Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Racing => Topic started by: quixoticgeek on November 30, 2018, 05:36:14 pm

Title: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 30, 2018, 05:36:14 pm


Route is out. This one's going East to West, finishing in Brest!

* Start: The Black Sea coast Bulgaria.
* Control Point (CP) 1: Buzludzha Monument, Shipka, Bulgaria
* Control Point (CP) 2: Vranje, Serbia
* Control Point (CP) 3: Passo Gardena, Corvara, Italy
* Control Point (CP) 4: L'Alpe d'Huez, France
* Finish: Brest, Brittany, France

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on November 30, 2018, 08:01:42 pm
 :thumbsup:


( Until I saw the new route, I didn't realise the "old" pattern was getting a bit stale! )

Looks straightforward - I've ridden up Alpe D'Huez, and ridden to Brest a couple of times on no sleep. Surely the rest would just work itself out, no?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kev Sp8 on December 03, 2018, 09:49:11 am
My entry is in. I'm hopeful of a place as I was a CP1 volunteer this year.

Already lots of discussion centered on the amount of gravel riding in this year's edition. CP2 Parcours is an 80km stretch! Apparently the ascent of Alpe D'huez for CP4 parcours will also be a bit feral.

I'm now feeling quite smug, having built up a new bike with potential for massive tyre clearance and new, very strong, tubeless compatible wheels. I do though, have sympathy for those on a tight budget who are going to have to make do with whatever they've got.

Even with my setup, I'm already leaning towards the idea of carrying, or at least planning to obtain, tyres specific to the rough stuff purely for use on those sections, with road rubber being in place for the remainder.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: k_green on December 03, 2018, 10:25:33 am
I'm really curious how going the other way and therefore moving from poor road surfaces and more infrequent services to, for many people, more familiar territory, will play into dropouts and the like. Dealing with rough roads and poor driving is easier when you're fresh as long as you can remember it is likely to get better.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Scrantaj on December 03, 2018, 10:29:16 am
The Parcours for CP 2 shouldn't be that bad from the look of it.  Similar in nature the the gravel sections in the Giro this year.  The road is used by motor vehicles in the summer and should be well packed and solid.

Alpe D'Huez could be more of a challenge given the fact that the current Parcours in the race manual is "for illustration purposes only".  References to TCR "doing things differently", there being "multiple routes that are a lot less simple than the smooth tarmac of the traditional route" and specific mention of the Megavalance downhill endurance race  and Pic Blanc make me think we could be looking at a gravel climb all the way to the cable car station at the top of Pic Blanc.  There is a gravel route up over the Col de Sarenne that leads onto the trails to the summit and then down into Huez town itself.  With the CP in Ornon we would be going down the hairpins, not up them. 
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kev Sp8 on December 03, 2018, 11:55:56 am
I'm really curious how going the other way and therefore moving from poor road surfaces and more infrequent services to, for many people, more familiar territory, will play into dropouts and the like. Dealing with rough roads and poor driving is easier when you're fresh as long as you can remember it is likely to get better.

Yeah, that thought had occurred to me too. Every pedal stroke will be taking me closer to home!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2018, 02:14:05 pm
I'm really curious how going the other way and therefore moving from poor road surfaces and more infrequent services to, for many people, more familiar territory, will play into dropouts and the like. Dealing with rough roads and poor driving is easier when you're fresh as long as you can remember it is likely to get better.

Generally the further east you go, the easier it is to get food and accomodation.  In the Balkans, hotels are plentiful, open late and cheap and it's easier to sleep outside when it's hot.  And often the road surfaces are mostly pretty good in eastern Europe - although you can be unlucky. 

I think it will be psychologically harder to go from east to west, knowing that you will be heading for colder weather where you will be more likely to need more layers in the evenings, have more chance of rain, and have to search harder to find food and water.  Also headwinds will be more likely, especially on that final diagonal across France.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: k_green on December 03, 2018, 02:28:22 pm
I'm really curious how going the other way and therefore moving from poor road surfaces and more infrequent services to, for many people, more familiar territory, will play into dropouts and the like. Dealing with rough roads and poor driving is easier when you're fresh as long as you can remember it is likely to get better.

Generally the further east you go, the easier it is to get food and accomodation.  In the Balkans, hotels are plentiful, open late and cheap and it's easier to sleep outside when it's hot.  And often the road surfaces are mostly pretty good in eastern Europe - although you can be unlucky. 

I think it will be psychologically harder to go from east to west, knowing that you will be heading for colder weather where you will be more likely to need more layers in the evenings, have more chance of rain, and have to search harder to find food and water.  Also headwinds will be more likely, especially on that final diagonal across France.

Thanks for that perspective, I was just basing it off social media! Really interested to see how this plays out know, seems like there are swings and roundabouts to both directions (as you'd expect) but we've only explored one set so far.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2018, 02:37:51 pm
Yes, it will definitely throw up some different psychological challenges going this way. 

Another is that, in the past, there has been the motivation of reaching an exotic goal, somewhere you've probably not been to before but seen pictures of, etc.  While Brest has some cachet from PBP, it is not a very nice place and the weather is often not great!  Also it is the one part of the PBP route that is not much fussed about PBP.   
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: k_green on December 03, 2018, 03:10:07 pm
Yes, it will definitely throw up some different psychological challenges going this way. 

Another is that, in the past, there has been the motivation of reaching an exotic goal, somewhere you've probably not been to before but seen pictures of, etc.  While Brest has some cachet from PBP, it is not a very nice place and the weather is often not great!  Also it is the one part of the PBP route that is not much fussed about PBP.   

Yes, I wondered about that aspect! I was almost tempted to try TCRno.5 (despite complete unsuitability of my fitness, my personality, bike and finances) based on the images of Meteora!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Scrantaj on December 03, 2018, 03:37:59 pm
Yes, it will definitely throw up some different psychological challenges going this way. 

Another is that, in the past, there has been the motivation of reaching an exotic goal, somewhere you've probably not been to before but seen pictures of, etc.  While Brest has some cachet from PBP, it is not a very nice place and the weather is often not great!  Also it is the one part of the PBP route that is not much fussed about PBP.   

Part of the appeal for me on this one is the fact that getting home will be much easier!  Assuming I finish.  Brest to Roscoff, ferry to Plymouth, train home.  All much easier to arrange at short notice and no stress about packing up the bike, flights etc.

Worst case scenario the family could actually drive over and meet me at the finish.
 
If the weather is a repeat of this year riding into cooler weather could actually be a relief as well.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2018, 04:03:15 pm
Yes, different things to think about.  Relief from the heat could be a big motivator to push on. 
These are the kind of things that you tend to dwell on during the long, lonely periods.  One can think about it beforehand, but can't know for sure how it will feel at the time. 

The final ride across France might be tough.  Tempting to think that, in the overall context, it's a roll-in from the top of Alpe d'Huez.  But it is almost a full Diagonale so a worthy long-distance ride in itself, against the prevailing wind on very tired legs!


Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on December 03, 2018, 05:27:11 pm
Interesting view points Frank.
I'm with Scrantaj on the whole "riding towards cooler weather" and (for a majority of the riders) "riding back towards home, as being a huge carrot.
I hope that you have been given the all clear by the doc and are free to ride next year.

Good luck to all of you who are entering.

Jonah.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on December 03, 2018, 07:27:55 pm
Meanwhile, there is some VERY mild whining on FB about the gravel, and owning bikes without decent tyre clearance.

I'm thinking that were I in that situation, I'd just ride 25mm and take a spare tyre; it would do no harm at all to replace your most worn tyre before crossing France anyway (at which point you'd be chucking an old tyre away - boom, you're now riding with 300g less luggage :P )
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on December 03, 2018, 07:35:42 pm
If you take your time there will be plenty of roadside facilities on the run into Brest.

(You'd be looking at around 31 days. The TCR lanterne rouge last year took about 40 days, so it could happen...)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2018, 08:58:34 pm
Meanwhile, there is some VERY mild whining on FB about the gravel, and owning bikes without decent tyre clearance.

I'm thinking that were I in that situation, I'd just ride 25mm and take a spare tyre; it would do no harm at all to replace your most worn tyre before crossing France anyway (at which point you'd be chucking an old tyre anyway - boom, you're now riding with 300g less luggage :P )

Yes, saw that. Whatever the terrain is, it would be fine on 25s. Just might have to take more care descending, but you're not going to ride a slow tyre for 3820km to go a bit faster for 80km
.
A tyre won't wear out in that distance but it might get cut up. I've never carried a spare but, having had to replace a tyre on both tcr and indypac (both damaged on tarmac) I'll concede it's not the worst idea. Although a tyre has to be badly damaged not to be bootable. And they're not exactly heavy but the bulk is more of an issue.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2018, 09:01:53 pm

I hope that you have been given the all clear by the doc and are free to ride next year.


Yes thanks, I'm now fully repaired and doctor reckons I should be fitter than before. More importantly, my wife is open to the idea of me doing a long race this year, hence me getting excited by this thread!
I think I read somewhere that you're sitting it out this year?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on December 03, 2018, 09:27:41 pm

I hope that you have been given the all clear by the doc and are free to ride next year.


