhead? Maybe next year they could use the dough plus the input from the 'bursary recipients' to finance a EDI campaign (equitable, diverse, inclusive) recruitment campaign.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: djrikki on January 13, 2020, 04:22:15 pm

At least I know how to get back from Burgas by train...

J

I'd really like to know more about how to go about this down to the nitty gritty.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on January 13, 2020, 04:37:00 pm
I wonder if The Man in Seat 61 might be interested in doing an article for the TCR people about '... and how to get home'
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 13, 2020, 04:59:52 pm

I'd really like to know more about how to go about this down to the nitty gritty.

- Train to Sofia, they accept bikes on the trains, you have to buy a ticket for it, but there is no actual bike space, get in at the rear most door, and lock your bike across the rear door that would go to the next carriage if there was one.

- Despite what the timetable says, and thus what the rail planner apps say, you can take your bike on the train from Sofia to Belgrade. You can buy the ticket in Sofia station, note that they only take cash at the international ticket office. They can reserve you a seat, and provide you with a bike ticket, but it is only valid as far as the border with Serbia, once across the border you can buy a ticket for the bike from the guard. Make sure you have Serbian currency for this. This train has no aircon, no catering, and takes ages. Pack accordingly.

- From Belgrade, conclude that Zagreb is cycling distance, so take the largely flat route along the river that follows the railway line. Bump into a Hippy at a bus stop, exchange stories while eating a kitkat and watching migs flying around. Cross the border into Croatia, and realise that Zagreb is ages away still, so get a hotel in the town of Vinkovci.

- Wake up realising that you haven't actually recovered from 36 hours without food in 40°+C heat, and you feel like crap, take train to Zagreb. Same arrangement as train to Sofia they can sell you a ticket for you and the bike but there is no bike space stick it across the door at the back.

- After a nice nights sleep in Zagreb, decide that you might as well try cycling to Ljubljana. Follow the Sava river, bumping into Mikää at a pizzeria just across the border in Slovenia. Discover that slovenia is really pretty, but you're still slow and not 100%, train the final 20k to Ljubljana.

- Laying in a dubious booking.com hotel in Ljubljana, realise that you're mentally utterly fucked and you kinda want to be around people who can related to what is going on, as social media is a dumpster fire. Decide to head for CP3. Book train from Ljubljana to Innsbrook. Randomly bump into Frank who's wrapped his bike in a bin bag, and against all odds had the misfortune to get not only onto the same train as me but into the same coach. Exchange war stories. Night in Innsbruck.

- Cycle the 100k to CP3. Realise there is a hill at the end wimp out and take a bus the final 15km. Overtake hippy on the bus. Try to persuade Austrian traffic police to give hippy a speeding ticket, but they claim that at 9kph there is no way they could do it, even as a joke.

- Spend 2 days at CP3, help out on the desk, greet riders, chat to other scratchers and volunteers, chat to Anna, come to terms with wtf I have done.

- Hitch hike to the top of the pass, cycle all the way down to Germany, Catch train to Mannheim.

- Decide that it's a good idea to try and ride the final 500km home, it's all down hill along the river right? Get 12km out of town, shelter from a massive cloud burst in a bus shelter. Accidentally drop bike derailer side down. Discover that you now have gears -1 through 10, rather than 1 through 11, and after getting chain out of spokes, ride slowly to the station, find all IC class trains are fully booked for bikes for the day, so proceed to take 7 regional trains the rest of the way home.

That was the route I took.

If I was to do it again as a simple I just want to get home fast, the train I got on in Ljubljana actually started in Zagreb, and it went all the way to Frankfurt, which has direct connections to the Netherlands (ICE, if bike bagged, change at Osnabruck or Dusseldorf otherwise). There is a night train you can take that goes all the way to Ljubljana from Belgrade, I haven't worked out the precise connection times tho. There is an alternative route from Sofia to Bucharest, then Budapest, Wien, Munchen, and what ever German IC train works.

If I successfully make it to Burgas this year, I haven't worked out what my plan is to get home. A flight to Brussels is quick, and even bought at short notice not too expensive, but finding a bike box may be hard. Or I may try the Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Wien route...

Anyway, this is probably stretching the limits of staying on topic for a tcr thread. I hope that it doesn't attract the ire of grumpy PM's. Maybe if you have questions we should fork this section of the thread?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 13, 2020, 07:12:01 pm
I see Matt F is sitting it out this year.  Its always interesting to see the characters on the start list that have pointy end potential.

I'm making some major alterations to my rig for the race. So major in fact that on reflection I concluded it was prudent to build a new bike altogether and leave it over in Europe rather than chop out all the stuff on my bike here and risk the back and forth and $ involved in the flights.
 As a nod to advancing age and various aches and pains in a knee and rugby neck I have specced a slightly more relaxed geometry, super low gears, slightly lower BB than my current machine, 650b and mahoosive tires. It should serve well for when I get even older and more broken. After that its dominoes because gardening is already a pain in the back.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2020, 08:18:36 pm
I see Matt F is sitting it out this year.  Its always interesting to see the characters on the start list that have pointy end potential.

Who is riding who is a podium contender?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: djrikki on January 13, 2020, 08:26:35 pm

I'd really like to know more about how to go about this down to the nitty gritty.

- Train to Sofia, they accept bikes on the trains, you have to buy a ticket for it, but there is no actual bike space, get in at the rear most door, and lock your bike across the rear door that would go to the next carriage if there was one.

- Despite what the timetable says, and thus what the rail planner apps say, you can take your bike on the train from Sofia to Belgrade. You can buy the ticket in Sofia station, note that they only take cash at the international ticket office. They can reserve you a seat, and provide you with a bike ticket, but it is only valid as far as the border with Serbia, once across the border you can buy a ticket for the bike from the guard. Make sure you have Serbian currency for this. This train has no aircon, no catering, and takes ages. Pack accordingly.

- From Belgrade, conclude that Zagreb is cycling distance, so take the largely flat route along the river that follows the railway line. Bump into a Hippy at a bus stop, exchange stories while eating a kitkat and watching migs flying around. Cross the border into Croatia, and realise that Zagreb is ages away still, so get a hotel in the town of Vinkovci.

- Wake up realising that you haven't actually recovered from 36 hours without food in 40°+C heat, and you feel like crap, take train to Zagreb. Same arrangement as train to Sofia they can sell you a ticket for you and the bike but there is no bike space stick it across the door at the back.

- After a nice nights sleep in Zagreb, decide that you might as well try cycling to Ljubljana. Follow the Sava river, bumping into Mikää at a pizzeria just across the border in Slovenia. Discover that slovenia is really pretty, but you're still slow and not 100%, train the final 20k to Ljubljana.

- Laying in a dubious booking.com hotel in Ljubljana, realise that you're mentally utterly fucked and you kinda want to be around people who can related to what is going on, as social media is a dumpster fire. Decide to head for CP3. Book train from Ljubljana to Innsbrook. Randomly bump into Frank who's wrapped his bike in a bin bag, and against all odds had the misfortune to get not only onto the same train as me but into the same coach. Exchange war stories. Night in Innsbruck.

- Cycle the 100k to CP3. Realise there is a hill at the end wimp out and take a bus the final 15km. Overtake hippy on the bus. Try to persuade Austrian traffic police to give hippy a speeding ticket, but they claim that at 9kph there is no way they could do it, even as a joke.

- Spend 2 days at CP3, help out on the desk, greet riders, chat to other scratchers and volunteers, chat to Anna, come to terms with wtf I have done.

- Hitch hike to the top of the pass, cycle all the way down to Germany, Catch train to Mannheim.

- Decide that it's a good idea to try and ride the final 500km home, it's all down hill along the river right? Get 12km out of town, shelter from a massive cloud burst in a bus shelter. Accidentally drop bike derailer side down. Discover that you now have gears -1 through 10, rather than 1 through 11, and after getting chain out of spokes, ride slowly to the station, find all IC class trains are fully booked for bikes for the day, so proceed to take 7 regional trains the rest of the way home.

That was the route I took.

If I was to do it again as a simple I just want to get home fast, the train I got on in Ljubljana actually started in Zagreb, and it went all the way to Frankfurt, which has direct connections to the Netherlands (ICE, if bike bagged, change at Osnabruck or Dusseldorf otherwise). There is a night train you can take that goes all the way to Ljubljana from Belgrade, I haven't worked out the precise connection times tho. There is an alternative route from Sofia to Bucharest, then Budapest, Wien, Munchen, and what ever German IC train works.

If I successfully make it to Burgas this year, I haven't worked out what my plan is to get home. A flight to Brussels is quick, and even bought at short notice not too expensive, but finding a bike box may be hard. Or I may try the Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Wien route...

Anyway, this is probably stretching the limits of staying on topic for a tcr thread. I hope that it doesn't attract the ire of grumpy PM's. Maybe if you have questions we should fork this section of the thread?

J

Quite some journey you had, thanks for posting this. I guess it's not terribly straightforward  ;D

Did you dismantle your bike at all that year?  That sounds like a royal PITA.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 13, 2020, 08:28:32 pm
Who is riding who is a podium contender?

Fiona and Bjorn at a guess...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2020, 10:00:57 pm
Jonathan Rankin is too
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Ivo on January 14, 2020, 06:20:46 am
Just a small trip for travelling home.
There's a train from Brasov to Budapest carrying bikes. However, in 2017 when I took it it doesn't carry bikes over the border. The last Romanian railway station is Episcopia Bihor, the first Hungarian one is Biharkeresztes. The train takes 1h3 minutes for these 11km. So you can get out, cycle across the border and reboard the train at the first Hungarian railway station. I could even pay by credit card in the train in 2017.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 14, 2020, 08:24:17 am

I'd really like to know more about how to go about this down to the nitty gritty.

- Train to Sofia...


Quite an adventure! 
I enjoyed my train trip back from Austria. Not quite as eventful, only three trains and I broke the journey staying overnight with a friend in Frankfurt.  It was such good fun that, when I had a business trip to Stuttgart in October, I went by train and retraced my steps along the same line. 
I was thinking about getting the train back from Burgas and had looked it up on the man in seat 61.  It would be fun but it would take a while - the trains are a lot slower east of the iron curtain.  It's 7 hours from Burgas to Sofia on top of his 2-day route so it would mean leaving on the Sunday overnight train to get home for Wednesday evening!
https://www.seat61.com/Bulgaria.htm (https://www.seat61.com/Bulgaria.htm)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 14, 2020, 12:11:37 pm
I see Matt F is sitting it out this year.  Its always interesting to see the characters on the start list that have pointy end potential.

Who is riding who is a podium contender?

Pretty much. Maybe a new face to TCR with a top pedigree. Some one like Abdul Z. Or one of the ex pros that have expressed an interest in ultra racing. Then there are unknowns (or little knowns) who appear out of the blue and take the race by storm like Fiona last year.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on January 14, 2020, 12:19:52 pm
Shame you didn't enter!

I was told the same when I got home last night.   Not sure how to take that TBH.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 17, 2020, 05:52:56 pm
Shame you didn't enter!

I was told the same when I got home last night.   Not sure how to take that TBH.

Well there is always TPR open about now.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 30, 2020, 01:59:15 pm
Hows folks Winter training going? Long rides? Gym work? Not started yet?

Im struggling to face a really long ride here on the Rock.
I did a couple of 500km rides last time round but I don't think I can face the monotony of it again.
Consequently trying to mix things up by depleting the body in the gym then riding afterwards.

Some sessions at a chiropractor too to free up an insistent stiff neck thats been hanging around for a few months. Not ideal for looking over your shoulder on the bike.





Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 30, 2020, 03:15:11 pm
Hows folks Winter training going? Long rides? Gym work? Not started yet?

Im struggling to face a really long ride here on the Rock.
I did a couple of 500km rides last time round but I don't think I can face the monotony of it again.
Consequently trying to mix things up by depleting the body in the gym then riding afterwards.

Some sessions at a chiropractor too to free up an insistent stiff neck thats been hanging around for a few months. Not ideal for looking over your shoulder on the bike.

I've had actual flu, It's taken me out for over 3 weeks now. I've lost what little fitness I had before. I'm not even fit enough to work at the moment, 50+kg cargo bikes + Dutch winds is too much.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on January 30, 2020, 07:41:24 pm
Shame you didn't enter!

I was told the same when I got home last night.   Not sure how to take that TBH.

Well there is always TPR open about now.
Sunday deadline - don't hang about! Everyone got in last year, but you have to apply :)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 30, 2020, 08:38:58 pm
Shame you didn't enter!

I was told the same when I got home last night.   Not sure how to take that TBH.

Well there is always TPR open about now.
Sunday deadline - don't hang about! Everyone got in last year, but you have to apply :)
I mulled trying for this one as well as TCR this year but on reflection it wasn't fair on my partner or the knees. The quiet road nature of this event is very appealing for another time.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on February 01, 2020, 10:35:39 pm
Hows folks Winter training going? Long rides? Gym work? Not started yet?

Work has been crazy so I did one ride in January and half a dozen commutes.  And I've not re-started turbo yet. 
So, I've not ridden a whole lot since 1 August last year when I DNF'd in Austria.  Just can't seem to find the time!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on February 02, 2020, 05:22:17 pm
That's called fatherhood right?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on February 03, 2020, 06:33:18 am
That's a big part of it - that's where most of the weekend rides go.  But, if I wasn't busy at work I would have been turboing through the week and got out yesterday. 
At this rate, I'll have to fall back base fitness and experience...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on February 03, 2020, 11:46:03 am
They get older and more independent.....eventually.

J did his homework yesterday whilst A went out for a run and I did 2hrs on the turbo.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 03, 2020, 01:00:55 pm
when I'm grumpy about training here on 20 square miles like a hamster in a cage  I'll try to remember you guys inside on turbos in the Northern Winter.
Mind you its been blowing 50 knots all weekend here. Small Island hill training upwind.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on February 03, 2020, 01:25:33 pm
when I'm grumpy about training here on 20 square miles like a hamster in a cage  I'll try to remember you guys inside on turbos in the Northern Winter.
Mind you its been blowing 50 knots all weekend here. Small Island hill training upwind.

It's been a very benign Winter so far - I managed to do 1,000 road miles in Jan.   Must have been frosty maybe 5 times, although I do live in the South East.

Of course I'm not riding TCR so should probably drop out of the thread.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on February 03, 2020, 02:34:19 pm
Yep weather hasn't been an impediment to getting outdoors this winter so far.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on February 04, 2020, 09:00:11 am

Of course I'm not riding TCR so should probably drop out of the thread.

You can stay: at least you are riding!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 05, 2020, 11:52:57 am
when I'm grumpy about training here on 20 square miles like a hamster in a cage  I'll try to remember you guys inside on turbos in the Northern Winter.
Mind you its been blowing 50 knots all weekend here. Small Island hill training upwind.

It's been a very benign Winter so far - I managed to do 1,000 road miles in Jan.   Must have been frosty maybe 5 times, although I do live in the South East.

Of course I'm not riding TCR so should probably drop out of the thread.

No stick around. You are shaming us racers into getting the miles in.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on February 05, 2020, 12:41:09 pm
Anyone have any thoughts on what nonsense I should be writing on the volunteer form?

(Aiming for manning one of the intermediate controls)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on February 05, 2020, 02:41:54 pm
Say that you'll cycle there. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: S2L on February 05, 2020, 04:40:31 pm
  I know I have efficient lungs for getting oxygen into my blood from the Kings College lung function study last May. From a similar starting point on road bike last year I reached 3.3W/ Kg (FTP) by late Spring and hope to do the same on the new recumbent.


2.4 to 3.3 Watt/kg... basically you just lost a couple of stones of body fat...  ::-) ::-)
 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on February 06, 2020, 11:25:08 am
That's my CP application in. Hopefully Roubaix, my second pick is Austria which I'll partly get the train to so I can be sure I'm there in good time.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 06, 2020, 11:38:45 am
That's my CP application in. Hopefully Roubaix, my second pick is Austria which I'll partly get the train to so I can be sure I'm there in good time.

Good man. Thank you.
Assuming a long parcour isn't added at the start then the lead riders should be arriving in Roubaix by early on the second day.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on February 06, 2020, 12:54:02 pm
Not at all, I love cycling in Belgium and France and really hope I get the spot.  I intend to be sat on my big fat bum eating breakfast pastries and drinking coffee and having a whale of a time watching the rest of you poor buggers with however silly kms left you have to go!

(https://i.imgur.com/zrWJizT.png)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on February 07, 2020, 05:04:12 pm
  I know I have efficient lungs for getting oxygen into my blood from the Kings College lung function study last May. From a similar starting point on road bike last year I reached 3.3W/ Kg (FTP) by late Spring and hope to do the same on the new recumbent.


2.4 to 3.3 Watt/kg... basically you just lost a couple of stones of body fat...  ::-) ::-)

Nope my weight is pretty stable year round , I don’t have two stone of fat to lose. So you’ll have to speak for yourself.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 23, 2020, 10:52:44 pm
shortlist for the podium looking at his pedigree.
https://www.uba-cycling.de
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 02, 2020, 04:09:45 pm
Didn't get my CP spot. Which was a bit of a disappointment as I was fairly sure they would prioritise me since they cancelled the CP I succeeded in getting for the TPR. Ho hum what can you do. I was offered a dotwatching ('level 2') spot but TBH I don't think I can make myself look at dots on a map for 2 hours a day, every day, for a fortnight so have turned it down.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on March 02, 2020, 08:46:24 pm
Just speaking from my own experience, dotwatching was very unsatisfying (not helped by half my riders DNF-ing!)

Mainly because I enjoy the personal contact of volunteering. You are actually forbidden from contact with your dots  :'(

(and partly because my technology really wasn't upto the job - so it was taking a frustrating amount of time to do the job properly)


That's rather mean not "carrying over" your job-offer from October. :-\
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 02, 2020, 09:44:40 pm
Yeah if I'm honest I sort of assumed they'd go and give me the spot on that basis - I had less-than-subtly reminded them of it in my application. What can you do eh.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: paddyirish on March 02, 2020, 10:09:33 pm
I've applied for a L2 Dotwatcher and got confirmation that I've been accepted. Look forward to seeing how it works out.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on March 02, 2020, 10:50:04 pm
Got a place at CP3 in Montenegro. Apparently I’ve promised to ride all the way there...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on March 03, 2020, 06:37:20 am
Excellent - I'm sure it will be a lovely ride!

I dotwatched a couple of years ago, when I couldn't ride (as we'd had a baby just a few weeks before). 

I really enjoyed it.  I love maps and working out routes, and was familiar with some of the roads used, which helped.  Also, having done the race before, I understood it from a rider's point of view.

I got a mix of people: I was lucky to be given one of the race leaders, I had a couple who were mid-pack, a straggler, a pair and one poor guy whose tracker didn't work so I had no idea where he was until he packed in. 

For me, it was the next best thing to riding.  I really got into following it, especially the battle at the front between James Hayden, Bjorn Lenhard and Jonas Goy.  I learned things that have since been very useful when I have been racing and planning my route that I wouldn't have learned just from doing the ride. 

My lead rider was scrupulous in adhering to the rules, but one of my dots made about 6 infringements on illegal roads.  I spent most of my time on my lead rider.  Partly because it was more important to the race but also because some of the others used a similar route so I didn't need to check it in detail. 

The hard bits are in the mountains where there are often several routes parallel to each other.  And countries without streetview are harder - Germany, Austria, Bosnia, etc - as it is useful to be able to look at the junctions for road signs. 

It took me maybe an hour and a half per day for the first week, then less time as my riders finished or scratched.  I then helped out on a few special analysis projects.

You really need two monitors (or one big one that you can split) so that you can look at maps at the same time as trackleaders / freeroute or whatever the dot is in. 

Massive thanks to everyone who is helping - at controls, dotwatching or otherwise.  If anyone wants any more info or advice on dotwatching, let me know: I wrote a short guide after I did it that I can share.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on March 03, 2020, 11:07:43 am
Could I have a copy please?  I'm not watching but I'm sure it'll be interesting reading.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: chrisbainbridge on March 03, 2020, 11:22:05 am
Yes please. That has made the dot watching process a lot more interesting and understandable.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on March 03, 2020, 12:50:52 pm
Sorry to hear that you didn't get your CP gig Bludger.
I wouldn't read too much into the previous TPR application connection. The team that run TCR is very bare bones so its easy to miss things like that. Rory has exited now too so a heck of a lot on the plate for the remaining team. Volunteers are imperative.
I'd like to thank all the helpers as well.
 I got to meet my dot watcher from TCRno6. at last years finish (he was racing and introduced himself) so I was able to thank him and appologise for the  extra work I foisted on him off route in Bosnia and doubling back up the Mangart etc.
I'll likely volunteer to dot watch next year situation allowing.
My wife who managed the finish at Brest was on a communication channel that linked all the CP's.
As I understand it there is another channel that the dot watchers use so there is a community there to support those volunteers and keep then connected to events.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 03, 2020, 02:11:53 pm
Yeah I don't feel hard done by and appreciate it is very much a delicate operation. I should probably have made more of an effort to ask directly instead of mentioning it in the application - worse, I was actually at the official opening of the race route at LMNH a few weeks ago so could have asked in person. Oh well.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on March 03, 2020, 09:41:09 pm
I’ve got a place at Montenegro CP3, straggler shift. I’ve promised to cycle all the way there...

The email says CP1 and 2 were oversubscribed so you were much less likely to get a place if those were your only options.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 03, 2020, 09:50:45 pm
Ah that makes sense I only asked for 2 and 3. The road not taken!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on March 04, 2020, 06:01:02 am
I’ve got a place at Montenegro CP3, straggler shift. I’ve promised to cycle all the way there...

The email says CP1 and 2 were oversubscribed so you were much less likely to get a place if those were your only options.

Durmitor and surroundings are beautiful; I hope you get the chance to ride a bit when you are there.  The route in from Sarajevo to Pluzine is really beautiful, then the massif is stunning - like a different world up there.  And the Tara Gorge  south of the control is also stunning (allegedly, I rode it at night so have only seen @Karla's pictures).
I expect they don't dot watch your route down so, if you are short on time, jumping on the new sleeper from Brussels to Vienna might be an option!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on March 04, 2020, 06:04:11 am
If anyone wants any more info or advice on dotwatching, let me know: I wrote a short guide after I did it that I can share.

I've had a quick look and not been able to find it.  I'll post it here when I do.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on March 04, 2020, 06:08:54 am
Rory has exited now

That's a shame - I hadn't heard that (or maybe it wasn't public knowledge, until now!  :))
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on March 04, 2020, 12:53:25 pm
Rory has exited now

That's a shame - I hadn't heard that (or maybe it wasn't public knowledge, until now!  :))

He made a public announcement a few days ago.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on March 04, 2020, 01:20:23 pm
I’ve got a place at Montenegro CP3, straggler shift. I’ve promised to cycle all the way there...

The email says CP1 and 2 were oversubscribed so you were much less likely to get a place if those were your only options.

Durmitor and surroundings are beautiful; I hope you get the chance to ride a bit when you are there.  The route in from Sarajevo to Pluzine is really beautiful, then the massif is stunning - like a different world up there.  And the Tara Gorge  south of the control is also stunning (allegedly, I rode it at night so have only seen @Karla's pictures).
I expect they don't dot watch your route down so, if you are short on time, jumping on the new sleeper from Brussels to Vienna might be an option!

I concur, a very beautiful part of the world to ride. I got to enjoy the gorge during day light on TCR no6.  It was a welcome highlight after a rough  day off route on the R433. I had ended up the previous night in the bizarre Hotel Moskva in Kalinovik after a day of unrideable gravel. There was a photo of Putin proudly staring down over the reception. The hole experience was pretty trippy. The weird vibe continued on the pre dawn departure when I rode past the mist enveloped statue of Ratio Mladić the Butcher of Bosnia. Still a local hero for some apparently. I was super glad to get on the M18 later that morning.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on March 05, 2020, 06:19:02 am
Rory has exited now

That's a shame - I hadn't heard that (or maybe it wasn't public knowledge, until now!  :))

He made a public announcement a few days ago.

OK, I missed that.  What was it - wants to spend more time with family....?

Does that mean it is just Anna running everything?  I hope she isn't overwhelmed.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on March 05, 2020, 12:33:20 pm
His announcement is here on Instagram. (https://www.instagram.com/p/B9JcbZ0F2uY/?igshid=6d4lrhy6zayu)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on March 05, 2020, 01:09:04 pm
I am so out of the loop by not being on instagram!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 05, 2020, 03:29:49 pm

Given all the travel bans and event cancellations going on, what is the general thought on the tcr being effected by this virus thing?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 05, 2020, 03:37:32 pm
The travel stuff would be problematic if people were flying. For those cycling, using most trains and driving vans I should think there won't be a problem. Potentially some racers/controllers will pull out from sickness though.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 05, 2020, 03:38:48 pm
The travel stuff would be problematic if people were flying. For those cycling, using most trains and driving vans I should think there won't be a problem. Potentially some racers/controllers will pull out from sickness though.

Gonna liven up route planning if we have to avoid quarantine zones. At least this years route doesn't involve Italy...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 05, 2020, 03:50:14 pm
On the other hand if there are people laid up with/recovering from the flu maybe they'll be minded to dot watch...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Phil W on March 05, 2020, 05:58:03 pm
On the other hand if there are people laid up with/recovering from the flu maybe they'll be minded to dot watch...

If they are laid up with flu they won’t be minded to dot watch I wouldn’t think.

My wife came home from work with flu today.  She’s been mostly in bed asleep with a hot water bottle and still feels cold.  She managed 20 min downstairs just now when I made her another cup of tea and fresh hot water bottle. She’s just gone back to bed. In other words she’s wiped out.  Which is what I’d expect when flu sets in.

Covid19 is confirmed round here (nearest 1.5 miles away, another 6 miles away in the town my wife works in), though no many cases (yet)

Whatever she has I can’t see me avoiding it, however much I’m washing my hands. We can but hope, firstly that it’s normal flu, and secondly the symptoms are mild in our case.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on March 05, 2020, 06:31:49 pm
The travel stuff would be problematic if people were flying. For those cycling, using most trains and driving vans I should think there won't be a problem. Potentially some racers/controllers will pull out from sickness though.
Stopping usage of public transport is one of the more extreme contingencies. You can still cycle but the wet bit would be a challenge.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: bludger on March 05, 2020, 07:23:02 pm
Local connections ought to be open - but I wouldn't count out a reduced service on long distance trains and coaches.

The safest bet would probably be a van share. Or better yet a private coach.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on March 07, 2020, 11:58:16 am
We have plans to head to Brittany via Boston to pick up our new bikes next month and to get a bit of training in etc. I guess we will wait and see how events unfold.
Back home here in Bermuda there are no recorded cases on the Island as yet. Thats obviously just a question of time with the cruise ship season imminent and so many business/vacation travellers.
We have a vacation rental on the property here (bikes for the guests if course!) and its booked out at the moment. Id wager that there will be cancellations and no shows in the near future.
Interesting times
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 07, 2020, 01:08:39 pm
I'd imagine one of the biggest disruptors to public transport will be staff not turning up out of fear.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 18, 2020, 08:21:07 pm

So how do we rate the chances of this one going ahead?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on March 18, 2020, 08:32:01 pm
I'll put in a bid at 5%
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on March 18, 2020, 08:46:49 pm
I'll put in a bid at 5%
Yeah, it's gotta be low :( Mainly as so many different territories need traversing.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on March 18, 2020, 09:06:12 pm
Not looking likely is it. Things are changing by the day though so who knows. Theres always next year, Its only a bike race and all that.
We have  also cancelled our early June departure for Europe and will see how the lay of the land is nearer the time.
Amazingly we have still had no known cases of covid here on the Island yet. I worry though as with all the International travel (before the lock down) it surely must have slipped though. There is a 15%+ rate of diabetes here, a goodly smattering of heart conditions and plenty of older folks. One small town hospital. Its not a good scenario for an Island wide pandemic.
If the shit hits the fan and a lot of people go down I couldn't in good conscience head off racing. The folks who are still standing will need to step up and help out with things.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on March 18, 2020, 09:29:30 pm
Unlikely. This is going to be cyclical until a vaccine arrives en masse. I think in the uk we will be in a trough at that time before the next smaller peak. However the chances of all the territories to be in phase is vanishingly small.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 18, 2020, 10:41:54 pm
Not looking likely is it. Things are changing by the day though so who knows. Theres always next year, Its only a bike race and all that.

Yeah. If it doesn't happen this year, I'll try again in 2022. 2021 I really want to give LEL a go.

It's a shame, but it's probably for the best.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on March 23, 2020, 12:51:31 pm
It's been postponed for a year.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 23, 2020, 05:33:53 pm
It's been postponed for a year.

Gonna clash with LEL :(

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on July 25, 2020, 04:24:53 am
ah well next year.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on November 11, 2020, 12:17:35 pm
There was a mail-out to TCR entrants this week.
It alludes to the fact that while there is every intention of the race going ahead next year, the route may well be altered to accommodate covid related issues. Likewise the date is not nailed on, though the intention is to keep it as close to the original as possible.
As much as can be, will be revealed in the upcoming race manual which will be released next month.
The email also states that there will be new volunteer roles and opportunities for TCRNo8 which may interest some of you.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on November 12, 2020, 01:48:49 pm
The vaccine news that came a day or so later makes it seem a more likely prospect, but too early to say.  With LEL already postponed, it is the big events with lots of international participants that are most at risk.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on November 12, 2020, 08:11:55 pm
With LEL already postponed, it is the big events with lots of international participants that are most at risk.
Yes, but the fully supported ones have the worst prospects (hence LEL being the only cancellation I'm aware of).
Sad news, we can but hope ...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Groot the leveller on December 10, 2020, 11:35:19 am
Hey
I'm a newbie here, but I've just started to pick things up in preparation for tcr8
I'm intrigued to see if there any changes to the start/finnish, and control points, as I don't fancy the current logistics much in a covid summer window of sort of normality
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on December 10, 2020, 11:38:18 am
It will be somewhat tougher for non-EU folk from high-C19 countries to get into the EU.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 10, 2020, 11:50:55 am
They're releasing news of the new date and adapted route the day after tomorrow.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on December 10, 2020, 01:16:55 pm
They're releasing news of the new date and adapted route the day after tomorrow.

Oh did I miss a notification?
last detail I saw was "before the end of December"?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 10, 2020, 04:12:50 pm
No, you didn't miss anything.  I've just checked back and it appears I invented the date of the 12th.  They actually say "before Christmas".
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 10, 2020, 05:37:21 pm

However, lost dot are doing medicine of the TCR event on Saturday. Is that what you were thinking of ?

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 10, 2020, 09:47:16 pm
Yeah that'll be it.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 11, 2020, 05:14:23 pm
The CTT calendar is going to be out on Jan 4th, so potentially two or three weeks later.  I wonder how long we'll have to make up our minds?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 22, 2020, 04:47:33 pm
The race manual is out.  Brest to Thessaloniki via Roubaix, southern France, the Stelvio and somewhere far enough south in Italy that you have to take a ferry.  You could potentially have a route involving only Greece, Italy and France, though Switzerland and Albania will provide more error options if teh covidz allow. 

Jan 22nd is the final decision date.  Refunds are available but deferrals aren't - which is a bit annoying given they've been deferring us all for the last year.  Ho hum.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: rob on December 22, 2020, 05:11:45 pm
The CTT calendar is going to be out on Jan 4th, so potentially two or three weeks later.  I wonder how long we'll have to make up our minds?