Yes thanks, I'm now fully repaired and doctor reckons I should be fitter than before. More importantly, my wife is open to the idea of me doing a long race this year, hence me getting excited by this thread!
I think I read somewhere that you're sitting it out this year?

Thats great news. I'll look forward to following you.
Yes, year off for me. It was pretty intense and a little selfish time wise the last couple of years prepping for the event, so next year we plan to do a bicycle tour together with the dogs in a trailer instead. I'd like to have had a crack at one of the shorter events, specifically Normandicat or Gravel Tro Breizh, but they are a bit too early in the year.
We will be based in Brittany for the Summer so will likely apply to volunteer for the finish. If we are not required we will certainly ride out and catch as many of the riders as we can en route during the final miles.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2018, 10:20:42 pm

Thats great news. I'll look forward to following you.
Yes, year off for me. It was pretty intense and a little selfish time wise the last couple of years prepping for the event, so next year we plan to do a bicycle tour together with the dogs in a trailer instead. I'd like to have had a crack at one of the shorter events, specifically Normandicat or Gravel Tro Breizh, but they are a bit too early in the year.
We will be based in Brittany for the Summer so will likely apply to volunteer for the finish. If we are not required we will certainly ride out and catch as many of the riders as we can en route during the final miles.

That will be bliss!
I look forward to when my (wife judges that my) daughter is ready to go on a tour with us in her trailer.
if I get a place and make it to Brittany, it would be great to see you.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 03, 2018, 11:18:55 pm

Gravel stretches are to be expected with the TCR, but the length and scope of them on this edition looks like quite a bit higher level than maybe the last couple of years (based on dotwatching, rather than riding, I may be wrong). It's making me reconsider tyre choices. Might have to see what I can find in .nl by way of rough stuff to train on...

With the traditional Belgium -> Greece route I had in my head that, it's the last 1000km that scared me most. It's all unknown territory. With the East -> West route, the biggest unknowns are all in the first couple of thousand km, when I hope to be freshest. Also meaning that the worn out bike parts stuff is going to happen in France, rather than the Balkans.

Carrying extra tyres, to swap depending on terrain, if you can swap the tyres in 20 mins, and you do it twice, that's 80 minutes total, plus the extra ~600g or so of weight to lug up the hills. I wonder how much slower you'd have to be on road tyres on the gravel, to make it worth swapping to gravel tyres for the gravel bits. And conversely how much slower you'd have to be over 3700km with gravel tyres, to make it worth the swap the other way. I'm trying to decide between Schwalbe G-One TLE all round, and Conti GP5000-TL.

Main down side of East -> West is the last ~1000km through France where you can't wear headphones to listen to music/podcasts/audiobooks etc...

I need to finish my application.

J

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 04, 2018, 11:18:45 am
TBH it doesn't sound much different from previous years.  The Sarajevo control last year sounded pretty tough and the strada bianchi stretch in 2015 was also tough.  In 2016 many of us did a couple of hours of gravel in Macedonia. 

Unless you absolutely need to because of damage, you definitely don't want to stop and swap tyres!  Definitely don't plan for it. 

Worth getting comfortable handling your bike for the gravel sections.  Go off road, where the mountain bikers go, ride as slowly as you can round tight corners, track stand, etc


Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 04, 2018, 11:44:48 am
TBH it doesn't sound much different from previous years.  The Sarajevo control last year sounded pretty tough and the strada bianchi stretch in 2015 was also tough.  In 2016 many of us did a couple of hours of gravel in Macedonia. 

Unless you absolutely need to because of damage, you definitely don't want to stop and swap tyres!  Definitely don't plan for it.

That was kinda what I was trying to convey, tho with somewhat excessive verbosity and circumlocution.

Quote

Worth getting comfortable handling your bike for the gravel sections.  Go off road, where the mountain bikers go, ride as slowly as you can round tight corners, track stand, etc

Mountain biking... in Holland... :p

But yeah, I took a short detour down some off road sections in the Veluwe on Saturdays DIY 200.

Might have to see if I can plan some nice off road routes in the Ardennes as part of my training...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on December 04, 2018, 11:56:29 am
Carrying extra tyres, to swap depending on terrain, if you can swap the tyres in 20 mins, and you do it twice, that's 80 minutes total, plus the extra ~600g or so of weight to lug up the hills. I wonder how much slower you'd have to be on road tyres on the gravel, to make it worth swapping to gravel tyres for the gravel bits. And conversely how much slower you'd have to be over 3700km with gravel tyres, to make it worth the swap the other way. I'm trying to decide between Schwalbe G-One TLE all round, and Conti GP5000-TL.
That's the sort of calculation I went through when commuting long distance, before deciding that tyres like M+ were not worth using. Overall, I saved more time by riding on faster tyres and repairing punctures now and then.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Peat on December 04, 2018, 01:06:23 pm
If you take your time there will be plenty of roadside facilities on the run into Brest.

(You'd be looking at around 31 days. The TCR lanterne rouge last year took about 40 days, so it could happen...)

I'm a little uneasy about the folk who enter and have zero intention of even trying to make it under the time cut. It's over subscribed, so chances are they have deprived someone from having a proper go.

Do you really need the numbered cap if you're just going on a tour?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on December 04, 2018, 02:02:33 pm
If you take your time there will be plenty of roadside facilities on the run into Brest.

(You'd be looking at around 31 days. The TCR lanterne rouge last year took about 40 days, so it could happen...)

I'm a little uneasy about the folk who enter and have zero intention of even trying to make it under the time cut. It's over subscribed, so chances are they have deprived someone from having a proper go.

Do you really need the numbered cap if you're just going on a tour?

I haven't done this race and nor am I likely to be able to, but it's something I've also seen in audax circles.   Riders taking part without the necessary experience, ability or planning*

It is my view that by entering you are taking away the chance of someone more able to take part.   Some organisers disagree, though, wanting to make their events accessible rather than encourage elitism.



* rider to me on the last day of LEL 2013 - 'it gets a bit cold overnight, my short sleeve jersey wasn't really enough'
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 04, 2018, 02:20:26 pm
I fully agree with the two posts above. 

Mike's philosophy was that he didn't want the TCR to be an elite event.  He encouraged people with limited experience to rise to the challenge and see what they could do, as long as they planned, prepared and approached it in the right way. 

People who give it their all but are not that quick and take a while are absolutely fine, but people who take a place then treat it as tour when they have the ability / experience to go much faster are not respecting the spirit of the event.

I've just put my entry in!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 04, 2018, 02:26:21 pm
TBH it doesn't sound much different from previous years.  The Sarajevo control last year sounded pretty tough and the strada bianchi stretch in 2015 was also tough.  In 2016 many of us did a couple of hours of gravel in Macedonia. 

Unless you absolutely need to because of damage, you definitely don't want to stop and swap tyres!  Definitely don't plan for it.

That was kinda what I was trying to convey, tho with somewhat excessive verbosity and circumlocution.

Quote

Worth getting comfortable handling your bike for the gravel sections.  Go off road, where the mountain bikers go, ride as slowly as you can round tight corners, track stand, etc

Mountain biking... in Holland... :p

But yeah, I took a short detour down some off road sections in the Veluwe on Saturdays DIY 200.

Might have to see if I can plan some nice off road routes in the Ardennes as part of my training...

J

First entry in google for Mountain Biking Amsterdam gives some nearer options:
https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12750144 (https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12750144)

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 04, 2018, 02:39:35 pm
Mountain biking... in Holland... :p

But yeah, I took a short detour down some off road sections in the Veluwe on Saturdays DIY 200.

Might have to see if I can plan some nice off road routes in the Ardennes as part of my training...

J

First entry in google for Mountain Biking Amsterdam gives some nearer options:
https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12750144 (https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12750144)

Oh there is off road stuff near by, but I'm gonna be spending a lot of time in the Ardennes getting hill training done. So being able to mix it up with some off road will be good.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on December 04, 2018, 02:48:04 pm
The verbiage on the front page TCR is this:
Quote
At the sharp end it is a beautifully hard bicycle race, simple in design but complex in execution. Factors of self reliance, logistics, navigation and judgement burden racers’ minds as well as their physiques. The strongest excel and redefine what we think possible while many experienced riders target only a finish.
So it seems he organisers are quite happy with people whose only goal is to finish the course.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on December 04, 2018, 03:01:34 pm
I fully agree with the two posts above. 

Mike's philosophy was that he didn't want the TCR to be an elite event.  He encouraged people with limited experience to rise to the challenge and see what they could do, as long as they planned, prepared and approached it in the right way. 

People who give it their all but are not that quick and take a while are absolutely fine, but people who take a place then treat it as tour when they have the ability / experience to go much faster are not respecting the spirit of the event.

I've just put my entry in!

that's exactly what he ephasised in his videos, talks and briefings. however, people being people, there will always be a proportion who interpret the rules and "spirit" their own (different) way. tcr became trendy and cool thing to do but it doesn't mean anyone willing should give it a go - it requires certain attitude, commitment, preparation etc.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 04, 2018, 03:20:50 pm
The verbiage on the front page TCR is this:
Quote
At the sharp end it is a beautifully hard bicycle race, simple in design but complex in execution. Factors of self reliance, logistics, navigation and judgement burden racers’ minds as well as their physiques. The strongest excel and redefine what we think possible while many experienced riders target only a finish.
So it seems he organisers are quite happy with people whose only goal is to finish the course.

Talking to racers from previous years, the really interesting stories often come not form the pointy end, but from the middle and bottom half of the field. Same as with Audaxes, where the full value riders often have the biggest adventure (so I'm told, I don't have enough experience as an Audax lantern rouge to comment... :p )

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on December 04, 2018, 03:45:26 pm
Mike's philosophy was that he didn't want the TCR to be an elite event.  He encouraged people with limited experience to rise to the challenge and see what they could do, as long as they planned, prepared and approached it in the right way. 

People who give it their all but are not that quick and take a while are absolutely fine, but people who take a place then treat it as tour when they have the ability / experience to go much faster are not respecting the spirit of the event.
This matches my understanding.  :thumbsup:

[It's not the only way to run a long-distance event e.g. I think LEL should have a slightly different "spirit" -  but that's for another thread! ]
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 04, 2018, 04:38:08 pm
There are always one or two people who take the piss. 

Finishing the route is no mean achievement.  During the application they ask what your objective is: top 10 place, just finish, etc.  There isn't a wrong answer, but dawdle round isn't given as an option!

Everybody has their stories.  Like with any long ride, you see, feel, taste, touch so much that one of the hard things is processing it all afterwards.

Mike could have set it up as an elite race and, when it was oversubscribed, selected the fastest people, like they do in a time trial.  That would have been perfectly valid but he decided not to do that.  He also didn't want people to be put off from entering because it was expensive.  It's way over-subscribed: they could double the entry fee but they choose not to.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on December 04, 2018, 07:22:26 pm
When is the Finishers Party (and/or deadline, cutoff, whaddeva) ?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on December 04, 2018, 07:52:52 pm
When is the Finishers Party (and/or deadline, cutoff, whaddeva) ?

IIRC there’s no official cut and the party is on night 15.

Happy to be corrected.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019 - start Fri Jul 26th
Post by: mattc on December 04, 2018, 08:02:55 pm
Thanks! [So Fri Aug 9th? Ish ... ]
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019 - start Fri Jul 26th
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 04, 2018, 08:38:50 pm
Thanks! [So Fri Aug 9th? Ish ... ]

Sunday 11th @1900 CEST. I believe, provisionally

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: FifeingEejit on December 04, 2018, 09:16:20 pm
Worth getting comfortable handling your bike for the gravel sections.  Go off road, where the mountain bikers go, ride as slowly as you can round tight corners, track stand, etc

Mountain biking... in Holland... :p

The Schoorl MTB track is rather nice, mix of woods and dunes, steep descents in the wooded bits too.
I was only holding back because I was on a strange bike and didn't have my MTB invincibility kit with me, like lid, padded shorts, gloves etc...

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 05, 2018, 08:36:53 am

Happy to be corrected.

The objective of the race is to make it to the finishers' party.  That is the cut-off to be included in the general classification (and you also need to be in time at the intermediate controls) with a place and a time, ie to be a 'full' finisher. 

If you finish later, everyone will have gone home and the controls won't be manned so you have to self-report your time. It still gets recorded but as an 'unclassified' finish without an official time or placing.

I remember Mike saying at my Finishers' party, after he'd congratulated us, that it he wanted the event to be hard with many people who were good riders not making it.  His words were something along the lines of 'your achievement is validated by the people who are still riding'.   

I'm pleased that they have gone back to 15 days rather than 16.  After I finished I chatted to Kristof, who had finished in around 9 days.  I asked if he was staying for the party and he said yes, it was something that he did for Mike.  It was great to have (almost) all the top riders at the party, so we could mingle, meet them and buy them beer, but if they make it later and it eats into another week, some won't be able to stay.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on December 05, 2018, 08:52:24 am
It's an interesting point in the James Hayden interview that he targets a fast finish but leaves some padding, saying that being there by day X in order to see family adds too much pressure to your ride.   Being there for the party means you can still race but be less time pressured if you're at the pointy end.   I'd say setting off with no intention of making the party is where you get into piss-take territory.

I was toying with setting a fast target for my, albeit shorter, long race next year with a view to getting home quickly and minimising lost work time, but this may be the wrong approach.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 05, 2018, 09:27:08 am
The most pressure I've ever put myself under was on indypac where I had a flight on, I think, day 20. I had targeted a finish on day 18 but, by day 7, it was clear that 6 days of headwinds had put me way off track. So I spent the next week constantly trying to cover as much ground as I could while doing mental arithmetic on average km per day to go, how fine I could cut it, what to do first when I got to Sydney (Hotel, pick up computer, buy clothes, etc)
At one point I cracked and decided I couldn't do it so had a curry and checked into a hotel at 8pm. Then I had two good days and it was back on, but the constant day after day pressure of a target that was tantalisingly just out of reach made it very hard.

When I did tcr I had hoped to finish on day 12 and booked a hotel for that night but didn't finish until mid morning the following day. That was a tiny bit of self inflicted pressure but manageable, and sorted out in 5 minute chat at reception when I arrived.

it's like a schedule for a12 or 24, psychologically so much better to be ahead of a target than falling behind one.

I've learned it's best to avoid any unnecessary deadlines.

My indypac one was a hard deadline. I wouldn't have minded buying another plane ticket, abandoning my computer or cycling straight to the airport and buying clothes there, but I had a client insisting I started a project on the Monday at the absolute latest.

Re tcr, lots of people are not very experienced and don't know how they will go. Before I did it I didn't know, I was going to hit the alps at 1200km, my previous known limit. I think that is fine if they are out of time but want to carry on. Also you get people for whom it is a stretch but not out of the question. Eg this year doug migden, a lovely bloke who is in his 60s and has done 3 or 4 tcrs made his first Finishers party and everyone was pleased for him. He has always given it his all but it has been just beyond him before. That's fine. Taking the piss is when you could do it in x days and doing it in x+y. 

The people who got widely criticised for not respecting the spirit of the race in 2017 were Ian To - who backed off when he was a podium contender after the banned road in Romania, but still came about 8th - and the pair who were going well but scratched to go to another event, who many believed had ridden with the intention of scratching on a particular date.  As well as the French guy who took 30+ days and posted loads of negative stuff on social media.

This year, James was targeting a particular time but, in the last couple of days, decided it was just out of reach, so - very sensibly - backed off a little, booked a hotel and gave himself a slightly easier ride in.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 05, 2018, 10:01:00 am
It's an interesting point in the James Hayden interview that he targets a fast finish but leaves some padding, saying that being there by day X in order to see family adds too much pressure to your ride.   Being there for the party means you can still race but be less time pressured if you're at the pointy end.   I'd say setting off with no intention of making the party is where you get into piss-take territory.

I was toying with setting a fast target for my, albeit shorter, long race next year with a view to getting home quickly and minimising lost work time, but this may be the wrong approach.

Assuming it's the same race I'm thinking. I'm targetting to finish it in 139 hours, which is the time limit if it was an Audax. But I'll be happy as long as I can finish it in the 178 hour time limit.

As for TCR, I'd like to finish, before the party, that is my target, anything else is a bonus.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 05, 2018, 11:04:30 am

Assuming it's the same race I'm thinking. I'm targetting to finish it in 139 hours, which is the time limit if it was an Audax. But I'll be happy as long as I can finish it in the 178 hour time limit.


Having two targets is a really good approach.  A stretch one and a one that you are confident you can achieve but you would still be happy with.  If you can't stay ahead of the first target, you focus on the second one and feel good about beating it rather than bad about falling behind the other one.
 
Ultimately, your ride is what it is.  As long as you've given it your best shot, if you don't hit a target it's not your riding that is at fault but your target-setting!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on December 05, 2018, 02:05:35 pm

Assuming it's the same race I'm thinking. I'm targetting to finish it in 139 hours, which is the time limit if it was an Audax. But I'll be happy as long as I can finish it in the 178 hour time limit.


Having two targets is a really good approach.  A stretch one and a one that you are confident you can achieve but you would still be happy with.  If you can't stay ahead of the first target, you focus on the second one and feel good about beating it rather than bad about falling behind the other one.
 
Ultimately, your ride is what it is.  As long as you've given it your best shot, if you don't hit a target it's not your riding that is at fault but your target-setting!