I've managed to find most of the dates I need via the local committees and begging the odd favour.   Any particular events you're interested in ?   Feel free to PM as OT.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 22, 2020, 05:46:15 pm
This new route looks amazing!

Massive improvement. Have been playing around with komoot for the route from CP1 to CP2. Am excited.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 22, 2020, 08:25:16 pm

Have now got a draft route for the whole distance now. Doesn't seem to be much option in Greece to avoid a 1500m bump :( But all in all I get 3800-3900km with about 36500m of climbing. Which is a distinct improvement.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 23, 2020, 06:42:55 am
The route is not very inspiring.  It's basically the Orient Express route, only with a leg from Brest, a couple of kinks for controls and a mountain stage in Italy.  Sure, it's a long, challenging ride, but the TCR is supposed to be an adventure, taking you to some places you've never been before, and way out of your comfort zone - and this doesn't really do that. 

I can sort of understand why they have done it this way but I'm not sure their thinking is right - it's not guaranteed that Schengen borders are more likely to be open than those in Eastern Europe, and if some borders are closed anywhere in Europe, it's unlikely to go ahead anyway.

It's a bit shorter, which is significant.  They are saying 3,700km.  A fast rider (ie KA or JH) could probably do this in under a week and it is more like a week and a half rather than two weeks for a mid-pack rider such as me.  That doesn't sound much but, from my experience of doing long stuff, each extra day makes it a lot harder mentally.

There's a lot of France. France is great but it's not an adventure.  It does have a lot of roads, though, as does Italy, so there are likely to be a lot more routing options than a normal TCR.

I've not ridden in Italy below the Po Valley so that is more interesting (although it looks like there will be a slog across the Po Valley between controls 2 and 3).  Riding across Greece is kind of interesting. But lack of Balkans is what stops it from being a proper TCR IMHO.  And having a long ferry that near the end kind of spoils the race element. I did that ferry the other way when I was a student - took about 20 hours. 

I am pleased not to have to do that long, rough descent in Romania, and deal with Romanian drivers altogether. But Italians are pretty bad for close passes.

But having the start in France is clearly not a good idea - groups of 20 staggered at 30 min intervals.   So if there are 300 the last group would be 7 hours behind the first! A TT-style start with 1 minute intervals would be better from a distancing point of view and only take 5 hours.  Or cut it to 30 seconds and have pairs going together - get everyone off on their own in a couple of hours.

Lots of gushing on Facebook from newbies who applaud anything, but I've heard of a few people thinking about giving it a miss. Chris White made an interesting suggestion - get inside the time limit without using the ferry.  Looks a bit tough though, I had a quick look on the map and it seems to add 1000-1200km. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 23, 2020, 06:47:00 am
Refunds are available but deferrals aren't - which is a bit annoying given they've been deferring us all for the last year.  Ho hum.

Well it wasn't really 'them' who deferred us! 

Deferrals have never been allowed, for good reasons as it would lead to more drop-outs.  But if you have a good reason for not being able to make it this year, I reckon your chances of getting in next time are good.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 23, 2020, 08:11:05 am
Just looked at ferries and they have got quicker since the 80s.  There are a few, taking from 7.5 to 16 hours
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 23, 2020, 10:43:54 am
Refunds are available but deferrals aren't - which is a bit annoying given they've been deferring us all for the last year.  Ho hum.

Well it wasn't really 'them' who deferred us! 

Deferrals have never been allowed, for good reasons as it would lead to more drop-outs.  But if you have a good reason for not being able to make it this year, I reckon your chances of getting in next time are good.

They didn't cause covid but they did hold onto our money for a year!  It would have been the polite to give us her option of doing the same, and I'm sure they could fill any places. 

As you say, there's a lot of France.  From having very briefly glanced at it yesterday, the make or break moments will be the long mandatory section in Italy (which I presume is gravel / strade bianche) and ferry choice across the Adriatic.  It'll be a shame to miss most of the Balkans though.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 23, 2020, 10:49:04 am
So France, Italy, then a Ferry to Greece... very civilised...

I guess it appeals to those who are not keen to be chased by packs of wild dogs or find that their credit card is laughed at in a small village in the Balkans... probably a move towards a more inclusive event... possibly aspiring to gender balance, seeing that women can not only take part, but seemingly even win
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 23, 2020, 11:01:33 am
Are you saying women can only do shorter races?  That's an interesting opinion there  :-\

Also, I thought this was meant to be a race precisely for wild dog lovers.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: fboab on December 23, 2020, 11:02:32 am
So France, Italy, then a Ferry to Greece... very civilised...

I guess it appeals to those who are not keen to be chased by packs of wild dogs or find that their credit card is laughed at in a small village in the Balkans... probably a move towards a more inclusive event... possibly aspiring to gender balance, seeing that women can not only take part, but seemingly even win

I'm not remotely interested in sleeping in ditches riding TCR, nor do I leap on every sentiment that could be even remotely construed as misogynistic but your last sentence really has me reaching for something to slap you with.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 23, 2020, 11:06:19 am
So France, Italy, then a Ferry to Greece... very civilised...

I guess it appeals to those who are not keen to be chased by packs of wild dogs or find that their credit card is laughed at in a small village in the Balkans... probably a move towards a more inclusive event... possibly aspiring to gender balance, seeing that women can not only take part, but seemingly even win

Hmm, not sure about that.
Dogs are as bad in Greece as anywhere, and quite bad in Italy. 
Credit cards are pretty widely accepted in those small towns in the Balkans - by shops with long opening hours.  In France, you struggle to find anything and, if you do, it might not be open.
Why is not going to the Balkans more inclusive...?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 23, 2020, 11:07:15 am
Are you saying women can only do shorter races?  That's an interesting opinion there  :-\


No, I am saying that maybe some women are put off entering TCR because it goes through countries which are not considered to be as "safe" as the Western Europe... whether that is true or not, it is a different matter.

It might even be a decision by the organisers that see France and Italy as a safer bet in times of a pandemic, with reliable data, over the Balkans which might be an unknown quantity...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 23, 2020, 11:09:31 am

Hmm, not sure about that.
Dogs are as bad in Greece as anywhere, and quite bad in Italy. 
Credit cards are pretty widely accepted in those small towns in the Balkans - by shops with long opening hours.  In France, you struggle to find anything and, if you do, it might not be open.
Why is not going to the Balkans more inclusive...?

Perception... most people who enter TCR for the first time know about France and Italy, many have been there... how many have been to the Balkans?
I've never been... it's an unknown quantity, which will attract some and put off others
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 23, 2020, 11:13:12 am

As you say, there's a lot of France.  From having very briefly glanced at it yesterday, the make or break moments will be the long mandatory section in Italy (which I presume is gravel / strade bianche) and ferry choice across the Adriatic.  It'll be a shame to miss most of the Balkans though.

I think it's road.  Looks good though - 100 miles of scenic, empty lanes in the middle of Italy.

The parcours near the Stelvio is the hard one: off-road at 2750m.  No problem on a sunny day - but a different proposition at 3am in a thunderstorm. 

The ferry introduces a large element of luck, but the field will be pretty strung out by then, so it won't lead to people losing dozens of places.  The temptation will be to put in a big day or two before the ferry, rest on it, then another big two days to finish.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 23, 2020, 11:17:16 am
Are you saying women can only do shorter races?  That's an interesting opinion there  :-\


No, I am saying that maybe some women are put off entering TCR because it goes through countries which are not considered to be as "safe" as the Western Europe... whether that is true or not, it is a different matter.

It might even be a decision by the organisers that see France and Italy as a safer bet in times of a pandemic, with reliable data, over the Balkans which might be an unknown quantity...

Wrong on all counts, I'm afraid!

People who ride applied when they thought it was going to Burgas

Going to the Balkans isn't what puts women off - it's mainly lack of role models and confidence - on which  they have done a lot of work.

The route decision is about fewer borders.  Italy and France have not exactly been the best places during the pandemic - almost as bad as the UK!

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: JonBuoy on December 23, 2020, 11:49:10 am
As you say, there's a lot of France.  From having very briefly glanced at it yesterday, the make or break moments will be the long mandatory section in Italy (which I presume is gravel / strade bianche) and ferry choice across the Adriatic.  It'll be a shame to miss most of the Balkans though.

Komoot reckons that the 91.4 mile long Parcours 4 is 'Mostly well-paved surfaces and easy to ride.'  I checked a couple of sections on Streetview and agree with them.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 23, 2020, 11:49:33 am
I guess they could take a route nord for a change... finishing in Estonia... or even in Sweden if there is a way to cycle on the bridge from Denmark...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Mr Larrington on December 23, 2020, 11:57:00 am
I guess they could take a route nord for a change... finishing in Estonia... or even in Sweden if there is a way to cycle on the bridge from Denmark...

There isn’t, unless putting yourself and your bike on a train qualifies.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on December 23, 2020, 12:49:27 pm
Just glad they have got the event off the ground.
 Im sure there was a lot of pondering about how to plan a race that is an adventure but is less likely to be scuppered by changing travel regs.
Its a bare bones outfit. Hats off to them.
Personally speaking. Something..ANYTHING  that involves cycling in a straight line after what will be nearly 2 years on 20 square miles makes me positively giddy.France though....
Balkans adds an exotic unknown element for sure but its also easy to resupply and find a bed. Everything's open 24/7.
Geri, you might want to revisit that statement. It doesn't come across at all well as it stands.
I like the "crossing of the wake" concept in Greece. (from Meteora editions)  Yup that neck of the wood was lumpy.

I'm with Frank on the staggered start concept  Its early days though and plenty of time to tweak that before race day.
There is also the parcour from the start to be released yet. It could be a circumnavigation of Brittany for all we know.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 23, 2020, 01:10:32 pm

Geri, you might want to revisit that statement. It doesn't come across at all well as it stands.


Totally, just speaking as someone who has never been to Bosnia, Macedonia or Montenegro and has no idea what to expect...
I suppose many have a fairly good idea of they will find in Italy and France...

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: CarlF on December 23, 2020, 05:48:33 pm
I guess they could take a route nord for a change... finishing in Estonia... or even in Sweden if there is a way to cycle on the bridge from Denmark...

There isn’t, unless putting yourself and your bike on a train qualifies.

But the Øresund ferry (Helsingør-Helsingborg) is a 20 minute crossing and looks like it runs round the clock, every twenty minutes during the day, every half hour early morning and evening, and still more than once an hour in the middle of the night. Bikes go free and most crossings are battery powered. What’s not to like?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 23, 2020, 09:10:15 pm
The route is not very inspiring.  It's basically the Orient Express route, only with a leg from Brest, a couple of kinks for controls and a mountain stage in Italy.  Sure, it's a long, challenging ride, but the TCR is supposed to be an adventure, taking you to some places you've never been before, and way out of your comfort zone - and this doesn't really do that.

To me this is still going to be an adventure. I've never cycled up a mountain before. I've not done a ride longer than 2000km before. I really like this proposed route. It's difficult, without being needlessly so.

Quote
I can sort of understand why they have done it this way but I'm not sure their thinking is right - it's not guaranteed that Schengen borders are more likely to be open than those in Eastern Europe, and if some borders are closed anywhere in Europe, it's unlikely to go ahead anyway.

The thing is the rules are about entering and leaving the EU. The only way to keep things wholly in the EU if you didn't go this way would be to include Hungary. Which previous TCR's have shown to be bloody dangerous for cyclists, and since it's got a right wing government, not safe for some riders of the TCR.

Quote
It's a bit shorter, which is significant.  They are saying 3,700km.  A fast rider (ie KA or JH) could probably do this in under a week and it is more like a week and a half rather than two weeks for a mid-pack rider such as me.  That doesn't sound much but, from my experience of doing long stuff, each extra day makes it a lot harder mentally.

I have 3800km for my route, I'm sure you could knock off 100k, but it would add a lot of up. I've very much optimised for lack of up. The 1500m peak <200km from the finish is still suboptimal, but I can't seem to find an alternative.

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There's a lot of France. France is great but it's not an adventure.  It does have a lot of roads, though, as does Italy, so there are likely to be a lot more routing options than a normal TCR.

To you. A ride of this magnitude, it's an adventure. Are you suggesting that the transam is not an adventure cos it's just America?

Quote
I've not ridden in Italy below the Po Valley so that is more interesting (although it looks like there will be a slog across the Po Valley between controls 2 and 3).  Riding across Greece is kind of interesting. But lack of Balkans is what stops it from being a proper TCR IMHO.  And having a long ferry that near the end kind of spoils the race element. I did that ferry the other way when I was a student - took about 20 hours.

I've never ridden in Italy before. I'm really looking forward to it.

Quote

I am pleased not to have to do that long, rough descent in Romania, and deal with Romanian drivers altogether. But Italians are pretty bad for close passes.

The prospect of the Romanian bit did not instil me with joy.

Quote
But having the start in France is clearly not a good idea - groups of 20 staggered at 30 min intervals.   So if there are 300 the last group would be 7 hours behind the first! A TT-style start with 1 minute intervals would be better from a distancing point of view and only take 5 hours.  Or cut it to 30 seconds and have pairs going together - get everyone off on their own in a couple of hours.

This does make sense.

Quote
Lots of gushing on Facebook from newbies who applaud anything, but I've heard of a few people thinking about giving it a miss. Chris White made an interesting suggestion - get inside the time limit without using the ferry.  Looks a bit tough though, I had a quick look on the map and it seems to add 1000-1200km.

I'm clearly a newbie that will applaud anything. This route feels a lot more comfortable than the previous version. It's going to be tough, it will be a challenge, for me it will be an adventure, but it won't be gratuitously hard for the sake of it. I'm of the view that the distance is the challenge, putting in very steep, or very big, or very big and very steep hills just for the sake of it seems to defeat the purpose. That and anything you can't ride on a road bike.

Just looked at ferries and they have got quicker since the 80s.  There are a few, taking from 7.5 to 16 hours

The ferries are going to be interesting, cos if you just miss one in Bari, then you could do the 100k to Brindisi and get the one from there... I like the idea of rest before the final 400k sprint to the finish. I can see the ferry equalising things a bit, with riders at the pointy end bunching, before the aforementioned sprint.


So France, Italy, then a Ferry to Greece... very civilised...

I guess it appeals to those who are not keen to be chased by packs of wild dogs or find that their credit card is laughed at in a small village in the Balkans... probably a move towards a more inclusive event... possibly aspiring to gender balance, seeing that women can not only take part, but seemingly even win

Putting aside the blatant misogyny of your statement, it's worth noting that all those riding this version signed up for a version that involved the Balkans, and Romanian gravel. So in that respect the attracting people to ride it aspect isn't there.

If last year, this route, and the original route, had been offered as a choice, I would choose the France/Italy/Greece route, it's closer to my comfort zone, whilst still being just out side of it. It's worth noting that Hungary is not a safe place for LGBT+ people to visit, and Romania is moving that way with some of it's recent moves.

Not everyone who rides the TCR is a straight white man, and this should be taken into account when choosing routes.

Hmm, not sure about that.
Dogs are as bad in Greece as anywhere, and quite bad in Italy. 
Credit cards are pretty widely accepted in those small towns in the Balkans - by shops with long opening hours.  In France, you struggle to find anything and, if you do, it might not be open.
Why is not going to the Balkans more inclusive...?

Credit cards worked better in Serbia and Croatia than they do in .NL... fscking maestro... That said, my big issue in Bulgaria was finding anything to eat in the first 200k of the Parcour. None of the population centres (well villages...) it passed through had any shops or cafes. I managed to buy a coke and some crisps in one village, but that was about it. People at the pointy end were through quick enough not to be a problem, I was half the speed of the pointy end, and first place to really resupply was the gas station at the end of the Parcour. The bits of Serbia and Croatia that I rode, I had no issue finding stuff to eat.