We should probably move this to the correct thread but my plan to get round in 5 days - which is do-able - involves getting back Sunday night and travelling home on the Monday which is a UK Bank Holiday.   It just depends how my recuperation goes as to whether I'll be able to sit on the bike for enough hours each day.   If I think I won't get there then I'll give my spot up before the second entry window, allowing someone else to ride.   Whilst I could leave it to the last minute I am fundamentally opposed to taking away the spot from a more able rider (this point is sort of on topic).
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on December 05, 2018, 04:36:42 pm
I aimed for the finishers party this year like pretty much all the regular riders, but after scratching the year before, my aim was to get to the finish whatever it took. To that end I booked a flight 3 weeks after the start. If it had taken longer I would have booked another ticket, but it would have been eye wateringly expensive to rebook back to Bermuda, so I was pretty desperate not to miss the flight.
Did all the proper prep in the lead up to give it my best shot (particularly regards route planning) and was in good nick up until 4 weeks before when I bust my pelvis. It was touch and go but managed to get to the start.  What really set me back though was heat exposure. Vomiting etc, the whole nine yards at the end of the first day. I haven't been able to fathom whether it was because I was a lot weaker from the break and enforced rest in the lead up or just one of those things, but it put the whole gig on the back foot. I tried to play catch up by riding through on a few occasions, but mid afternoons and on the climbs I was really struggling with the heat and my power was way down on the year before.
I bashed on and was on target for 17 days, but had a spectacularly shit day lost on gravel tracks in the back end of Bosnia, so ended up with 18 days.
Looking back at the ride profile there is a lot of off the bike faff time that on the face of it could be worked on, but TBH thinking back, I was so shagged with the heat and the weakness of a recent bone break that I was holed up in recovery mode during those stops. Efficiency is key.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 12, 2018, 07:06:44 am

Finally finished my application last night, and hit submit. Not sure if I have the right answers, but I've given it the best I can. Now comes the waiting for a month to find out if I got a place.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on December 23, 2018, 04:28:06 pm
There is a feature in the current edition of Bicycle Quarterly about my experience in this years TCR. Its not available online as Yan Heine runs a fairly small operation and, I imagine, counts on revenue from magazine sales to pay the bills. Its a lovely, well put together periodical though and very reasonably priced considering the quality. A great read if you are interested in ranndoneuring/cyclo touring and going long. The piece is pretty upbeat, though realistic and, I hope will give others an insight into this type of event.  There is a sample example of a previous edition of the magazine available on line here:-
https://www.bikequarterly.com/flip_book_2016_10_13/index.html
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Efrogwr on December 27, 2018, 11:54:09 am
There is a feature in the current edition of Bicycle Quarterly about my experience in this years TCR. Its not available online as Yan Heine runs a fairly small operation and, I imagine, counts on revenue from magazine sales to pay the bills. Its a lovely, well put together periodical though and very reasonably priced considering the quality. A great read if you are interested in ranndoneuring/cyclo touring and going long. The piece is pretty upbeat, though realistic and, I hope will give others an insight into this type of event.  There is a sample example of a previous edition of the magazine available on line here:-
https://www.bikequarterly.com/flip_book_2016_10_13/index.html

I guessed it was you! (Bermuda is a bit of a clue...) i'm looking forward to reading it.

I agree about Bicycle Quarterly.

Good luck with your long distance adventures.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 09, 2019, 09:16:31 pm


Have got a place on TCR no 7.

Ye god's I must be mad...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kev Sp8 on January 09, 2019, 09:26:23 pm
I've also had an offer of a place.  8)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 09, 2019, 11:02:25 pm
Me too
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivan on January 09, 2019, 11:09:05 pm
Ditto
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on January 10, 2019, 12:47:56 am
Delighted for you guys. I hope to be able to follow your #'s and perhaps meet you with a handshake/hug/beverage in Brest.
A truly awesome experience, of which you Frank, are already fully aware.
Good luck with the training, and don't slack off on the route planning!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: paddyirish on January 11, 2019, 04:18:04 pm
Congrats all.

Before today I thought you were nuts- then I saw for the first time that my local Supermarket sold 7 Days croissants.  I had one in your honour and now I know you are nuts.  :sick:

Good luck all...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: TigaSefi on January 14, 2019, 09:02:54 pm
Will there be a list of participants?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 15, 2019, 01:07:19 am
Will there be a list of participants?

This is normally posted nearer the time, as not everyone who is offered a place will accept.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on January 15, 2019, 06:47:01 pm
Fair few of the top shelf riders from prior years have not got a spot.  I think its possible that the guaranteed reentry requires a higher placing this year, though I may be wrong..it maybe that some of those riders have skipped a year so their previous top placing doesn't count, I'm not sure.
 There is still a policy of accepting all females (which I think is a good philosophy) and there has been the largest contingent entered for #7 to date.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 15, 2019, 07:35:23 pm
It's PBP so some people will want to ride that.
I heard that Bjorn Lenhard entered. He would be the obvious favourite, in the absence of anyone new on the scene. James didn't enter, having won it twice, he is looking for a new challenge
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on January 15, 2019, 07:46:00 pm
It's PBP so some people will want to ride that.
I heard that Bjorn Lenhard entered. He would be the obvious favourite, in the absence of anyone new on the scene. James didn't enter, having won it twice, he is looking for a new challenge

Oh I hadn't realised that James was sitting it out. That makes things interesting. Mathew F is super strong and is entered. That will be a good battle between him and Bjorn.
I actually meant that I had seen a few disappointed top riders on social media that had not secured a place despite entering.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 16, 2019, 09:14:21 am
Yes, having won it twice, James is looking at new challenges, although if Kristof had been up for a showdown he would have entered.  If Kristof had more of an ego he might want to beat James and show he was still the best, but I think he is pretty internally referenced!
Good that Matthew is coming back. He'll be a contender (if in good shape, etc) . Bjorn should be quicker based on last year's form but can't afford to screw up his routing again if he is close behind!
Who else has said in public they are not riding / didn't get a place?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on January 16, 2019, 08:08:01 pm
Raymond D. top 25 last year. I think one of the other French dudes too.  Ian To. (didn't race last year)  A fair few others but I now see they were lower down the field.
There are other events out there now which is great for the disappointed candidates.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 17, 2019, 05:35:42 am
I hadn't heard about Ian To.  I had a fair amount of sympathy for him but he was widely criticised for the way he responded to the dangerous road situation in 2017.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: PeterB on January 21, 2019, 08:54:32 pm
I don’t suppose anyone could recommend a decent wheelbuilder for a TCR proof rebuild of my rear wheel? Preferably London based.  Ta.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivan on January 22, 2019, 11:19:59 am
Pete at Rat Race Cycles has built quite a few TCR wheels and is widely recommended. I personally use Arup Sen (http://www.yogarup.com/wheels/) and will be getting him to build a new set for TCR once I decide on a flip-flop hub.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: PeterB on January 22, 2019, 12:56:04 pm
Thanks Ivan. Going to be using Arup I think.  Just deciding on hub.  Fixed wheel TCR!  100 percent success rate so far for fixie riders. You will be the third I think.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivan on January 22, 2019, 01:18:48 pm
I think fully fixed might be a step too far, so thinking of adding a freewheel to flip onto for descents, etc. Gearing choice is proving to be tricky for such a mixed terrain.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 22, 2019, 03:35:08 pm
Arup probably a good choice for re-building a wheel.  He did an unusual one for me a few years ago which was fine.  Lots of specialist wheelbuilders won't want to rebuild someone else's wheel, they would rather just do you a new one but I expect he'd be flexible.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 22, 2019, 04:30:14 pm

Doesn't help you much, but my wheels are going to be built by Stephen Vis (he of red hook crit fame).

As soon as I decide on which Hub and rims... Front is going to be a SON dynamo. Rear... not sure.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kev Sp8 on January 29, 2019, 11:24:09 pm
Mike Conway (23mm.co.uk) built me a beautiful, bomb proof dynamo disc wheelset for my TCR bike. (I'll probably ask him to re-build them closer to the time as they're going to take a hammering this year.)
Pacenti Forza rims, Sapim X-ray spokes, Dt Swiss 350 hub on the back, SON 28 on the front. I ride them tubeless and they're awesome.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on January 31, 2019, 12:28:06 pm
Thank you for submitting the final stage of your application for Trans Pyrenees Race No.1. You should hear whether your application as been successful by the first week of March 2019.

Gulp.

<Looking at the route on Streetview couldn't contrast more with thinking about the snow forecast for my commute home! >
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on January 31, 2019, 03:09:21 pm


What are peoples thoughts on tyres? I'm trying to decide between conti GP5000, and Schwalbe G-One Allround.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on January 31, 2019, 05:34:24 pm
My thought is first wait until we know what the parcours is round alpe d'huez.
If it is no worse than the earlier one then I'll go for a fast tyre. That might be the 5000 but I've not seen one yet so want too see how robust they are.
if that parcours is pretty rocky, like the Bosnia one last year, I might go for something chunkier.

Also depends on objectives and confidence in patching up broken tyres and if you want to carry a spare.