There is certainly a perception by many that the Balkans is not as safe a place to travel as Italy is if you are not a straight white man.

No, I am saying that maybe some women are put off entering TCR because it goes through countries which are not considered to be as "safe" as the Western Europe... whether that is true or not, it is a different matter.

I would not enter a race that went though Hungary.

Perception... most people who enter TCR for the first time know about France and Italy, many have been there... how many have been to the Balkans?
I've never been... it's an unknown quantity, which will attract some and put off others

I've cycled in Serbia, I've cycled in Croatia. I've not cycled in Italy, and I've only done a little bit of France...

I guess they could take a route nord for a change... finishing in Estonia... or even in Sweden if there is a way to cycle on the bridge from Denmark...

I'm not certain, but I would imagine that with Nordkap-Terrifa, going North to South, and the NC4K going South to North, another race going North seems... excessive.

Also large parts of Poland are now a no-go zone for LGBT+ persons, and as such would not be suitable as an accessible race.

I appreciate I'm a gushing newbie in all this, but I really like the new proposed route. CP3 looks brutal, but also short, a challenge without being impossible. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be an adventure. I've never cycled over mountains or through the south of France before, or in Italy.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 23, 2020, 09:29:09 pm

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ep88Qz-WwAAjDSY?format=jpg&name=large)

The CP3 parcour is going to be interesting. This is with it plotted East to West. My plan is West to East... but looking at the 3d render, I am questioning my plan... what do I prefer, carrying my bike up a steep goat track, or riding it down a steep goat track...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 23, 2020, 10:18:57 pm
I think I broke veloviewer... it thinks that if you do CP3 west -> East, there's a 139% incline at one point...

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ep9JWm0W4AIbW-d?format=jpg&name=large)

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 24, 2020, 01:13:39 am
Funnily enough, none of the lesbian or gay cyclists I know look distinctly lesbian or gay while riding.  You're probably doing the race wrong if you stop long enough to chat up your preferred gender of local resident.

I'm fairly sure  the Hungary avoidance is because most of the roads ban cyclists.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 24, 2020, 01:49:29 am
Funnily enough, none of the lesbian or gay cyclists I know look distinctly lesbian or gay while riding.  You're probably doing the race wrong if you stop long enough to chat up your preferred gender of local resident.

I'm fairly sure  the Hungary avoidance is because most of the roads ban cyclists.

Until you're hit by a truck, end up in hospital and they deny your next of kin access because they don't recognise the relationship...

While riding they might not. But when you're sufficiently butch it can be a problem with bigots when you stop. It's not a problem while riding. It's the times you're not riding that are an issue.

Also there's more than just lesbians and gays in the LGBT+ community that ride bikes. If any trans riders want to do the TCR, it's going to be a problem in Hungary and Poland if either end up on the route.

I have a wedding ring i carry when travelling. I have a backstory of a husband back home, because actually, while stopped for food or drink, men can and do try to hit on women. You don't want to make the mistake of saying "that's lovely, but I have a wife/girlfriend waiting for me at home". I have ready the alternative. "I have a husband in .NL. his name is <redacted>, he's a doctor". It's worked the few times I've needed to use it. I have needed to use it.

I have a friend who rides bikes. She's a 1.8m tall cis woman, has a shaved head, and fits everyone's definition of Butch Dyke. She is frequently harassed using ladies toilets. Do you think she'd be safe riding in Hungary? Or Poland?

The people you know are sufficiently straight cis passing that it's not an issue, lucky sods.. Not all of us are so lucky. I'm on the Butch end of the spectrum. I live in fear of being harassed by homophobes.

Avoiding Hungary cos the roads suck is a good reason. The fact that it's not safe for some people who ride the TCR to even enter the country, is also a very good reason to avoid it.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 06:45:56 am
It's a long, challenging ride, but the TCR is supposed to be an adventure, taking you to some places you've never been before, and way out of your comfort zone - and this doesn't really do that.

This route feels a lot more comfortable than the previous version ...

...it's closer to my comfort zone


Looks like we are basically saying the same thing!

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 06:55:16 am
Regarding Hungary, it has been on TCR routes in recent years and there is guidance on routing in the country in the manual so it is clear there is no veto on going there.  The reason they haven't routed there is that Romania is not in Schengen - so there would be border controls wherever you went to the south.

As I said before, we saw border controls spring up within Schengen pretty quickly back in March, so I'm not sure that it means much, but that's clearly the reason.

A basic principle of travel is that you are a guest in someone else's country and you have to take it on those terms, and fit in with their values, their dress codes, their laws, etc. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 07:12:20 am

The ferries are going to be interesting, cos if you just miss one in Bari, then you could do the 100k to Brindisi and get the one from there... I like the idea of rest before the final 400k sprint to the finish. I can see the ferry equalising things a bit, with riders at the pointy end bunching, before the aforementioned sprint.


The ferries are basically a lot of stress.  Especially when they open up other routes, which will likely happen if the race is able to go ahead at all.  Partially this is my comfort zone, in that I don't like to have to make complex decisions when riding but it's not entirely that.

Firstly you have to make a call when you make a booking.  If you make the booking early, more likely to get the wrong time.  Leave it late and there might not be space.

When you've made it you have a hard deadline which = stress. 

How does the check-in process work?  How long do you need to allow?  More stress.

One approach is to throw money at the problem and make 3 or 4 bookings to be sure of the optimal crossing, but that would be expensive and not open to all riders. 

What will actually happen is that a lot of riders will get their partners to do the booking for them.  Mostly these are not bad people and will probably otherwise obey the rules, but this kind of complex decision creates circumstances which invite cheating into the race.

Missing a ferry in Bari and riding 6-7 hours to Brindisi is unlikely to be a winning strategy.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 07:31:46 am

The CP3 parcour is going to be interesting. This is with it plotted East to West. My plan is West to East... but looking at the 3d render, I am questioning my plan... what do I prefer, carrying my bike up a steep goat track, or riding it down a steep goat track...

J

I'm not a fan of the big off-road sections. 

Again, I accept that it is partly my comfort zone.  I appreciate that they are very pretty (especially if you get there in daylight) and they are, in principle, a good test of bike handling skills, but I think there are serious safety issues with them. 

They are great for someone who knows what they are doing to ride on a mountain bike, on a sunny day.  But there will be lots of people with little off-road experience riding them on the wrong bikes with the wrong tyres, with luggage which impairs bike handling who will be going up regardless of the weather and time of day but with inadequate clothing if the weather turns bad - as it does at 2750m - especially at night.  With a high col on road, you can get back down to safety if the weather closes in, but on one of these you are stuck.   

FWIW these sections were not part of the race when Mike ran it, other than the Strada dell'Assietta in 2015, which he put in because Ultan Coyle was riding a TT bike.  When I did it in 2016 it was possible to ride entirely on tarmac.   
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Ivo on December 24, 2020, 08:39:51 am

The CP3 parcour is going to be interesting. This is with it plotted East to West. My plan is West to East... but looking at the 3d render, I am questioning my plan... what do I prefer, carrying my bike up a steep goat track, or riding it down a steep goat track...

J

I'm not a fan of the big off-road sections. 

Again, I accept that it is partly my comfort zone.  I appreciate that they are very pretty (especially if you get there in daylight) and they are, in principle, a good test of bike handling skills, but I think there are serious safety issues with them. 

They are great for someone who knows what they are doing to ride on a mountain bike, on a sunny day.  But there will be lots of people with little off-road experience riding them on the wrong bikes with the wrong tyres, with luggage which impairs bike handling who will be going up regardless of the weather and time of day but with inadequate clothing if the weather turns bad - as it does at 2750m - especially at night.  With a high col on road, you can get back down to safety if the weather closes in, but on one of these you are stuck.   

FWIW these sections were not part of the race when Mike ran it, other than the Strada dell'Assietta in 2015, which he put in because Ultan Coyle was riding a TT bike.  When I did it in 2016 it was possible to ride entirely on tarmac.

Regarding these concerns, I was more concerned with the location of controls in the past years, the one on top of the Transfagarasan, leading to riders riding over the bear infested northern slopes during ear dinner time and the one forcing riders to ride through landmine infested parts of Croatia. After both those years I have my doubts about the TCR's safety concept.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 09:32:07 am

Regarding these concerns, I was more concerned with the location of controls in the past years, the one on top of the Transfagarasan, leading to riders riding over the bear infested northern slopes during ear dinner time and the one forcing riders to ride through landmine infested parts of Croatia. After both those years I have my doubts about the TCR's safety concept.

This year plan A was to use the Transalpina pass with an all off-road descent, so all of the mountain track risk + bears + Romanian rather than Italian emergency back up if things go wrong!  I really wasn't keen on that.

I rode through Croatia in 2016: Otocac, Vrhovine and on to Bihac in Bosnia.  It was a shock to see burnt out houses and bullet holes in buildings in the town centres, but I didn't feel there was special danger in what I was doing.  The route was all on roads. I certainly didn't go wandering off the road into fields or on tracks.  I know you have personal experience of the Balkan war zones so your perspective is extremely relevant.  Was I missing something?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 24, 2020, 09:34:58 am
+ Romanian rather than Italian emergency back up if things go wrong!  I really wasn't keen on that.


SO if I say that the Balkans are (perceived to be) less safe than France and Italy, I am wrong all along, but then you say the same... how does that work?  ???
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Ivo on December 24, 2020, 10:26:29 am

Regarding these concerns, I was more concerned with the location of controls in the past years, the one on top of the Transfagarasan, leading to riders riding over the bear infested northern slopes during ear dinner time and the one forcing riders to ride through landmine infested parts of Croatia. After both those years I have my doubts about the TCR's safety concept.

This year plan A was to use the Transalpina pass with an all off-road descent, so all of the mountain track risk + bears + Romanian rather than Italian emergency back up if things go wrong!  I really wasn't keen on that.

I rode through Croatia in 2016: Otocac, Vrhovine and on to Bihac in Bosnia.  It was a shock to see burnt out houses and bullet holes in buildings in the town centres, but I didn't feel there was special danger in what I was doing.  The route was all on roads. I certainly didn't go wandering off the road into fields or on tracks.  I know you have personal experience of the Balkan war zones so your perspective is extremely relevant.  Was I missing something?

The combination of people of a generation who don't have in depth knowledge of the area and the habit of sleeping in ditches and abandoned houses combined with (sometimes poorly marked) minefields and booby trapped houses. You knew so you didn't go wandering off the road but I know from the reports that many TCR riders do that in search of a sleeping spot. Actually I was a bit scared of that as a dot watcher in that edition. I did comment on online reports if someone was wandering off into an area with a lot of minefields.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 11:02:34 am
+ Romanian rather than Italian emergency back up if things go wrong!  I really wasn't keen on that.


SO if I say that the Balkans are (perceived to be) less safe than France and Italy, I am wrong all along, but then you say the same... how does that work?  ???

Different context. I'm talking about mountain rescue services. You were taking about how safe the country is to visit for travellers. Also you were talking about different countries, were you not? That bit of discussion was about Ex-yugoslavia.
Romania is less pleasant to cycle in than those. But Italy is nearly as bad!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 11:04:05 am

Regarding these concerns, I was more concerned with the location of controls in the past years, the one on top of the Transfagarasan, leading to riders riding over the bear infested northern slopes during ear dinner time and the one forcing riders to ride through landmine infested parts of Croatia. After both those years I have my doubts about the TCR's safety concept.

This year plan A was to use the Transalpina pass with an all off-road descent, so all of the mountain track risk + bears + Romanian rather than Italian emergency back up if things go wrong!  I really wasn't keen on that.

I rode through Croatia in 2016: Otocac, Vrhovine and on to Bihac in Bosnia.  It was a shock to see burnt out houses and bullet holes in buildings in the town centres, but I didn't feel there was special danger in what I was doing.  The route was all on roads. I certainly didn't go wandering off the road into fields or on tracks.  I know you have personal experience of the Balkan war zones so your perspective is extremely relevant.  Was I missing something?

The combination of people of a generation who don't have in depth knowledge of the area and the habit of sleeping in ditches and abandoned houses combined with (sometimes poorly marked) minefields and booby trapped houses. You knew so you didn't go wandering off the road but I know from the reports that many TCR riders do that in search of a sleeping spot. Actually I was a bit scared of that as a dot watcher in that edition. I did comment on online reports if someone was wandering off into an area with a lot of minefields.

Thanks. Good point. They could have warned more explicitly about those risks.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 24, 2020, 11:30:54 am

Looks like we are basically saying the same thing!

It is entirely plausible that we are both in violent* agreement.

Regarding Hungary, it has been on TCR routes in recent years and there is guidance on routing in the country in the manual so it is clear there is no veto on going there.  The reason they haven't routed there is that Romania is not in Schengen - so there would be border controls wherever you went to the south.

As I said before, we saw border controls spring up within Schengen pretty quickly back in March, so I'm not sure that it means much, but that's clearly the reason.

A basic principle of travel is that you are a guest in someone else's country and you have to take it on those terms, and fit in with their values, their dress codes, their laws, etc. 


Yes, however the rules and laws in Hungary have changed since it was last on the route of the TCR. Part of being a guest in another's country is not turning up where you're unwanted... I would not do a TCR if it went through Hungary.


The ferries are basically a lot of stress.  Especially when they open up other routes, which will likely happen if the race is able to go ahead at all.  Partially this is my comfort zone, in that I don't like to have to make complex decisions when riding but it's not entirely that.

Firstly you have to make a call when you make a booking.  If you make the booking early, more likely to get the wrong time.  Leave it late and there might not be space.

When you've made it you have a hard deadline which = stress. 

How does the check-in process work?  How long do you need to allow?  More stress.

One approach is to throw money at the problem and make 3 or 4 bookings to be sure of the optimal crossing, but that would be expensive and not open to all riders. 

What will actually happen is that a lot of riders will get their partners to do the booking for them.  Mostly these are not bad people and will probably otherwise obey the rules, but this kind of complex decision creates circumstances which invite cheating into the race.

Missing a ferry in Bari and riding 6-7 hours to Brindisi is unlikely to be a winning strategy.

Agreed, the ferries are regular, but I wonder how much capacity they run at. I've used them in the past on my way to Krete, but I did so booking in advance. It's going to be an interesting element.

A brief search on greece-ferries.com shows that there are two a day from Bari to Igoumenitsa, but they are only 30 minutes apart in the evening. So missing a ferry would mean upto a 24 hour wait for the next departure. Where as from Brindisi there are two a day, at 1300 and 2100. Obviously this may change nearer the time, it may be the timetables aren't finalised. But if you miss the 2000 from Bari, then getting to Brindisi for 1300 the next day seems distinctly plausible. You'll arrive in Greece about the same time you'd be leaving Bari if you waited...

It could be tho that you get to Bari after say 0500, you're unlikely to make it to Brindisi for the 1300 sailing. So is it worth continuing for the 2100? or get a hotel room for the day, and rest, eat, etc...

A lot of very stiff, but well rested cyclists are going to roll off the ferry in Greece...


I'm not a fan of the big off-road sections.

I think on this we are in agreement.

Quote

Again, I accept that it is partly my comfort zone.  I appreciate that they are very pretty (especially if you get there in daylight) and they are, in principle, a good test of bike handling skills, but I think there are serious safety issues with them. 

They are great for someone who knows what they are doing to ride on a mountain bike, on a sunny day.  But there will be lots of people with little off-road experience riding them on the wrong bikes with the wrong tyres, with luggage which impairs bike handling who will be going up regardless of the weather and time of day but with inadequate clothing if the weather turns bad - as it does at 2750m - especially at night.  With a high col on road, you can get back down to safety if the weather closes in, but on one of these you are stuck.   

FWIW these sections were not part of the race when Mike ran it, other than the Strada dell'Assietta in 2015, which he put in because Ultan Coyle was riding a TT bike.  When I did it in 2016 it was possible to ride entirely on tarmac.   

The Strada dell'Assietta is classed as gravel, but it's very different from the gravel sections that were in the Balkans on the last two editions. You can take a pro tour pelaton along the white roads. You wouldn't do that on either of the recent Balkan sections. At least one rider in 2018 took his tracker off the bike, walked up the parcours, and then reattached the tracker before continuing, that should never be the preferred option... I do feel that the route should be safe to ride for anyone on a road bike. In that respect CP3 is a little bit outside that. But in the grand scheme of things, it's only 16km, so I'll largely swear at the mountains and hope. But I have some knowledge and experience of being on foot in mountains like these (just not with a laden bike). One thing I will be adding to my pack tho is a compass. The free section near the summit, I will feel more comfortable with a compass, but that's me. I am pretty certain I am going to do the route west to east. I think I want to climb up those switch backs, not try and ride down them. Esp as I'll be on GP5k tyres... That also means that the descent at the other end is on tarmac. I don't know if this will be quicker, but I think it will be safer.

I notice there is an Alpine hut at the western end of the route. There are also two drinking water sources on the parcour, and one at the western end.

J

* for values of violent
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 24, 2020, 02:58:03 pm
But Italy is nearly as bad!

I've lived in Italy for 27 years and I strongly disagree with your statement...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 03:52:01 pm
Good to hear!

I'm sure there are lots of great back roads in Italy but, outside the parcours most riders won't be on those roads.   

My experience is mainly riding along the Po Valley in 2016, from Bergamo and on to the Slovenian border.  Lots of close passes - which is what every other TCR rider has reported from that strip. 

For this reason one of the main objectives in designing TCR routes in the last few years has been to avoid the Po Valley - but it hasn't worked this time as most people will go that way from CP2-3.  And I fear the coast rode down through Rimini and Ancona will be similar - although would be good if its not. 

Maybe they will ban certain roads to force people to take other routes... 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on December 24, 2020, 04:28:42 pm
Good to hear!

I'm sure there are lots of great back roads in Italy but, outside the parcours most riders won't be on those roads.   

My experience is mainly riding along the Po Valley in 2016, from Bergamo and on to the Slovenian border.  Lots of close passes - which is what every other TCR rider has reported from that strip. 

For this reason one of the main objectives in designing TCR routes in the last few years has been to avoid the Po Valley - but it hasn't worked this time as most people will go that way from CP2-3.  And I fear the coast rode down through Rimini and Ancona will be similar - although would be good if its not. 

Maybe they will ban certain roads to force people to take other routes...

SS roads are the same as the main A roads in Britain... SP roads are more like secondary A or B... if you stick to SS roads, you are going to get the same treatment whether you are in France (N roads), Italy, UK or wherever. It's down to the organiser to come up with sensible routes that naturally avoid the busy roads... nothing wrong with Italy as such... the Po valley is the most boring area to cycle, it's also the fastest A to B... I wouldn't think routing an "adventure race" such as TCR along the Po valley adds much to the race...
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on December 24, 2020, 04:31:25 pm
Aah yes, people who want to cross a continent but can't handle traffic  ::-)


Regarding these concerns, I was more concerned with the location of controls in the past years, the one on top of the Transfagarasan, leading to riders riding over the bear infested northern slopes during ear dinner time and the one forcing riders to ride through landmine infested parts of Croatia. After both those years I have my doubts about the TCR's safety concept.

This year plan A was to use the Transalpina pass with an all off-road descent, so all of the mountain track risk + bears + Romanian rather than Italian emergency back up if things go wrong!  I really wasn't keen on that.

I rode through Croatia in 2016: Otocac, Vrhovine and on to Bihac in Bosnia.  It was a shock to see burnt out houses and bullet holes in buildings in the town centres, but I didn't feel there was special danger in what I was doing.  The route was all on roads. I certainly didn't go wandering off the road into fields or on tracks.  I know you have personal experience of the Balkan war zones so your perspective is extremely relevant.  Was I missing something?

The combination of people of a generation who don't have in depth knowledge of the area and the habit of sleeping in ditches and abandoned houses combined with (sometimes poorly marked) minefields and booby trapped houses. You knew so you didn't go wandering off the road but I know from the reports that many TCR riders do that in search of a sleeping spot. Actually I was a bit scared of that as a dot watcher in that edition. I did comment on online reports if someone was wandering off into an area with a lot of minefields.

I was in single figures for most of the fighting in the Yugoslav wars, but was amply aware of the landmines before any of the times I toured round there. 

If someone enters an adventure race across an entire continent, but isn't aware of some fairly recent and protracted fighting in a large region of that continent and of the problems  stemming from that, and doesn't learn pretty fast when they see the bombed out buildings and roadside memorials that still litter the region, then that person is probably beyond help.

Regarding Hungary, it has been on TCR routes in recent years and there is guidance on routing in the country in the manual so it is clear there is no veto on going there.  The reason they haven't routed there is that Romania is not in Schengen - so there would be border controls wherever you went to the south.

As I said before, we saw border controls spring up within Schengen pretty quickly back in March, so I'm not sure that it means much, but that's clearly the reason.

A basic principle of travel is that you are a guest in someone else's country and you have to take it on those terms, and fit in with their values, their dress codes, their laws, etc. 


Yes, however the rules and laws in Hungary have changed since it was last on the route of the TCR. Part of being a guest in another's country is not turning up where you're unwanted... I would not do a TCR if it went through Hungary.
You don't want to go to Hungary, you don't have to go to Hungary.  Thanks for presuming on my safety though, you might want to do less of that in the future.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on December 24, 2020, 07:33:02 pm

The ferries are going to be interesting, cos if you just miss one in Bari, then you could do the 100k to Brindisi and get the one from there... I like the idea of rest before the final 400k sprint to the finish. I can see the ferry equalising things a bit, with riders at the pointy end bunching, before the aforementioned sprint.


The ferries are basically a lot of stress.  Especially when they open up other routes, which will likely happen if the race is able to go ahead at all.  Partially this is my comfort zone, in that I don't like to have to make complex decisions when riding but it's not entirely that.

Firstly you have to make a call when you make a booking.  If you make the booking early, more likely to get the wrong time.  Leave it late and there might not be space.

When you've made it you have a hard deadline which = stress. 

How does the check-in process work?  How long do you need to allow?  More stress.

One approach is to throw money at the problem and make 3 or 4 bookings to be sure of the optimal crossing, but that would be expensive and not open to all riders. 

What will actually happen is that a lot of riders will get their partners to do the booking for them.  Mostly these are not bad people and will probably otherwise obey the rules, but this kind of complex decision creates circumstances which invite cheating into the race.

Missing a ferry in Bari and riding 6-7 hours to Brindisi is unlikely to be a winning strategy.
They do seem like genuine negatives to the ferry issue!

But wasn't much the same crossing a feature of the early races? Did these problems manifest back then?

(As a spectator I found the ferry options really cool! And I loved the ferries on Blacksheep's Scottish Audax as a rider, but that was a very different scenario.)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 24, 2020, 08:15:09 pm
The Strada dell'Assietta is classed as gravel, but it's very different from the gravel sections that were in the Balkans on the last two editions. You can take a pro tour pelaton along the white roads. You wouldn't do that on either of the recent Balkan sections. At least one rider in 2018 took his tracker off the bike, walked up the parcours, and then reattached the tracker before continuing, that should never be the preferred option...
I'm puzzled by this. Why remove the tracker? Surely it records the same whether it's on the bike or in your pocket/luggage?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 24, 2020, 08:41:22 pm
The Strada dell'Assietta is classed as gravel, but it's very different from the gravel sections that were in the Balkans on the last two editions. You can take a pro tour pelaton along the white roads. You wouldn't do that on either of the recent Balkan sections. At least one rider in 2018 took his tracker off the bike, walked up the parcours, and then reattached the tracker before continuing, that should never be the preferred option...
I'm puzzled by this. Why remove the tracker? Surely it records the same whether it's on the bike or in your pocket/luggage?

They left the bike at the bottom, they just walked up and back down again.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on December 24, 2020, 09:01:09 pm

But wasn't much the same crossing a feature of the early races? Did these problems manifest back then?


I've not heard anyone speak about it but there were some differences in that:
- the channel ferries in the first two races were soon after the start so people could predict their arrivals fairly reliably, and would be less tired when making decisions.
- the Ancona-Split ferry on the second and third editions were both people doing a bit of lateral thinking and gaining an advantage from essentially a short cut (more in the second than the third).  I think in both cases it was just a few riders. 

There was a ferry in the original / 2020 route, across the Danube, and not that far from the finish.   
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 24, 2020, 09:16:14 pm
The Strada dell'Assietta is classed as gravel, but it's very different from the gravel sections that were in the Balkans on the last two editions. You can take a pro tour pelaton along the white roads. You wouldn't do that on either of the recent Balkan sections. At least one rider in 2018 took his tracker off the bike, walked up the parcours, and then reattached the tracker before continuing, that should never be the preferred option...
I'm puzzled by this. Why remove the tracker? Surely it records the same whether it's on the bike or in your pocket/luggage?

They left the bike at the bottom, they just walked up and back down again.

J
Ah. Okay. This makes me feel better about every hill I've ever walked, seeing as I've never been racing any of them!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 24, 2020, 09:23:32 pm
Ah. Okay. This makes me feel better about every hill I've ever walked, seeing as I've never been racing any of them!

On RatN 2019 I walked every single hill in Limburg.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on December 27, 2020, 02:42:40 pm
Boy you are a tough crowd to please!
Im with QG on this. More than enough adventure to be had.
Drilling into a first draught of the route there are some mouth watering iconic places/climbs popping up.
Im also not familiar, like QG, with riding in Italy beyond the Alps & Dolomites  (aside from one organised cycle tour to Florence & Tuscany)
Much of the climbing that was lost when the race was moved away from the Balkans seems to have be gained back when travelling down the spine of Italy.
Im also a little concerned about the traffic, particularly on the Po valley after some negative experiences on TCRno5 and will try to mitigate that where possible.
From a selfish point of view Im really happy that the start has remained in Brest.  Our place is a couple of hours down the coast in Southern Brittany (assuming we can get there!) With the previous TCR's we drove across from there to the start in Belgium. This time it will be a similar route but on a bike from the start to Roubaix.
Happy route planning.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 13, 2021, 03:17:55 pm
I've decided to withdraw.
I think you need to be really excited about these events in order to get round them. I'm not, so better to free up the place for someone who is really up for it.
Best of luck to those who are riding.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 16, 2021, 07:27:22 pm
I've decided to withdraw.
I think you need to be really excited about these events in order to get round them. I'm not, so better to free up the place for someone who is really up for it.
Best of luck to those who are riding.

Thats a shame Frank. I was hoping that we would finally meet. Another time!
I confirmed this morning so all being well, look forward to a couple of weeks of (mis)adventure.
Good call to let the organisers know in time. I imagine Anna will open up some new slots if, like yourself, more than a few entrants take a pass this year.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 17, 2021, 12:02:51 pm

I just confirmed my place.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on January 17, 2021, 12:29:32 pm
Excellent. Look forward to seeing how you get on.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 17, 2021, 12:55:18 pm
Excellent. Look forward to seeing how you get on.

Thanks. I'm feeling more comfortable about this route, and better prepared. I now have a coach, who is an experienced ultra racer and is helping me with my training. It's going well so far.

Need to make a couple of changes to the bike (upgrade to hydraulic brakes), and buy a new down jacket. Else kit wise I'm ready. Just need to build fitness, and finesse my route.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 17, 2021, 02:13:51 pm
Cheers.
Multiple loops of the Rock here through to the Summer.
Getting away to France for a tour looks decidedly tricky with the current pandemic so will just have to suck it up.
Taxc bike on order so may be able to rig up some virtual mountain passes on the TV for a bit of variety!
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 17, 2021, 02:21:55 pm
Cheers.
Multiple loops of the Rock here through to the Summer.
Getting away to France for a tour looks decidedly tricky with the current pandemic so will just have to suck it up.
Taxc bike on order so may be able to rig up some virtual mountain passes on the TV for a bit of variety!

I'm hoping that as things ease a bit here I can have the occasional weekend in Limburg to experience something hilly...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 17, 2021, 03:22:40 pm
Cheers.
Multiple loops of the Rock here through to the Summer.
Getting away to France for a tour looks decidedly tricky with the current pandemic so will just have to suck it up.
Taxc bike on order so may be able to rig up some virtual mountain passes on the TV for a bit of variety!

I'm hoping that as things ease a bit here I can have the occasional weekend in Limburg to experience something hilly...

J


(Googles Limburg)
Ah yes day one of TCRno5. Cutting across the bottom of "Flat" Holland en route to the Rhine. Just East of Maastricht. "What the heck this is hilly  AF!"  Passed an Amstel Gold banner somewhere along the way there abouts. That will be a good spot to get some ups in for sure.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 17, 2021, 05:46:41 pm
(Googles Limburg)
Ah yes day one of TCRno5. Cutting across the bottom of "Flat" Holland en route to the Rhine. Just East of Maastricht. "What the heck this is hilly  AF!"  Passed an Amstel Gold banner somewhere along the way there abouts. That will be a good spot to get some ups in for sure.

I remember dot watching that, as all these dots headed for the Rhine, and thinking "Has noone heard of the Ardennes?" That area is lumpy!

I have a few routes planned for such things as Signal 3 ways:

https://www.strava.com/routes/15790729

Three times up the highest point in Belgium, from the three different sides. It's the biggest climb that isn't too far away. It's not quite the 2000+m passes that we're going to need to do, but it's a start.

This route is 1500m of climbing,  in 100km of Limburg. I think I can do it a day including train too/from Ams:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768987201649032028

Closer to home I have a couple of routes ready to go once we're allowed to move again, 50km and 100km of the same basic hill, only an hour or so by train from home:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2770453097311889426

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768984576381740978

Closer to home, this is 900m of climbing and just 30 mins away by train:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768986031791470540

But I can't do much with any of them until lockdown eases a bit.

The closest thing I have to a hill nearby is this route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/10586184

I use the word Hill loosely...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: slugbait on January 17, 2021, 05:58:32 pm
This route is 1500m of climbing,  in 100km of Limburg. I think I can do it a day including train too/from Ams:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768987201649032028


If the aim is to maximize elevation/distance and you don't mind doing loops: up Cauberg and down Daalhemmerweg. 90m of climbing in 5km (or 1800m in 100km). Otherwise loop 2 of Amstel Gold Race, where you switch to loop 3 in Eys, is also an excellent training route.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 17, 2021, 06:02:10 pm
If the aim is to maximize elevation/distance and you don't mind doing loops: up Cauberg and down Daalhemmerweg. 90m of climbing in 5km (or 1800m in 100km). Otherwise loop 2 of Amstel Gold Race, where you switch to loop 3 in Eys, is also an excellent training route.

I was trying to avoid short loops, esp of the same hill. Otherwise I may as well try everesting... and that's just crazy talk. (Someone has Everested Kopje van Bloemendaal..!?!?!)

Do you have a route for what you call loop 2 and loop 3? I'm not familiar with the Amstel Gold route.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on January 17, 2021, 10:19:48 pm
I've withdrawn. 

I wouldn't want to do an event this big unless I could give it my all.  Last year I was prepared to focus on it and junk the rest of the season, but this year I've developed other goals, and the new route and race format just isn't inspiring me to lay everything else aside. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Ivo on January 17, 2021, 10:54:33 pm
If you use some of the first/last parts of my 200/300km events you'll find some properly hilly rides starting out from Maastricht Youthhostel. Especially my 300 to Bastogne and Huy did have a reputationl. Don't do this one when all places to warm up are closed.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: slugbait on January 18, 2021, 07:25:26 am

Do you have a route for what you call loop 2 and loop 3? I'm not familiar with the Amstel Gold route.