I'm not sure I want to risk tubeless after my experience last time
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on February 01, 2019, 12:17:39 pm
I had a look at some reviews for the Conti 5000.  They sound reasonably promising.  The 4000s were notorious for poor sidewalls - which would be an issue on the gravel sections.  Having had a sidewall puncture on a 4000 in IndyPac, and seen James Hayden have a near sidewall blowout with one last year, I would not use them.   But these are said to be better. 
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl-2018 (https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl-2018)

G-One Allround sound like tractor tyres.  G-One Speed sound more sensible, but I wouldn't use anything so off-road oriented for what is essentially a road ride.  I expect I'll go for either the Conti 5000 or Schwalbe Pro One.  Will decide nearer the time.  Will also decide about taking a spare.  I needed a new tyre on both TCR and IndyPac.  Chances are I wouldn't need one, but I expect decent tyres are hard to find before Austria.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on February 01, 2019, 06:54:07 pm
i rode about 80km of gravel roads during the tcr, some quite rough, some ok-ish on 25mm slick tyres. there's no denying that they were not suitable for those 5% of the ride, but the tyres (and i) survived. for the remaining 95% of the way these tyres were quite a lot better than a gravel oriented tyres would have been. perhaps 28mm tyre on wide (~21mm internal) rims is the sweet spot for the tcr type rides?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on February 01, 2019, 09:46:25 pm
That's probably about right.  The amount of off-road has increased in the last three years.  In 2016 there was no compulsory gravel section - although I managed to find 40km of it myself.

It would only be if they had 5 or 6 parcours with long rough stretches that it would start to make sense to use a different tyre.  Not gravel roads but rocky sections like the Sarajevo climb last year. 

I decided to get a couple of the Conti 5000s.  I ended up getting tubeless, as they are getting better reviews for sidewall strength than the tubed ones.  Bike-discount.de are doing them for €50 each which is a lot lower than UK retailers.
https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl-folding-tyre-806820 (https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl-folding-tyre-806820)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on February 03, 2019, 06:51:17 pm
If you take roughly 25 days you may find yourself entering Brest with 6,500 other riders.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on February 03, 2019, 06:54:41 pm
If you take your time there will be plenty of roadside facilities on the run into Brest.

(You'd be looking at around 31 days. The TCR lanterne rouge last year took about 40 days, so it could happen...)

You would come in on a much more southerly line from Alp D'Huez surely unless you made a big dog leg north first.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on February 06, 2019, 08:45:41 pm
Ref tires. I went with 44mm tubeless. (compass) and would do it again though possibly with 650b.
I cant see that they are any slower than thinner slicks on ultra races, and they sure are more comfortable. The key is that they are pliable and not tractor like.
I guess the racing snakes at the sharp end with deep wheels that are hitting high speeds would benefit from more aero tires but not for normal folk.
I guess bike/rider weight is a consideration too. A bantam weight guy's 32mm (Zigzag) is equivalent to another riders 40+mm.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on February 06, 2019, 10:48:34 pm
I guess the racing snakes at the sharp end with deep wheels that are hitting high speeds would benefit from more aero tires but not for normal folk.

It's more about priorities than benefit. Remember the slower rider benefits more than a faster one from being more aero because he spends more time in the wind!

Fwiw James Hayden said he would use 32s as a minimum of he was riding this year.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on March 05, 2019, 02:22:06 am
Mrs Morbihan will be a volunteer at the finish line in Brest.  I'll be lending a hand where I can (or staying out of the way if thats deemed more helpful. O:-))  The loose plan is to to acquire a panel van throw the bikes and dogs in the back and head on up from Morbihan. Looking forward to seeing the racers make their way North and listening to the adventures.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on May 29, 2019, 03:48:31 pm

After faffing around for way to long trying to find a Dutch insurance company that would cover me... I've finally sorted it. Paid my other half of my entry fee. Then booked a flight to Burgas. I'll be arriving on the Tuesday before the race.

I am absolutely terrified. Wtf have I just done.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on May 29, 2019, 07:26:48 pm
Committed to the adventure you want to have.  Good luck with ongoing preparations.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on June 27, 2019, 11:28:34 am
The start list is out:
https://www.transcontinental.cc/tcrno7-riders?fbclid=IwAR27MOcibAGeJvrf16Dlim1lC9VGfJ8oR7va1S81lONSVKdTlnbLtn6zwQc (https://www.transcontinental.cc/tcrno7-riders?fbclid=IwAR27MOcibAGeJvrf16Dlim1lC9VGfJ8oR7va1S81lONSVKdTlnbLtn6zwQc)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on June 27, 2019, 12:57:02 pm
The start list is out:
https://www.transcontinental.cc/tcrno7-riders?fbclid=IwAR27MOcibAGeJvrf16Dlim1lC9VGfJ8oR7va1S81lONSVKdTlnbLtn6zwQc (https://www.transcontinental.cc/tcrno7-riders?fbclid=IwAR27MOcibAGeJvrf16Dlim1lC9VGfJ8oR7va1S81lONSVKdTlnbLtn6zwQc)

Did you get an email announcing this ?

Unless I'm really failing an observation test, I'm not on the list...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on June 27, 2019, 12:58:47 pm


Observation fail. I'm #TCRNo7cap67.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Zed43 on June 27, 2019, 09:37:01 pm
Observation fail. I'm #TCRNo7cap67.
In your defence, command-F doesn't work because someone bright decided to publish the list as an image instead of an honest-to-god HTML table  :facepalm:

And maybe I'm just sentimental, but I appreciate they skipped cap #13 and #172.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on June 27, 2019, 11:30:00 pm
Observation fail. I'm #TCRNo7cap67.
In your defence, command-F doesn't work because someone bright decided to publish the list as an image instead of an honest-to-god HTML table  :facepalm:

I see hippy is 142 again. The image rather than text thing is a pain. Wonder what the reasons for that is.

Who else on yacf is riding? What's ya numbers?

Quote

And maybe I'm just sentimental, but I appreciate they skipped cap #13 and #172.

Last year cap 13 was printed up, and worn by Mike's mum. I dunno if that will happen every year tho.

172 was Frank?

I'm hoping that TCR doesn't leave me so broken I can't ride his memorial ride in September.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivan on June 28, 2019, 10:09:53 am
Cap 5 here, slightly freaked out by being the first of the unranked riders. At the moment, I'm mainly worrying about the whys and hows of running frrt.org this year whilst racing - getting the Spot feeds out of TL is always such a ball-ache, and I'm going to have plenty of those anyway :-)

I suspect the rider list was done as an image as works better when shared on FB, etc.?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on June 28, 2019, 10:17:06 am
Cap 5 here, slightly freaked out by being the first of the unranked riders. At the moment, I'm mainly worrying about the whys and hows of running frrt.org this year whilst racing - getting the Spot feeds out of TL is always such a ball-ache, and I'm going to have plenty of those anyway :-)

I suspect the rider list was done as an image as works better when shared on FB, etc.?

I'd say don't let it compromise your ride!  Freeroute is great, but the dot watchers will cope with just having trackleaders.  Main thing is it will be fair for everyone.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: PeterB on June 28, 2019, 10:20:57 am
I am rider 208.  Currently working hard on my route. 
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on June 28, 2019, 01:34:32 pm
I'm 155, which is my old number from 2016
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on July 03, 2019, 05:06:28 pm
Good luck all. We just completed a 3 day 1,100 km journey over the Derbyshire peaks with the bikes and on down here to Morbihan, Brittany arriving at lunch time today pretty tired. Would have been really tough if the bikes weren't in the back of the van. ;D
We are here for the Summer and will be heading up to help run the finish line in Brest for a week or so. Very much looking forward to waving you in.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Salvatore on July 20, 2019, 07:07:58 pm
 Mikko Mäkipää's kit list (in pictures) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkpaa/albums/72157709764168521).

It'll be his 7th TCR so I assume he knows what he's doing.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 20, 2019, 07:33:42 pm
Interesting to see where he put the chain link. Nice idea.  Tonnes of lights and wiring as well.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Salvatore on July 20, 2019, 07:55:37 pm
BTW it'll also be be his PBP kit.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Paul D on July 21, 2019, 06:09:16 am
BTW it'll also be be his PBP kit.

Only if he moves those aerobars back a bit  ::-)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 21, 2019, 08:37:02 am
BTW it'll also be be his PBP kit.

Only if he moves those aerobars back a bit  ::-)

A lot!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: yoav on July 21, 2019, 09:06:17 am
Glad to see sawing toothbrushes is still in vogue.

What’s the round thing with buttons on the handlebars?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Salvatore on July 21, 2019, 09:23:57 am

What’s the round thing with buttons on the handlebars?

Just a guess - remote control for his GoPro (mounted in front of the barbag)?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on July 21, 2019, 09:35:08 am
It’s a Garmin remote. Presumably touch screen phobic?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 22, 2019, 05:38:14 pm

Well I'm all packed up. Not looking forward to the night in the airport waiting for the stupidly early flight.

When are the rest of you arriving in Burgas?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Feanor on July 22, 2019, 07:04:51 pm
Can someone point me to the tracker page, please? I can't seem to find it.
From google, I see that previous years, it's been at trackleaders.com, but I don't see anything for this year.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 22, 2019, 07:20:13 pm
BTW it'll also be be his PBP kit.

What exactly is his plan? Take it easy and arrive in Paris on time for the start of PBP and complete TCR when he arrives in Brest. Or do a double PBP: cycle to Brest via Paris, cycle back, and do PBP?  Both options are what the Finnish would call "sisu" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisu).