It is signposted, but this is comes close to what I meant: https://climbfinder.com/nl/routes/amstel-gold-race

(And Kopje van Bloemendaal has been everested: https://www.nhnieuws.nl/nieuws/270039/jacco-heeft-zijn-doel-bereikt-263-keer-het-kopje-op-fietsen)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 18, 2021, 01:16:04 pm
I've withdrawn. 

I wouldn't want to do an event this big unless I could give it my all.  Last year I was prepared to focus on it and junk the rest of the season, but this year I've developed other goals, and the new route and race format just isn't inspiring me to lay everything else aside.

Sorry to hear Karla. Bets of luck with the other goals.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on January 19, 2021, 05:41:17 pm
You’ve definitely got to be excited and motivated by the event and route if you’re going to get through the tough times. Got to be in the right head space.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 19, 2021, 09:36:03 pm
(Googles Limburg)
Ah yes day one of TCRno5. Cutting across the bottom of "Flat" Holland en route to the Rhine. Just East of Maastricht. "What the heck this is hilly  AF!"  Passed an Amstel Gold banner somewhere along the way there abouts. That will be a good spot to get some ups in for sure.

I remember dot watching that, as all these dots headed for the Rhine, and thinking "Has noone heard of the Ardennes?" That area is lumpy!

I have a few routes planned for such things as Signal 3 ways:

https://www.strava.com/routes/15790729

Three times up the highest point in Belgium, from the three different sides. It's the biggest climb that isn't too far away. It's not quite the 2000+m passes that we're going to need to do, but it's a start.

This route is 1500m of climbing,  in 100km of Limburg. I think I can do it a day including train too/from Ams:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768987201649032028

Closer to home I have a couple of routes ready to go once we're allowed to move again, 50km and 100km of the same basic hill, only an hour or so by train from home:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2770453097311889426

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768984576381740978

Closer to home, this is 900m of climbing and just 30 mins away by train:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2768986031791470540

But I can't do much with any of them until lockdown eases a bit.

The closest thing I have to a hill nearby is this route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/10586184

I use the word Hill loosely...

J
You could simulate steeper hills with panniers full of rocks.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 19, 2021, 11:17:55 pm

You could simulate steeper hills with panniers full of rocks.

That would involve fitting panniers... And a rack...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 20, 2021, 05:55:51 am

You could simulate steeper hills with panniers full of rocks.

That would involve fitting panniers... And a rack...

J
The alternative would be to make a template then cast a “full frame bike packing bag” in concrete for a budget version, or cut from plywood with spaces for cast iron weight lifting weights.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: mattc on January 23, 2021, 12:33:07 pm
Diving weight belt?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on January 23, 2021, 12:43:29 pm
Couple of bladders full of water in bike packing bags
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 24, 2021, 08:35:40 am
Just work harder... you don't need contraptions to simulate a climb.
The thing with a climb, is that you can't get away by pushing 2 W/Kg... you simply won't go up... so you need to up your game. It is perfectly possible to push harder on the flat. If you need to simulate an half an hour climb, then push harder for half an hour
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 08:58:14 am
Just work harder... you don't need contraptions to simulate a climb.
The thing with a climb, is that you can't get away by pushing 2 W/Kg... you simply won't go up... so you need to up your game. It is perfectly possible to push harder on the flat. If you need to simulate an half an hour climb, then push harder for half an hour
Don’t be silly, of course you can go up hills at 2W/kg. You just go up at half the speed of 4W/kg, so perhaps doing 10km/h compared to someone else doing 20km/h.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 24, 2021, 09:42:46 am
Many TCR folk put out quite a bit less than 200 watts a few days into a long race. Put a tired 100kg me (including bike) putting out not much over 100 watts on a >10% grade and I am down to about 3km/h. It is hard to balance at that speed, particularly in a gusty headwind.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 24, 2021, 09:47:46 am
Just work harder... you don't need contraptions to simulate a climb.
The thing with a climb, is that you can't get away by pushing 2 W/Kg... you simply won't go up... so you need to up your game. It is perfectly possible to push harder on the flat. If you need to simulate an half an hour climb, then push harder for half an hour
Don’t be silly, of course you can go up hills at 2W/kg. You just go up at half the speed of 4W/kg, so perhaps doing 10km/h compared to someone else doing 20km/h.

It depends on the hill. 2w/kg for a 70kg person is 140w. A 70kg rider on a 15kg bike, going up a 5% hill at 10.7kph is 150w.

Up that gradient to 10% is 5.44kph at 140w.

Except. last time I did an FTP test it was about 120w. And I am a long way off 70kg.

For my weight, at 140w, on a 10% incline the speed would be 4.04kph. My lowest gear is 28:40, which at 50rpm, is 4.5kph. Even if I did have 2w/kg at my current weight, that 10% hill would be done at 5.75kph. Which at least is a better cadence of somewhere between 60 and 65 rpm...

To bring this to my standard rant that stock bikes gearing is too high, a 34:34 gear, at 50RPM is 6.4kph. Which on that 10% hill, would require 223w at my current weight, and 165w at 70kg... a 30:34 GRX setup would be 147w at 70kg, and 5.7kph (50 rpm).

Obviously these numbers don't take every single thing into account, but they give a rough indication of the power involved. I'd like to have an ftp of 2w/kg. But as yet, I'm not there. Not even 1.5w/kg. Maybe that will improve as I lose weight. And as my Coach's inputs start to reap benefits.

My current training for hills involves a lot of headwind work. Tho today I am going to go ride up and down the Kopje a few times...

J

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 24, 2021, 10:18:59 am
Most people don't realise how little power you need to ride reasonably well over a long distance.  Here are my figures.

When I was riding the TCR in 2016, by the time I got to the alps, I was riding on the flat and up modest climbs at around 100W.  The first steep climb, the Grosse Scheidegg in the afternoon of day 4, forced me out of my comfort zone - I had to go up it at 120W.  I probably did similar up the Giau two nights later.  And I came 33rd out of about 105 finishers.

Of course, you need a lot more power to be at the sharp end. James Hayden shouted a greeting as he passed me as I was packing away my shopping outside a supermarket just before the start of the Grosse Scheidegg.  He had had a day out at the first checkpoint with a chest infection and was now storming back through the field.  He got through the parcours in about half the time that it took me.  I would guess he probably did the GS climb at something around 350W (his data is public so it will be in his Strava) - but that is not typical of most riders. 

It is surprising how slow you can go on a bike when going faster is not possible.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 10:19:09 am
Many TCR folk put out quite a bit less than 200 watts a few days into a long race. Put a tired 100kg me (including bike) putting out not much over 100 watts on a >10% grade and I am down to about 3km/h. It is hard to balance at that speed, particularly in a gusty headwind.
Looking at my PBP 2019 I was 68 hours elapsed start to finish (including sleep and other stops)  and according to strava I was averaging 101W and at just shy of 90kg that is   about 1.1w/kg.

If what is being discussed is ftp then that is a different matter. You obviously don’t want to be having to go anywhere near ftp on a long event.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 24, 2021, 10:28:00 am
Davef, those numbers sound pretty similar to my PBP99, a comfortable <70 hr finish and about 75kg naked weight. FTP when racing a few years earlier was above 350W for much the same weight.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 24, 2021, 11:00:26 am
Most people don't realise how little power you need to ride reasonably well over a long distance.  Here are my figures.

Agreed.

Quote
When I was riding the TCR in 2016, by the time I got to the alps, I was riding on the flat and up modest climbs at around 100W.  The first steep climb, the Grosse Scheidegg in the afternoon of day 4, forced me out of my comfort zone - I had to go up it at 120W.  I probably did similar up the Giau two nights later.  And I came 33rd out of about 105 finishers.

How much did you weigh tho? how fast were you going up the climbs? A lot of it also depends on the gradient. The Italian Parcour in TCRNo7 had some 30% gradients, I don't know how many people actually rode up that bit.

Quote
Of course, you need a lot more power to be at the sharp end. James Hayden shouted a greeting as he passed me as I was packing away my shopping outside a supermarket just before the start of the Grosse Scheidegg.  He had had a day out at the first checkpoint with a chest infection and was now storming back through the field.  He got through the parcours in about half the time that it took me.  I would guess he probably did the GS climb at something around 350W (his data is public so it will be in his Strava) - but that is not typical of most riders. 

It is surprising how slow you can go on a bike when going faster is not possible.

Yep, I completed RatN2019 by not sleeping much, rather than going quick. I still walked every hill in Limberg as I had no power left.

Looking at my PBP 2019 I was 68 hours elapsed start to finish (including sleep and other stops)  and according to strava I was averaging 101W and at just shy of 90kg that is   about 1.1w/kg.

If what is being discussed is ftp then that is a different matter. You obviously don’t want to be having to go anywhere near ftp on a long event.

Remind me, how many 1300m ascents are there on PBP?

The CP2 parcours has a 1300m height difference between start and highest point. It does that over 27km. Which if I understand my maths is an average gradient of 4.8%. If I'm doing 5kph (which sounds about right given fuck all power numbers such as Frank suggests, and being 2000km into the event, means doing it for over 5 hours.

When an effort is that long, then FTP does come into it, as by definition you're basically doing your FTP. For hours on end. If your FTP is low that is. Frank may have an FTP of 350w*, and may do this climb at 120w. That's about 1/3rd of his ftp pre race. If mine is 120w, and I do that climb at 1/3rd of my pre ride FTP, then that's 40w...

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

This is why Frank rightly persuaded me to remove the usb-werk from my bike. Because the ~7w it uses to charge my battery pack up, is a significant proportion of the little power I currently have. That 5w reduction (Dyno hub is still going to have 2w resistance when off), is relevant when your power is so damn low.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ep9JWm0W4AIbW-d?format=jpg&name=4096x4096)

I'm not sure how to ride up a 72% incline... I'm guessing I'll walk that bit...

That's veloviewer's take on CP3. I think there are some mapping errors in there.

J

* Apologies if this is insultingly low. It's based on the number I've seen a couple of other TCR riders produce in recent FTP tests they put out on twitter.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 11:34:14 am
When an effort is that long, then FTP does come into it, as by definition you're basically doing your FTP. For hours on end.
I thought the definition of ftp as the maximum power you can sustain for 1 hour and no more. So I don’t think you will be doing your ftp for hours on end.
Title: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 11:59:39 am
When an effort is that long, then FTP does come into it, as by definition you're basically doing your FTP. For hours on end.
I thought the definition of ftp as the maximum power you can sustain for 1 hour and no more. So I don’t think you will be doing your ftp for hours on end.
Edit - re : 1300m of ascent, 5 hours is optimistic.
Re: 72% surely an error, that is roping up territory.

Edit again. 100% means 45 degrees, so maybe overly cautious with the roping up comment.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 24, 2021, 12:14:27 pm
Just for comparison, climbing the Galibier the day after finishing a UAF600, I averaged well under 100W with lots of necessary rest stops and self-reproachment. Climbing the Tourmalet the day after a UAF1000 a couple of years later, I averaged somewhat under 200W at about half the speed of the Strava KOM.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: grams on January 24, 2021, 01:17:46 pm
When an effort is that long, then FTP does come into it, as by definition you're basically doing your FTP. For hours on end. If your FTP is low that is. Frank may have an FTP of 350w*, and may do this climb at 120w. That's about 1/3rd of his ftp pre race. If mine is 120w, and I do that climb at 1/3rd of my pre ride FTP, then that's 40w...

I'd expect very high FTPs to be much less sustainable than more mundane ones, so the ratios won't be constant. I think my numbers are something like 180 vs 90.

You'd do well to invest in a power meter if you want to keep track of this stuff.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 24, 2021, 01:26:11 pm


It depends on the hill. 2w/kg for a 70kg person is 140w. A 70kg rider on a 15kg bike, going up a 5% hill at 10.7kph is 150w.

Up that gradient to 10% is 5.44kph at 140w.

Except. last time I did an FTP test it was about 120w. And I am a long way off 70kg.



Given those numbers, it seems to me you would be better off prioritising losing weight, over doing hill training at this stage. There is a long way to go between now and TCR, and if you can lose a kg a week between now and April, then you will be in a much better place to train effectively, with still plenty of time to do things properly.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 24, 2021, 01:58:42 pm

Don’t be silly, of course you can go up hills at 2W/kg. You just go up at half the speed of 4W/kg, so perhaps doing 10km/h compared to someone else doing 20km/h.

I don't quite recognise your numbers... I do hill climb races, typically anything between 5.5 and 6.5 W/kg depending on the length (2-10 minute climbs). The only race where i climbed at over 20 km/h was Walbury hill, it probably averages 6%...

At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 24, 2021, 03:12:13 pm
At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%

Rubbish!  It's very hard to fall off a bike from going too slowly. 
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 24, 2021, 03:31:48 pm

How much did you weigh tho? how fast were you going up the climbs? A lot of it also depends on the gradient. The Italian Parcour in TCRNo7 had some 30% gradients, I don't know how many people actually rode up that bit.
... Apologies if this is insultingly low.

I was about 72kg and went slowly up the climbs.  The reason I was doing 120W rather than 100 is because I needed to put in a bit more effort to keep moving and stay on.   Lots of climbs might include some short ramps that are very steep but the duration is important.  The Grosse Scheidegg and Giau both had about 10km at slightly under 10%.  They are steep climbs, but not stupid. 

The hardest thing I have ridden up is Hardknott.  It has two short sections which are 30% but the average is 14%.  It is in the UK so it isn't very long, maybe 3km.  I don't know if the TCR one was like that.  If it was, I would have certainly been walking.  When Mike was running the TCR, everything was rideable - it didn't have the crazy parcours which have now become a feature.

My FTP at the time would have been around 230W.  50-60% of FTP is what most people can generally manage on an ultrarace.

If you can do your FTP for much more than an hour, it's not your FTP!  There are well-established power curves which show, for an FTP of X, what your power should be as % of X, for durations from a few seconds upwards.  If you are significantly below your curve at any point it generally shows a lack of training for that duration. 

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 24, 2021, 03:47:24 pm
 

The hardest thing I have ridden up is Hardknott.  It has two short sections which are 30% but the average is 14%.  It is in the UK so it isn't very long, maybe 3km.  I don't know if the TCR one was like that.  If it was, I would have certainly been walking.  When Mike was running the TCR, everything was rideable - it didn't have the crazy parcours which have now become a feature.


I did Hardknott as part of the Fred Whitton, it comes after about 90 miles and after Kirkstone, Honister and Whinlatter, among others. I did go up only because I had a 1:1 gear ratio (34 x 34)... very hard to keep the balance at ridiculously low speed... majority of riders got off and walked and I am not talking about folks with 1.5 W/Kg FTP, more like 3, which you need if you want to finish the event before they close down the HQ.

Before that, I had never seen anything similar, and even after... maybe Bushcome lane in the Cotswolds briefly matches it... but no Wrynose, no Bwlch-Y-Groes are that brutal

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 04:03:52 pm
 

The hardest thing I have ridden up is Hardknott.  It has two short sections which are 30% but the average is 14%.  It is in the UK so it isn't very long, maybe 3km.  I don't know if the TCR one was like that.  If it was, I would have certainly been walking.  When Mike was running the TCR, everything was rideable - it didn't have the crazy parcours which have now become a feature.


I did Hardknott as part of the Fred Whitton, it comes after about 90 miles and after Kirkstone, Honister and Whinlatter, among others. I did go up only because I had a 1:1 gear ratio (34 x 34)... very hard to keep the balance at ridiculously low speed... majority of riders got off and walked and I am not talking about folks with 1.5 W/Kg FTP, more like 3, which you need if you want to finish the event before they close down the HQ.

Before that, I had never seen anything similar, and even after... maybe Bushcome lane in the Cotswolds briefly matches it... but no Wrynose, no Bwlch-Y-Groes are that brutal
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20210124/e94f9614f9ea039549a7d64132a76a57.jpg)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 04:12:10 pm
At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%

Rubbish!  It's very hard to fall off a bike from going too slowly.
I completely agree. If your gears are low enough to keep the wheels turning bikes balance themselves at very low speeds, way slower than walking pace. Balance goes when you don’t have gears low enough to keep turning.

I have a comedy 20 tooth small chaining I sometimes fit to my CX bike for silliness.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 24, 2021, 04:17:31 pm
 

The hardest thing I have ridden up is Hardknott.  It has two short sections which are 30% but the average is 14%.  It is in the UK so it isn't very long, maybe 3km.  I don't know if the TCR one was like that.  If it was, I would have certainly been walking.  When Mike was running the TCR, everything was rideable - it didn't have the crazy parcours which have now become a feature.


I did Hardknott as part of the Fred Whitton, it comes after about 90 miles and after Kirkstone, Honister and Whinlatter, among others. I did go up only because I had a 1:1 gear ratio (34 x 34)... very hard to keep the balance at ridiculously low speed... majority of riders got off and walked and I am not talking about folks with 1.5 W/Kg FTP, more like 3, which you need if you want to finish the event before they close down the HQ.

Before that, I had never seen anything similar, and even after... maybe Bushcome lane in the Cotswolds briefly matches it... but no Wrynose, no Bwlch-Y-Groes are that brutal
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20210124/e94f9614f9ea039549a7d64132a76a57.jpg)

Yes, but that is a hundred yard long, it's not even a climb, it's a very steep bump... and if you take the bend on the opposite side is not 40%... besides, it's one way going down. IMO Hardknott is unparallelled, because of sustained gradient and the gradient comes in the form of vicious bends, whereas other steep climbs are easier to deal with because they are straight (Bwlch-Y-Groes, Wrynose for instance)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 04:22:51 pm

Don’t be silly, of course you can go up hills at 2W/kg. You just go up at half the speed of 4W/kg, so perhaps doing 10km/h compared to someone else doing 20km/h.

I don't quite recognise your numbers... I do hill climb races, typically anything between 5.5 and 6.5 W/kg depending on the length (2-10 minute climbs). The only race where i climbed at over 20 km/h was Walbury hill, it probably averages 6%...

At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%
If you go up a 6% hill at 20km/h using 6W/kg then you would go up a 4% hill at 20km/h using 4W/kg. Using 2W/kg would go up at 10km/h.

It is difficult to know how much power is being lost but in terms of vertical m gained it takes 9.8W to raise 1kg by 1m in 1 second (on earth, other planets are available)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 24, 2021, 04:55:13 pm

Don’t be silly, of course you can go up hills at 2W/kg. You just go up at half the speed of 4W/kg, so perhaps doing 10km/h compared to someone else doing 20km/h.

I don't quite recognise your numbers... I do hill climb races, typically anything between 5.5 and 6.5 W/kg depending on the length (2-10 minute climbs). The only race where i climbed at over 20 km/h was Walbury hill, it probably averages 6%...

At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%
If you go up a 6% hill at 20km/h using 6W/kg then you would go up a 4% hill at 20km/h using 4W/kg. Using 2W/kg would go up at 10km/h.

It is difficult to know how much power is being lost but in terms of vertical m gained it takes 9.8W to raise 1kg by 1m in 1 second (on earth, other planets are available)

Yes, possibly, but is 4% even a climb?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 24, 2021, 04:57:26 pm
I think you can get bogged down on power data in general and particularly for the ultra events where so many other factors can affect how you are moving forward.
Fatigue, heat, injuries, state of mind, riding style, perhaps age, the terrain and conditions that you regularly train in.

My ballpark power figs are 3.5 w/kg or there about.

On first TCR I had gearing of just over 1:1
Second one exactly 1:1 and it wasn't enough! Cue multiple ugly incidents of a destroyed rider trying to clip in on super steep slopes wasting precious energy.
The new set up is 0.72 and shorter cranks and flat pedals.

My power figures suggest that 1:1 would be sufficient, but its not. I like riding up hills, but perhaps Im not very good at it.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 05:20:13 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 24, 2021, 05:45:15 pm

Given those numbers, it seems to me you would be better off prioritising losing weight, over doing hill training at this stage. There is a long way to go between now and TCR, and if you can lose a kg a week between now and April, then you will be in a much better place to train effectively, with still plenty of time to do things properly.

I am prioritising the advice I get from my coach over everything else. They know more about this than me, and more than many people on this forum. Which is why I am happy giving her a large chunk of money each month.

As for losing 1kg per week. That would mean a deficit over the week of 9000kcal. or 1286kcal per day. With a recommended daily intake for a woman of 2000kcal. That would mean living on 700kcal per day. Which is about 3 mars bars. or 15 apples, depending on which unit of energy you prefer to use.

Or, I could just go for some bike rides. 9000kcal is only about 360km. Which is not too high an amount for a week's training...

Today's ride was 1291kcal...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 06:06:06 pm

Given those numbers, it seems to me you would be better off prioritising losing weight, over doing hill training at this stage. There is a long way to go between now and TCR, and if you can lose a kg a week between now and April, then you will be in a much better place to train effectively, with still plenty of time to do things properly.

I am prioritising the advice I get from my coach over everything else. They know more about this than me, and more than many people on this forum. Which is why I am happy giving her a large chunk of money each month.

As for losing 1kg per week. That would mean a deficit over the week of 9000kcal. or 1286kcal per day. With a recommended daily intake for a woman of 2000kcal. That would mean living on 700kcal per day. Which is about 3 mars bars. or 15 apples, depending on which unit of energy you prefer to use.

Or, I could just go for some bike rides. 9000kcal is only about 360km. Which is not too high an amount for a week's training...

Today's ride was 1291kcal...

J
That seems very sensible. It also avoids the body going into starvation panic mode. It is always a combination of exercise and sensible eating that works for me.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 24, 2021, 06:10:46 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.

Gentler on the knees though.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on January 24, 2021, 06:47:27 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.

Gentler on the knees though.

Not so sure about that. Sure angle of knee is less at top of stroke (assuming you keep bottom of stroke angle the same) but you need to put more force through the knee to generate the same torque. Mind unless the cranks are significantly shorter, the difference isn’t that great.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 24, 2021, 07:04:30 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.

Gentler on the knees though.

Not so sure about that. Sure angle of knee is less at top of stroke (assuming you keep bottom of stroke angle the same) but you need to put more force through the knee to generate the same torque. Mind unless the cranks are significantly shorter, the difference isn’t that great.

The physics is correct so what you normally do is have lower gearing to compensate.

It then becomes easier on your knees as the angle at the top of the pedal stroke is a bit less acute.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 24, 2021, 07:09:07 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.

Gentler on the knees though.

Not so sure about that. Sure angle of knee is less at top of stroke (assuming you keep bottom of stroke angle the same) but you need to put more force through the knee to generate the same torque. Mind unless the cranks are significantly shorter, the difference isn’t that great.

The physics is correct so what you normally do is have lower gearing to compensate.

It then becomes easier on your knees as the angle at the top of the pedal stroke is a bit less acute.
I am sure Archimedes said something similar in αρχές του στροφαλοθάλαμου in 340bc
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on January 24, 2021, 07:23:13 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.

Gentler on the knees though.

Not so sure about that. Sure angle of knee is less at top of stroke (assuming you keep bottom of stroke angle the same) but you need to put more force through the knee to generate the same torque. Mind unless the cranks are significantly shorter, the difference isn’t that great.

The physics is correct so what you normally do is have lower gearing to compensate.

It then becomes easier on your knees as the angle at the top of the pedal stroke is a bit less acute.
I am sure Archimedes said something similar in αρχές του στροφαλοθάλαμου in 340bc

His bikes used to rust though as he was always in the bath. Plus his cranks moving in water involved different force dynamics.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on January 24, 2021, 10:09:23 pm
Shorter cranks make it a little bit harder.

Gentler on the knees though.



Not so sure about that. Sure angle of knee is less at top of stroke (assuming you keep bottom of stroke angle the same) but you need to put more force through the knee to generate the same torque. Mind unless the cranks are significantly shorter, the difference isn’t that great.

The physics is correct so what you normally do is have lower gearing to compensate.

It then becomes easier on your knees as the angle at the top of the pedal stroke is a bit less acute.
I am sure Archimedes said something similar in αρχές του στροφαλοθάλαμου in 340bc

His bikes used to rust though as he was always in the bath. Plus his cranks moving in water involved different force dynamics.

Don't listen to him. He had a screw loose.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Paul H on January 24, 2021, 10:25:35 pm
Or, I could just go for some bike rides. 9000kcal is only about 360km. Which is not too high an amount for a week's training...

Today's ride was 1291kcal...

J
I really do wish you every success with that, though you would be the first and I hope it isn't a plan you're relying on.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 24, 2021, 11:17:37 pm

I really do wish you every success with that, though you would be the first and I hope it isn't a plan you're relying on.

I lost 15kg in 9 months without changing my diet. Just by cycling more.

I only put some of the weight back on when I got ill.

Weight loss is simple, eat less, move more. If you're struggling to eat less, move even more... That's what I did.

My challenge now is not over training.

Yes, possibly, but is 4% even a climb?

Yes. Yes it is. Anything above 0% is a climb. It's kinda implicit in the fact that a positive gradient is used.

Is it a big climb? not for some people, for others it is.

A complete newbie who's got a stock bike from the local bike shop, or decathlon may well find a 4% incline a challenge. Esp if it goes on for a really long time.

To say "Pah, is that even a hill?" is hardly the best attitude.

You'd do well to invest in a power meter if you want to keep track of this stuff.

There are no dual sided power meters that work with my setup. I have Shimano M8000 2x11 drive train with 28/38 at the front. I have yet to find a dual sided power meter that will do this. Not to mention just how expensive a power meter is.

I'd love to have one, but currently budget says no.

Next big purchase is upgrading the brakes.

I was about 72kg and went slowly up the climbs.  The reason I was doing 120W rather than 100 is because I needed to put in a bit more effort to keep moving and stay on.   Lots of climbs might include some short ramps that are very steep but the duration is important.  The Grosse Scheidegg and Giau both had about 10km at slightly under 10%.  They are steep climbs, but not stupid. 

Yeah, it's how long the ramp lasts for that can be key. Some of the hills in limburg look benign on paper, until you realised the 15%+ ramps in the middle.

Quote

The hardest thing I have ridden up is Hardknott.  It has two short sections which are 30% but the average is 14%.  It is in the UK so it isn't very long, maybe 3km.  I don't know if the TCR one was like that.  If it was, I would have certainly been walking.  When Mike was running the TCR, everything was rideable - it didn't have the crazy parcours which have now become a feature.

The parcours in the earlier editions certainly seem to be more suitable for actual humans. That's for sure.

Quote

My FTP at the time would have been around 230W.  50-60% of FTP is what most people can generally manage on an ultrarace.

Unfortunately 50-60% of my FTP (tho I've not measured it recently, but doubt it's grown significiantly), would be about 60-70 watts. Not enough to get up any significant rise...

Quote
If you can do your FTP for much more than an hour, it's not your FTP!  There are well-established power curves which show, for an FTP of X, what your power should be as % of X, for durations from a few seconds upwards.  If you are significantly below your curve at any point it generally shows a lack of training for that duration.

Yeah, it think I've misinterpreted how FTP works. Not having a power meter it's largely been abstract to me.

This does make me wonder how things like the Super Randonnee rides work. To complete 10000m of climbing in 600km in 60 hours, climbing must be done at a really significant proportion of FTP.

Yes, but that is a hundred yard long, it's not even a climb, it's a very steep bump... and if you take the bend on the opposite side is not 40%... besides, it's one way going down. IMO Hardknott is unparallelled, because of sustained gradient and the gradient comes in the form of vicious bends, whereas other steep climbs are easier to deal with because they are straight (Bwlch-Y-Groes, Wrynose for instance)

Nope, it's a climb... The fact that nearly all of us would have to get off and walk it, is a good indication that it's not just a bump.

I think you can get bogged down on power data in general and particularly for the ultra events where so many other factors can affect how you are moving forward.
Fatigue, heat, injuries, state of mind, riding style, perhaps age, the terrain and conditions that you regularly train in.

My ballpark power figs are 3.5 w/kg or there about.

On first TCR I had gearing of just over 1:1
Second one exactly 1:1 and it wasn't enough! Cue multiple ugly incidents of a destroyed rider trying to clip in on super steep slopes wasting precious energy.
The new set up is 0.72 and shorter cranks and flat pedals.

My power figures suggest that 1:1 would be sufficient, but its not. I like riding up hills, but perhaps Im not very good at it.

Exactly, this is part of what really annoys me when people say things like "A 1:1 gear is enough for anyone!" or "with a 30:34 you'll be spinning up those hills".

I stand by my belief that pretty much all off the shelf bikes have gearing that is just too high.

We're not Marriana Vos, we're not Anna van de Bregen, I wish they'd stop selling bikes like we all are.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Paul H on January 24, 2021, 11:31:25 pm

I really do wish you every success with that, though you would be the first and I hope it isn't a plan you're relying on.

I lost 15kg in 9 months without changing my diet. Just by cycling more.

I only put some of the weight back on when I got ill.

Weight loss is simple, eat less, move more. If you're struggling to eat less, move even more... That's what I did.

My challenge now is not over training.
OK, I'll be in the queue to get the book signed. I do like the idea that weight loss is simple  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 25, 2021, 12:08:36 am

OK, I'll be in the queue to get the book signed. I do like the idea that weight loss is simple  :thumbsup:

It really is. The equation is easy. If energy in is less than energy out, the reserves will be used. When reserves are used, weight goes down.

Making that work in practice can be difficult for some, but that's how it works. If you had a steady weight, and started cycling 20km per day (say to work and back), you'd burn an additional ~500kcal per day. 3500kcal a week.

That's at a level you probably won't feel too hungry by, and it's quite a sustainable weight loss.

If you're an idiot (which according to popular opinion on yacf, I am), then you can do other crazy energy expenditure things.

Get up in the morning skip breakfast. Get on the bike. Ride 75km. Your body is going to hate you for it. It won't be pleasant. You won't enjoy it, you won't be quick. But if you're stubborn enough, your body will do it. You have about 2000kcal of glycogen in your body you should be able to do 80km without needing to fuel. But we're not used to it, and you won't enjoy the process.

A couple of years ago in Belgium 150km into a 300k ride, I was riding along singing. A fly decided to sacrifice itself to the cause of silence, and hit me in the back of the throat. I puked. Lost all of my lunch. And then my stomach refused to accept any more food. I did the remaining 150km through the Ardennes, I finished an hour over time, but until 20km from the end when my body would accept a KitKat, i was unable to put any food in. I did 150km on an empty stomach. It was horrible, I would not recommend it. I hit the wall and went through it. But I did finish. I am 30kg over weight. In theory I could do 10000km without needing to eat, just water and some vitamin pills. It just would not be a pleasant experience to do so and would have other annoying side effects. There was a experiment done where an overweight subject was given water and vitamin tablets, and nothing else for several months. He lost lots of weight, but was otherwise unharmed.

Eat less, move more. If you can't eat less, move a whole lot more. If you're not racing, if you're not chasing the clock, you'd be surprised how little you actually need to eat for a given distance.

The challenge with losing weight is to do it in such a way you don't lay in bed unable to sleep cos you're hungry... The rest is just simple maths.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 25, 2021, 08:25:37 am


As for losing 1kg per week. That would mean a deficit over the week of 9000kcal. or 1286kcal per day. With a recommended daily intake for a woman of 2000kcal. That would mean living on 700kcal per day. Which is about 3 mars bars. or 15 apples, depending on which unit of energy you prefer to use.


Simplistic...