@quixoticgeek: Good luck!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 22, 2019, 07:26:42 pm
Can someone point me to the tracker page, please? I can't seem to find it.
From google, I see that previous years, it's been at trackleaders.com, but I don't see anything for this year.

Thanks.

It's not live yet. It can be found by finding last year's page, and replacing the 8 with a 9 in the URL...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivan on July 23, 2019, 08:35:22 am
Flew into Sofia on Sunday and have been hanging out here for the last couple of days, really nice city, good restaurants with lots of vegetarian/vegan options - good to decompress slightly before TCR as has been pretty stressful getting everything together for it. Bike (courtesy of BA) appears to be fine but not unpacked it yet.

Driving to Burgas today, going to check out CP1 on the way. Feels slightly strange to be recceing (part of) a ride before doing it - never done that before, let alone in a car!

In the end, decided not to run frrt.org this year, I simply can't cope with doing both the ride and the tracking. I went through my YACF messages recently to find that first one from Mike Hall about the mapping stuff I was doing for TG's record attempt four years ago, asking whether I could something similar for TCR, and it all snowballed from there. He was such an incredible guy, always supportive and encouraging me to get out there on the bike rather than sitting in front of a computer so I know he would've been happy with this, and Anna has been equally brilliant and understanding - so proud of how she and Rory have kept TCR running in his memory, and grateful to be a part of this. #bemoremike


Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Salvatore on July 23, 2019, 09:25:35 am
BTW it'll also be be his PBP kit.

What exactly is his plan? Take it easy and arrive in Paris on time for the start of PBP and complete TCR when he arrives in Brest. Or do a double PBP: cycle to Brest via Paris, cycle back, and do PBP?  Both options are what the Finnish would call "sisu" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisu).


I don't know, but I'd guess the 2nd.

Here's what he did 4 years ago. I think he only allows himself 1 flight (1 take-off and 1 landing) per year. A 1700km bus ride would finish me. Some of his ride through NL to Paris was at night - I remember him tweeting his frustration at detours because ferries weren't running.
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D_n-b_rUcAozQN2.jpg:large)

2013 must have been a doddle (relatively). Finish LEL on the Thursday and start the first TCR on Saturday (when it started in central London).
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 23, 2019, 09:49:23 am

After a night awake at Brussels airport, have made it to Burgas. Bike mostly reassembled. Just need to refit chain, pedals, and fettle the bar position. There were 3 TCR riders on the same flight. It's bonkers warm here (to be expected). But as I've only had 2 hours sleep on a plane since 0900 CEST yesterday. I'm gonna hit the hay. If any riders reassembling bikes in Burgas need them, I have a bottom bracket tool, Torque wrench, Shimano cassette/centre lock disk tool, quick link tool, and a few other misc bike tools with me. (Don't worry, I'm not taking them on the ride with me, I'm sending them home Friday).

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Zed43 on July 23, 2019, 06:09:05 pm
Good to hear the bike and you arrived ok  :) Seems you traded one heatwave for another then, the Dutch meteorologists now give it a 70% chance of breaking the all-time record of 38.6 degrees this Thursday...

Quick link tool, is that one of those special pliers to bring the two links connected by the quick link in a chain together so you can remove said quick link? If so: consider buying Wippermann chains, their quick link is of a different design that can be used effortlessly with just your hands (vinyl gloves recommended to avoid the grime!)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 23, 2019, 09:37:05 pm
Good to hear the bike and you arrived ok  :) Seems you traded one heatwave for another then, the Dutch meteorologists now give it a 70% chance of breaking the all-time record of 38.6 degrees this Thursday...

Quick link tool, is that one of those special pliers to bring the two links connected by the quick link in a chain together so you can remove said quick link? If so: consider buying Wippermann chains, their quick link is of a different design that can be used effortlessly with just your hands (vinyl gloves recommended to avoid the grime!)

I have one of the wolf tooth quick link things:

https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/collections/tools/products/pack-pliers

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on July 23, 2019, 09:56:19 pm
I have one of the wolf tooth quick link things:

https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/collections/tools/products/pack-pliers

I like that.  Not that I've ever had trouble undoing a quick link at the roadside using harsh language (and occasionally a dribble of fresh lube), but it's still a nice idea.  I believe some of the narrower quick links can be more fiddly than the <= 9sp ones.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: psyclist on July 24, 2019, 08:37:50 am
Not obvious on the TCR website when the ride is starting, but eventually found that it starts this Saturday.

Bon voyage to quixoticgeek and all others who are taking on the adventure.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Pickled Onion on July 24, 2019, 09:30:03 pm
Have good ride QGeek!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 24, 2019, 10:58:32 pm

Tracking seems to be live.

http://trackleaders.com/transconrace19

Dots. Assemble!!

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 25, 2019, 07:30:48 am
Those mandatory stretches seem to be getting longer each year. So, in the French Alps they make you climb the Col du Galibier, a gravel track up the Col du Sarenne and another gravel bit up the Col du Solude? The one in Italy seems equally brutal with some "minor" climbs before you tackle the Timmelsjoch...



Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 25, 2019, 09:27:39 am
Good luck everyone. Ingrid from my LBS is number 98. Say hello if you see her.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Feanor on July 25, 2019, 06:01:47 pm
Aye, good luck to all.

My clubmate Dominic Cordner is 113, I'll be keeping an eye on him!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 25, 2019, 06:03:03 pm
Best of luck all and take care in these temps.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on July 25, 2019, 08:17:09 pm
Those mandatory stretches seem to be getting longer each year. So, in the French Alps they make you climb the Col du Galibier, a gravel track up the Col du Sarenne and another gravel bit up the Col du Solude? The one in Italy seems equally brutal with some "minor" climbs before you tackle the Timmelsjoch...
The TPR has about 600km of mandatory. It's the future!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 27, 2019, 04:42:43 pm
And they are off and running
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 28, 2019, 03:04:27 am
Keep at it QG it's proper shit when the solid food doesn't seem to cooperate but it always works itself out in the longer run. Courage!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Bobby on July 28, 2019, 09:28:03 am
Oh no, hope everything’s ok, but looks like QG (#67) has scratched?  Either way, chapeau for setting off looks hard enough without the heat, stay safe!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 28, 2019, 12:17:36 pm
Commiserations QG, a great effort just to take this on and get to the start. Quite a few seem to have scratched already, including Steve L, #43 (who posts on CC)- the loon was on a Brompton. Frank and Ingrid seem to be going well though.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on July 28, 2019, 12:56:28 pm
it's quite sad to read people scratching on the first day, without even tasting what the tcr is. quick recovery and good luck for their future rides!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 28, 2019, 01:29:10 pm
I wonder if it overwhelmed them once they were sat on the start line?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 28, 2019, 04:17:55 pm

I'll give more info later. I've just had my first meal since the start, my body shut down in the heat. My wahoo recorded 43°C at one point. I'm in Sofia, tomorrow I'm hoping to head to Belgrade, then on Tuesday pick up my TCR route and head for Austria. Will give me some time to think about what I need to change for next year.

Thanks for the support.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Jurek on July 28, 2019, 04:21:55 pm

I'll give more info later. I've just had my first meal since the start, my body shut down in the heat. My wahoo recorded 43°C at one point. I'm in Sofia, tomorrow I'm hoping to head to Belgrade, then on Tuesday pick up my TCR route and head for Austria. Will give me some time to think about what I need to change for next year.

Thanks for the support.

J
Wishing you every strength.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on July 28, 2019, 05:32:16 pm
The weather, by the sound of it.  These things happen.

Enjoy the ride home.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: chrisbainbridge on July 28, 2019, 05:46:33 pm
QG, so sorry for you. Please take time to recover. We are here to empathise and rant at if you want.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 28, 2019, 05:48:03 pm

I'll give more info later. I've just had my first meal since the start, my body shut down in the heat. My wahoo recorded 43°C at one point. I'm in Sofia, tomorrow I'm hoping to head to Belgrade, then on Tuesday pick up my TCR route and head for Austria. Will give me some time to think about what I need to change for next year.

Thanks for the support.

J
Sounds like the only thing you could do in the circumstances. There'll be a next time.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 28, 2019, 06:31:37 pm
Bad luck, QG. I've been there myself as well. The combination of intense effort and heat can bring down anyone. Take it easy and try to enjoy yourself on the way back.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: perpetual dan on July 28, 2019, 07:50:22 pm
I hope your ride is enjoyable, even if it isn't the one you've been hoping for.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 28, 2019, 08:40:36 pm
Safe journey hope and value your thinking time
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: D.A.L.E. on July 28, 2019, 10:54:12 pm
Be interesting to see/hear why riders dropped out so soon into the race.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 28, 2019, 10:59:24 pm
Be interesting to see/hear why riders dropped out so soon into the race.