You don't need a 9K calorie deficit to lose a kg, simply because when you lose 1kg, only some of it is fat, you also lose water, probably around half of it is going to be water, since you are made up of 60% water or thereabout, maybe less in your case, let's say 50. Then of course no process is 100% efficient... whilst in theory there are 9K calories in a kg of fat, that doesn't mean you can extract them all with zero loss.

1-2 pounds a week seems to be the guideline for weight loss and even I, when I had a BMI of 25, managed to lose a pound a week for about 3 months without starving myself. It shouldn't be difficult at all to double that, if you are much higher in BMI.

With that in mind, if your coach thinks it is more important to prioritise your climbing, then I agree you should follow the advice you pay for. At the end of the day, in some races I have been beaten by folks that I would call "fat", so it is possible to climb fast even with a few extra kg... it just makes it harder.

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 25, 2021, 10:55:50 am
Simplistic...

Well yes, it's a forum post, not a peer reviewed journal article. What are you expecting?

Quote
You don't need a 9K calorie deficit to lose a kg, simply because when you lose 1kg, only some of it is fat, you also lose water, probably around half of it is going to be water, since you are made up of 60% water or thereabout, maybe less in your case, let's say 50. Then of course no process is 100% efficient... whilst in theory there are 9K calories in a kg of fat, that doesn't mean you can extract them all with zero loss.

Um, no. To lose 1kg of body fat, you need to burn 1kg of body fat. That means 9000kcal. Water loss is something that is so variable that it should not be factored into weight loss. Being dehydrated one day vs the next. This is why I don't weigh myself in the few days after a long ride, as it takes a couple of days for the body to stabilise.

Quote

1-2 pounds a week seems to be the guideline for weight loss and even I, when I had a BMI of 25, managed to lose a pound a week for about 3 months without starving myself. It shouldn't be difficult at all to double that, if you are much higher in BMI.

Um, why would I be losing pounds? If I wanted to lose 1-2 euros, I'd buy some fries...

Yes. It is the guidance from pretty much everyone seems to be to try to lose 500-1000g per week for safe, sustained weight loss. 500g of body fat is 4500kcal or 642kcal per day over 7 days. Which is about 26km of cycling.

I'm sure someone here suggested cycling about 20km per day as a way to lose weight... who was that?

Quote
With that in mind, if your coach thinks it is more important to prioritise your climbing, then I agree you should follow the advice you pay for. At the end of the day, in some races I have been beaten by folks that I would call "fat", so it is possible to climb fast even with a few extra kg... it just makes it harder.

"You don't look like a cyclist" I am often told.

I saw a doctor a couple of years back.

"Do you exercise?"

"I ride my bike"

"Do that more"

8 Weeks later, I walk into his office.

"You told me I need to cycle more. Since our last appointment I've done 2072km, which is less than the 2500km I did in the 8 weeks before the last appointment. I'm worried I am not able to cycle more than I already am"

The look on his face was priceless.

No doubt I'd struggle a lot more if I lived somewhere that wasn't pancake flat.

I have about 26 weeks until the race. Any weight loss will help me. Full on starvation will not help me either with training, or with keeping the weight off.

My biggest concern is over training. Cos I know I've done that in the past, which is why I have a coach, to guide me through this, so I don't fuck it up.

J

Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 25, 2021, 12:05:17 pm


Um, why would I be losing pounds? If I wanted to lose 1-2 euros, I'd buy some fries...


I must have lost track of how the conversation ended up with you wanting to improve your climbing... but typically one comes to a forum to ask for advice. If then said person (look at me avoiding the use of pronouns!) is not prepared to accept advice and pays a  coach who has already devised a personalised training program, then I wonder why are we here discussing things that need no discussion?

Do what your coach says, you'll be fine, you'll be in peak condition for TCR and you'll fly up those mountains, 100kg and all
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 25, 2021, 12:11:16 pm
QG is joking about imperial vs. metric weight vs. Pounds sterling vs. Euros.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: fimm on January 25, 2021, 01:29:25 pm
I didn't notice QG asking for advice. She was talking about her plans and preparation. I thought this was a thread for people to talk about such things?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 25, 2021, 02:33:21 pm
I must have lost track of how the conversation ended up with you wanting to improve your climbing... but typically one comes to a forum to ask for advice. If then said person (look at me avoiding the use of pronouns!) is not prepared to accept advice and pays a  coach who has already devised a personalised training program, then I wonder why are we here discussing things that need no discussion?

Do what your coach says, you'll be fine, you'll be in peak condition for TCR and you'll fly up those mountains, 100kg and all

You see, if you'd been on the forum longer than 5 months, you would know that I am forever banging on about how barbaric it is that people still use Imperial units. You'd know that I also live in the Eurozone. Thus the opportunity to make a joke about metric vs imperial, with a little bit of a EU reference for added measure, is too good to pass up.

Afterall, who in their right mind wouldn't use the metric system?


Fimm is quite right. In this thread, I didn't come for advice. You can tell when I do, as the thread has probably reached double digit pages, and resulted in at least 4 different misunderstandings, three topic shifts, and yet more reinforcement of the popular opinion of yacfers that I am infact, a complete idiot.

Why are we discussing things that need no discussing? Because to the closest approximation, we are all human, we all have relatively similar interests, and we're making small talk. You'll notice we have discussed bears, road quality, route ideas, who should or should not race, if anyone other than the pointy end are actually racing.

Now I did ask for some advice on climbing, back in November 2019:

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=114141.msg2446370#msg2446370

In the immediate few posts after that, there was lots of really good stuff from very experienced riders who's opinion I value. People who have completed the TCR as well as other ultraraces.

But having reread the whole thread, that's the only point I've come close to asking for advice, and you weren't even in the forum then.

I come to the forum cos it's lockdown, its my day off, and a lot of the people on the forum say things I want to hear. I might not agree with everyone, I may not like everyone, but I do value the opinion of many of them.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: DuncanM on January 25, 2021, 02:50:23 pm
This may not be the thread, but how does your coach set your training zones if you do not have a power meter?  HR? (And is that how you are calculating your calorie burn?) Unless you have some known issue regarding imbalances I would suggest that a single sided power meter is better than no PM, and there are pedal power meters available for all major pedal systems except speedplay now. There's no such thing as a cheap accurate PM though - you know your budget and how well what you do is working better than anyone else.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 25, 2021, 02:51:56 pm
This may not be the thread, but how does your coach set your training zones if you do not have a power meter?  HR? (And is that how you are calculating your calorie burn?) Unless you have some known issue regarding imbalances I would suggest that a single sided power meter is better than no PM, and there are pedal power meters available for all major pedal systems except speedplay now. There's no such thing as a cheap accurate PM though - you know your budget and how well what you do is working better than anyone else.

I pedal on flats...

We are using a HRM.

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Zed43 on January 25, 2021, 06:31:13 pm
PowerTap G3 hub (https://www.ebay.nl/itm/NIB-PowerTap-G3-Rear-Disc-Hub-32-Hole-160mm-Rotor-ANT-Shimano-HG-NEW-IN-BOX/184511509424), but it's 527 euro and then you still need to build a wheel with it.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Davef on January 27, 2021, 11:51:19 am
At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%
Thinking about this, at 6W/kg do you struggle to keep balance on anything over 21-24% ?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on January 27, 2021, 11:54:02 am
At 2W/Kg you'll struggle to keep balance on anything over 7-8%
Thinking about this, at 6W/kg do you struggle to keep balance on anything over 21-24% ?

yes, if it keeps going, I do... as I said earlier, Hardknott is difficult mainly because of low speed and balance issues. There aren't many climbs which have a long section at that kind of gradient
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Karla on January 27, 2021, 12:07:02 pm
PowerTap G3 hub (https://www.ebay.nl/itm/NIB-PowerTap-G3-Rear-Disc-Hub-32-Hole-160mm-Rotor-ANT-Shimano-HG-NEW-IN-BOX/184511509424), but it's 527 euro and then you still need to build a wheel with it.
Powertaps frequently come up on eBay for much less than that.  Greenbank was selling a Powertap wheel on here for a couple of hundred quid not so long ago, I think.  Needing disc brakes will thin the field a bit, but I'd definitely look out for one if I wanted a cheap PM.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on January 27, 2021, 01:57:02 pm
Even cheaper is the Powertap PowerCal, which estimates power based on your heart rate.  Sounds suspect, but it reviewed well (DC Rainmaker).

Not much use for short duration sprint intervals but pretty good for pacing longer efforts.

https://www.cyclepowermeters.com/powertap/powertap-powercal.html (https://www.cyclepowermeters.com/powertap/powertap-powercal.html)

I've had one for a few years (they cost a lot less when I got mine) and it's not bad.  Mine measures much lower than other PMs - although most people don't get that - and it's fine as long as I don't try to make direct comparisions with other data.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: DuncanM on January 27, 2021, 02:53:32 pm
I got a non-disk Powertap G3 wheelset for £100 last year and used it in CX. Disk tends to make it more expensive, and there can be issues with accuracy after they are worn due to the design. Left only PMs are only a couple of hundred quid - it might not be the full picture but it's better than nothing.
However, if QG is happy with their current training regime, I think we're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. :)
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Frank9755 on February 04, 2021, 06:04:07 pm
Mail from Anna.
It looks like people who lost out in the ballot will get places, plus there is an opportunity for others from underrepresented minorities to apply.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on February 04, 2021, 08:41:07 pm
Power tap power cal review

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2012/11/cycleops-powercal-in-depth-review.html
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 16, 2021, 12:09:16 pm
Succumbed to life on the turbo this month to mimic hill climbing for TCR.  A mountain climb every day on the taxc neo app. The plan is to ride at least 30 to 35 k vertical which is, I think, about the height ridden in the event, all be it in a month rather than a week.
On previous TCR's its the mountains that have beaten me up. The Mangart/Visric on TCRno6 looms large in the memory.   At 80 odd kilos I'm never going to fly up the hills but figured some solid base training would set the climbing legs in good stead. Previously I have chosen a local bump outside and done repeats, but I don't think it really simulates a long climb in the same way. Too much resting on the way down every five mins. The turbo however...really drains the batteries. Ive resisted adding 10 kilos to my weight profile to account for the bike weight because erm...I can't face the thought of it right now! Maybe a loaded simulation or two next month after recovery.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on February 18, 2021, 02:29:56 pm
My guess is that it won't happen again...

There is a momentum gathering around the necessity of having a vaccine to cross borders and the average TCR punter won't get a jab by the summer, making things exceedingly complicated.
Second best is to have a PCR test, which again is not compatible with racing across nations
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on February 18, 2021, 02:48:09 pm
My guess is that it won't happen again...

There is a momentum gathering around the necessity of having a vaccine to cross borders and the average TCR punter won't get a jab by the summer, making things exceedingly complicated.
Second best is to have a PCR test, which again is not compatible with racing across nations

I'm having similar fears. On the plus side, it'll mean more time to train, but I guess that also means a 3rd set of controls...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 18, 2021, 05:28:57 pm
My guess is that it won't happen again...

There is a momentum gathering around the necessity of having a vaccine to cross borders and the average TCR punter won't get a jab by the summer, making things exceedingly complicated.
Second best is to have a PCR test, which again is not compatible with racing across nations

Yup thats certainly conceivable, but I will continue to train on the assumption that its going ahead. If it doesn't then ahh well.
It seems a little other worldly out here on the Island. After a nasty flare up before Christmas we are now down to 4 active cases, two of which were imported and diagnosed quickly.
The vaccination programme is forging ahead, though not at the rate it is in the UK that seems to be leading the field.
I would have thought that with the vaccinations moving quickly herd immunity or at least approaching it would be possible by the Summer?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Geriatricdolan on February 18, 2021, 06:01:48 pm

I would have thought that with the vaccinations moving quickly herd immunity or at least approaching it would be possible by the Summer?

Herd immunity simply means that mathematically the virus is prevented from having an Rt>1. If on average, without restrictions, you infect 3 others, if two are vaccinated, then you only infect one. However, the vaccine doesn't fully prevent infection and transmission, so the level of vaccinations required for an effective herd immunity might be well over 80%, which will never realistically be achieved, unless you start vaccinating kids too.
Also, apparently the new mutations have a higher R0, hence on average you might infect 5 without restrictions, meaning you need 4 of them (80%) to be vaccinated... and to that you need to add the fraction of immunised who still pass the virus, so maybe 90% is the safe level?
More to the point, even in the UK was to achieve something close to herd immunity, that will not be the case in continental Europe for some time.

And then of course there is the paranoia of new mutations being imported, which will inevitably lead to borders being hard to pass for the all of  2021
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: Lightning Phil on February 18, 2021, 07:04:32 pm
Succumbed to life on the turbo this month to mimic hill climbing for TCR.  A mountain climb every day on the taxc neo app. The plan is to ride at least 30 to 35 k vertical which is, I think, about the height ridden in the event, all be it in a month rather than a week.
On previous TCR's its the mountains that have beaten me up. The Mangart/Visric on TCRno6 looms large in the memory.   At 80 odd kilos I'm never going to fly up the hills but figured some solid base training would set the climbing legs in good stead. Previously I have chosen a local bump outside and done repeats, but I don't think it really simulates a long climb in the same way. Too much resting on the way down every five mins. The turbo however...really drains the batteries. Ive resisted adding 10 kilos to my weight profile to account for the bike weight because erm...I can't face the thought of it right now! Maybe a loaded simulation or two next month after recovery.

I’ve done Mt Ventoux on the turbo and it’s certainly a tired set of legs that climb off. Are you trying to do the sessions at a constant effort that replicates the pacing you might do up an alpine scale pass in the race?
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on February 18, 2021, 08:48:38 pm
Succumbed to life on the turbo this month to mimic hill climbing for TCR.  A mountain climb every day on the taxc neo app. The plan is to ride at least 30 to 35 k vertical which is, I think, about the height ridden in the event, all be it in a month rather than a week.
On previous TCR's its the mountains that have beaten me up. The Mangart/Visric on TCRno6 looms large in the memory.   At 80 odd kilos I'm never going to fly up the hills but figured some solid base training would set the climbing legs in good stead. Previously I have chosen a local bump outside and done repeats, but I don't think it really simulates a long climb in the same way. Too much resting on the way down every five mins. The turbo however...really drains the batteries. Ive resisted adding 10 kilos to my weight profile to account for the bike weight because erm...I can't face the thought of it right now! Maybe a loaded simulation or two next month after recovery.

I’ve done Mt Ventoux on the turbo and it’s certainly a tired set of legs that climb off. Are you trying to do the sessions at a constant effort that replicates the pacing you might do up an alpine scale pass in the race?

That was the plan, but I  have ended up selectively doing interval training on various segments so its kind of all over the place. It will help with the local road race season here that starts next month I suppose but galloping up a climb at 250 watts certainly isn't in my playbook for TCR! I figured that if I do a ton of climbing even at varying intensities its got to set up a good base. 18 days in and Im certainly feeling the effects in the fatigue department about now. A couple of all-day climbs is probably prudent too. We have a new turbo arriving some time in the near future that should be a better fit than the current setup so I think Ill wait for that before attempting a 6 hour horror show.
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: quixoticgeek on March 04, 2021, 05:36:31 pm


Not sure how to quantify how training is going. But I'm down about 2kg on the body mass.

Just another 30 to go...

J
Title: Re: TCR no8.
Post by: morbihan on March 04, 2021, 06:04:23 pm


Not sure how to quantify how training is going. But I'm down about 2kg on the body mass.

Just another 30 to go...

J
good effort. Im sure you will be fine even if you don't shed another 30.
Still tapping out the virtual climbs at this end with the goal of being less shit in the mountains. Really loving the scenery on the films.
Ive given up on the prospect of shedding weight on the grounds that my new bike is fooking heavy anyway.
Im a little freaked by the new variants leaping around in covid world and not so sure if the race will have to be pulled. Too early to gauge, but concerning.'