The temperature seems to be the main complaint. Also the brutal parcours so near the start. Normally you get 500-600km of undulating ride through Belgium and France before you hit anything intentionally brutal. My route didn't have anything that would count as flat until ~200km after CP2. That's 1000km of up, down, gravel, pot holes, and heat in the high 30's, and if my wahoo is believed, into the 40's.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on July 28, 2019, 11:57:33 pm
IME temperature measured by bike gadgets in a readable position in sunlight (rather than, say, an Ant+ temperature sensor fitted to the underside of the seat, which tends to do somewhat better) is greatly exaggerated compared to the meteorological air temperature, but serves as a pretty good indication of the physiological effect on the rider.  If my bike computer's reading in the mid 30s, I'm likely to be rather unwell if I keep going for more than a couple of hours.

Chapeau for even starting in those conditions.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 29, 2019, 09:07:03 am


Race control just announced that Bjorn has scratched at CP2.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 29, 2019, 10:14:55 am
Blimey this is a savage race.
Wonder if future tcrs might have to be delayed to September owing to climate change.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on July 29, 2019, 10:27:07 am
Fiona (of LEL fame) is going very strong and overtaking many men up front.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on July 29, 2019, 10:43:12 am
Fiona (of LEL fame) is going very strong and overtaking many men up front.

she was in the lead this morning (and still firmly in top three now) - i'm totally in awe!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 29, 2019, 11:50:05 am
Fiona is on a more northerly and flatter line towards Belgrade and then the Croatia border.  Jonathan and Ben are taking a more southerly mountainous route at the moment.  Be interesting to see how their different route choices pan out over the next 24 hours.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Karla on July 29, 2019, 02:35:13 pm
Blimey this is a savage race.
Wonder if future tcrs might have to be delayed to September owing to climate change.

... or might need extra ferries when the seas rise to flood the continent!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on July 29, 2019, 03:02:05 pm
Hard lines Steve. Chapeau for your efforts mate, looks pretty relentless out there. Enjoy your ride North.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on July 29, 2019, 03:56:33 pm
Frank very close to CP2.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on July 29, 2019, 08:59:42 pm
Jonathan is going straight through the hell holes while Fiona's more northerly route will stay clear of them. David Schuster takes the more sensible southern route via the Sava valley.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 29, 2019, 11:24:51 pm
Frank and Ingrid both going well, through CP2.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 30, 2019, 02:33:05 pm

Am slowly riding home through Serbia. Sat at a bus stop eating chocolate, when Hippy turns up! His tracker has failed, so he's kinda in stealth mode.

It's hot!

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 30, 2019, 02:40:31 pm
In these kinds of conditions I'd be tempted to try to sleep in the midday and ride at night. But easier said than done when you don't know when the shops are open etc I guess.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: DuncanM on July 30, 2019, 02:44:13 pm
Am slowly riding home through Serbia. Sat at a bus stop eating chocolate, when Hippy turns up! His tracker has failed, so he's kinda in stealth mode.
It's hot!
Sorry to hear you had to scratch - sounds like it was the right decision. Are you enjoying your gentle(!) ride home?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 30, 2019, 10:16:35 pm
In these kinds of conditions I'd be tempted to try to sleep in the midday and ride at night. But easier said than done when you don't know when the shops are open etc I guess.

I actually tried that. Which was why my time paused was so high. I found some trees, and slept for about 2 hours in the hottest part of the day. But by then it was already 8 hours since I last ate, and my body wasn't Liking it. By the time the big climb hit, even my 28:40 lowest gear wasn't low enough. I walked. Running on fumes.

Am slowly riding home through Serbia. Sat at a bus stop eating chocolate, when Hippy turns up! His tracker has failed, so he's kinda in stealth mode.
It's hot!
Sorry to hear you had to scratch - sounds like it was the right decision. Are you enjoying your gentle(!) ride home?

I'm enjoying the ride, but it has confirmed that I made the right decision. On a 35° day, in much lower humidity, I made slow progress today, and after 120km, I started to feel a bit off, so booked a hotel for 30km down the road. I've lost count of how much I've drunk, i did manage some food. But progress is really slow. I'm still feeling the effects.

Gonna try about 160-170 tomorrow, slowly plodding along. Rough plan is Zagred, Ljubljana, Villach, over the next 3 or so days.

I have a gpx, all programmed into my wahoo, but until Komoot work out what they have done to the android app, I can't actually see where I am along the route relative to a point other than the end... My wahoo says it's <700km to the start of the CP3 parcours, but I'm bailing before they... And I've no idea the exact distance...

Ah well, tis an adventure...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 30, 2019, 10:32:11 pm
Lead riders now in Austria with Fiona in second.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Paul H on July 30, 2019, 11:10:01 pm
Gonna try about 160-170 tomorrow, slowly plodding along. Rough plan is Zagred, Ljubljana, Villach, over the next 3 or so days.
Well done.  I've had a couple of big to me rides not go as intended and in both cases found myself on a plane/train before giving myself chance to come up with a plan B. 
Commiserations that it isn't what you'd planned for, though it still looks like an ambitious adventure to me.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 30, 2019, 11:18:34 pm
In these kinds of conditions I'd be tempted to try to sleep in the midday and ride at night. But easier said than done when you don't know when the shops are open etc I guess.

I actually tried that. Which was why my time paused was so high. I found some trees, and slept for about 2 hours in the hottest part of the day. But by then it was already 8 hours since I last ate, and my body wasn't Liking it. By the time the big climb hit, even my 28:40 lowest gear wasn't low enough. I walked. Running on fumes.

Am slowly riding home through Serbia. Sat at a bus stop eating chocolate, when Hippy turns up! His tracker has failed, so he's kinda in stealth mode.
It's hot!
Sorry to hear you had to scratch - sounds like it was the right decision. Are you enjoying your gentle(!) ride home?

I'm enjoying the ride, but it has confirmed that I made the right decision. On a 35° day, in much lower humidity, I made slow progress today, and after 120km, I started to feel a bit off, so booked a hotel for 30km down the road. I've lost count of how much I've drunk, i did manage some food. But progress is really slow. I'm still feeling the effects.

Gonna try about 160-170 tomorrow, slowly plodding along. Rough plan is Zagred, Ljubljana, Villach, over the next 3 or so days.

I have a gpx, all programmed into my wahoo, but until Komoot work out what they have done to the android app, I can't actually see where I am along the route relative to a point other than the end... My wahoo says it's <700km to the start of the CP3 parcours, but I'm bailing before they... And I've no idea the exact distance...

Ah well, tis an adventure...
:thumbsup: It's bound to take a while to recover. Slow progress is still progress. The Transcontinental Pootle sounds more like my kind of thing. The TCR wouldn't be impossible for me, but I know I wouldn't enjoy it. I hate off-roading and I think the time pressure would get to me.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 30, 2019, 11:27:15 pm
In other news, Frank and Ingrid both seem to be doing well. Ingrid posted on Instagram a few hours back that “CP2 gravel was fucking aweful, slept in hotel, about to leave. Need food and OMG tea!!! Im just dreaming about tea, don’t think will find any 😢 Gravel rd wasn’t even road, not passable even by car except jeep, lots of walking, hard to push bike on. Hurt everywhere and look like piece of shit. Flat day ahead on paved roads but arse so sore ha ha”. But she's tough, and she's carried on. About 900km to CP3 for her, Frank at 777 km to go. I've seen a few pictures on the TCR FB feed of people pushing bikes, so not surprised about that.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Karla on July 31, 2019, 11:29:09 am
QG, if you fancy taking a day off, Ljubljana is a very pretty city and would be an excellent place for some downtime.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on July 31, 2019, 11:30:19 am
Jonathan Rankin, no 15, who was leading, has scratched this morning. Foot problems. He'd got to Steinfeld, Austria- 1900km in four days.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 31, 2019, 11:40:39 am

Am on a train to Zagreb. Woke up feeling shit. Didn't sleep great. Shame, I was looking forward to riding my bike.

Just seen the News about Jonathan scratching. Hope his feet recover, foot injuries can be a bitch.

Hail, rain, and storms forecast for the area Fiona is in today and tomorrow.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Nuncio on July 31, 2019, 12:40:52 pm
I'm very much enjoying all of this from the comfort of my own (work) chair. The tracking is good but only tells half a story, if that. I try to fill in the gaps with Twitter, this thread, and the official site, but they only scratch the surface of the 200+ individual stories of mishap, struggle and fortitude behind the tracks and stats.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 31, 2019, 12:47:43 pm

Can anyone help solve a couple of questions.

How many riders, how many solo men, how many solo women, how many paired men, and how many paired women, left Burgas on Saturday?

The start list on https://www.transcontinental.cc/tcrno7-riders suggests:

244 solo riders, 17 pairs (34 riders).

9 women in pairs, 31 solo.

Trackleaders has full list of starters (i.e. they picked up a cap and tracker in Burgas).

Matching the lists to see who didn't start, is a non trivial exercise, and not one I seem able to do on my phone in Croatia.

Would anyone be able to provide a definite list of who on the rider list, picked up a tracker in Burgas?

As a bonus, could someone make a definitive list of which caps number are worn by women?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 31, 2019, 02:38:52 pm
Fiona's just coming up to the CP3 parcours. QG did the organisers provide GPX files for the parcours? I'd be interested to see what they look like in Veloviewer particularly this one, looks like it might be tasty.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 31, 2019, 03:03:47 pm
Fiona's just coming up to the CP3 parcours. QG did the organisers provide GPX files for the parcours? I'd be interested to see what they look like in Veloviewer particularly this one, looks like it might be tasty.

Drawing the route in the Strava shows 6000 meters of climbing in 160km. A lot of ups and downs, finishing with the Timmelsjoch (2500 meters above sea level) from Meran (350 meters above sea level). It would make a nice sportive.

I'm actually in that area next week, hope to catch some of the TCR-riders as they pass through.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 31, 2019, 03:12:24 pm
Gosh sounds like a great ride.

Fiona's just reached the foot of the parcours. Wonder if she's going to take a substantive break here or press on to make sure she retains the leader hat for CP3. Ben Davies is not far behind her! Currently loitering beside a Spar https://bit.ly/2ZmGp0z so my guess is she's getting some supplies and is going to make the most of the rest of the day.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 31, 2019, 03:20:42 pm
She's in Corvara at the moment, a nice place in a nice place in the world.  She'll be getting a feed before heading up the pass Gardena that is part of the Sella Ronda.   
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 31, 2019, 03:21:14 pm
It is my favorite part of the Alps; the availability of Italian coffee and Austrian pastry makes for great cafe stops ;-)

The parcours around Bourg d'Oisans is just as bad with well over 4000 meters of climbing in 120km. Anyway, probably fun to ride but not after being continuously in the saddle for a couple of days.

I hope Fiona pushes on, still plenty of daylight to work with. Getting over the Timmelsjoch will probably not happen today as that road closes at 8pm. But she should aim to get there tomorrow morning as the road opens.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 31, 2019, 03:24:29 pm
Wash your mouth out, it's the Dolomites, not the Alps!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 31, 2019, 03:32:00 pm
Wash your mouth out, it's the Dolomites, not the Alps!

The parcours starts in the Dolomites and ends in the Alps? Isn't Bolzano or Merano on the boundary?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on July 31, 2019, 03:42:15 pm
Wash your mouth out, it's the Dolomites, not the Alps!

The parcours starts in the Dolomites and ends in the Alps? Isn't Bolzano or Merano on the boundary?

Tirolian Alps at the end yes, but she's currently in the Dolomites.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 31, 2019, 04:17:47 pm
She's off! Glory to Sparta, Fiona!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 31, 2019, 04:23:44 pm
Fiona's just coming up to the CP3 parcours. QG did the organisers provide GPX files for the parcours? I'd be interested to see what they look like in Veloviewer particularly this one, looks like it might be tasty.

They provided it as a komoot route. Dunno if that is available for non Komoot account holders.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAz_eC4XsAEmH39?format=jpg&name=large)

Then for added fun, this comes after the parcours...

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAz_c6PWwAAF-tj?format=jpg&name=medium)

Brutal does not come close to describing it.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on July 31, 2019, 05:21:20 pm
Good grief.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on July 31, 2019, 08:20:56 pm

They provided it as a komoot route. Dunno if that is available for non Komoot account holders.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAz_eC4XsAEmH39?format=jpg&name=large)

Then for added fun, this comes after the parcours...

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAz_c6PWwAAF-tj?format=jpg&name=medium)

Brutal does not come close to describing it.

J

Small question: I guess that the riders will go through the Oetz valley, follow the Inn valley before going over the Arlberg pass (where control #3 is). But after that what is the best route to get to Valloire? It seems that a viable option is to go back, over the Reschen pass, use the flat roads in the Po valley and go to France via Mont Cenis. What was your plan?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on July 31, 2019, 10:19:12 pm

Small question: I guess that the riders will go through the Oetz valley, follow the Inn valley before going over the Arlberg pass (where control #3 is). But after that what is the best route to get to Valloire? It seems that a viable option is to go back, over the Reschen pass, use the flat roads in the Po valley and go to France via Mont Cenis. What was your plan?

My plan was to head back, short cut across Switzerland, then across Italy, and then over a huge pass into France. I felt it had the best balance of flat Vs distance. A few others thought that going through Switzerland achieved the same goal. But you kinda have to go out towards the Rhine, and follow that round to achieve the same level of not climbing.

One of the other considerations people had is that Italy is cheaper, has pizza, but has worse traffic.

It'll be interesting to see what routes people come up with.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on July 31, 2019, 11:36:05 pm
You could also follow the Merselo-Verona route back.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 01, 2019, 12:01:31 pm
The Kolbinger continues to make seemingly relentless progress. Fiona is coming up to CP3 any minute now, and 55km over Ben Davies in second.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: andyoxon on August 01, 2019, 01:23:32 pm
Amazing.  I guess these frontrunners will have a good idea how little sleep they can get away with over the course of the whole event/ when reaching latter stages... 
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: TigaSefi on August 01, 2019, 04:13:26 pm
Bit late to this. This is shaping up to be a good dot watching race! CP4 looks like an absolute brute. I have done all the climbs they have to do.. .just over several days/years rather than all at once!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 01, 2019, 08:45:18 pm
Fiona is consistently doing 19 hour days, 5 hours sleep.  Her lead is further extended now as she follows the obvious route to the next parcours.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 01, 2019, 11:28:43 pm
Fiona's getting more sleep than Ben- he's suffered a lot of restless nights. Both Frank and Ingrid still doing well. Frank seemed to lose a bit of time with a mechanical today, Ingrid now in Slovenia, having had a bad start to the day but finishing strongly.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 01, 2019, 11:53:02 pm
Word from the social media makes it sound like Ben is having some nasty sores poor chap :(
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 02, 2019, 12:30:01 am
Word from the social media makes it sound like Ben is having some nasty sores poor chap :(

The heat is causing saddle sore issues for a lot of people at all ends of the race. I'm not aware of as many people scratching due to saddle sores in previous editions of the TCR. Going from bonkers hot towards cooler temps, rather than the other way round hasn't given us much chance to build some scar tissue...

My own sores are a curious combo, in that they aren't where my saddle contacts. But where the edge of the Chamois rubs when I walk, from pushing my bike up the hill on day1. I also have another wound from a paper cut, tho I won't go into too much detail on that one. Conotrane when I finish for the day, century chamois cream applied to the Chamois once or twice a day...

I've made it to Ljubljana. I was looking forward to riding over the border to Austria tomorrow, but having seen the weather forecast, and not having a kayak with me, I'll take the train...

There was a point today when Fiona had a whole country between her and Ben... Liechtenstein...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on August 02, 2019, 12:39:36 am
My own sores are a curious combo, in that they aren't where my saddle contacts. But where the edge of the Chamois rubs when I walk, from pushing my bike up the hill on day1.

You can get the same effect from wearing padded shorts on a recumbent seat.  The solution (apart from don't wear padding) is careful selection of chamois shape, with a view to the edges being either right up in the gusset where there isn't much movement, or far enough down the thigh so it can move with the leg.  Lubrication with particular attention to the chamois edges can help, as can rotating through different designs.

File this knowledge with:  'Best cycle shoes for walking in'.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on August 02, 2019, 08:50:24 am
Frank has scratched with neck problems.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 02, 2019, 09:24:03 am
Frank is making his way to Frankfurt for dinner with Olaf OTP. Definitely the right decision to scratch now before hitting the Alps.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on August 02, 2019, 11:53:11 am
Word from the social media makes it sound like Ben is having some nasty sores poor chap :(

The heat is causing saddle sore issues for a lot of people at all ends of the race. I'm not aware of as many people scratching due to saddle sores in previous editions of the TCR. Going from bonkers hot towards cooler temps, rather than the other way round hasn't given us much chance to build some scar tissue...


best way to deal with saddle sores is not to get them. in order not to get them one needs to pay attention if their bottom is getting damp - that's the first warning. when it gets damp - skin gets soft and easily abraded/damaged. especially if there are salt crystals to accelerate the process. best way to prevent this - ride out of saddle often. on all the rough* surfaces and inclines - both to ventilate and to remove the pressure. i don't use any potions and never had a proper saddle sore (i.e. an open wound). many days of riding long distances in high 30 mid 40 temperatures (not fun, but no problems with the bottom).

*e.g. one road leading into istanbul was paved with very rough aggregate for 140km - rode it all out of saddle only sitting on my thighs going downhill.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 02, 2019, 12:02:23 pm
Fiona has a tricky decision ahead of her. Right now she's 244 km and 2500m ascent away from the CP4 parcours, Alpe d'Huez. I conservatively estimate that she'll get to the foot of the climb in less than 8-9 hours, so around midnight French time or a little earlier. Will she have a short sleep and then start on the parcours, or jump on it right away and sleep midway up the climb? Either way she'll be doing one of europe's most infamous climbs in the dark.

In any case the good news is that the local weather today and tomorrow seems clement. I think Ben will end up doing the climb with more sunshine.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Tim Hall on August 02, 2019, 12:09:35 pm
Frank has scratched with neck problems.
Aw nuts. That's a shame.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 02, 2019, 12:19:26 pm

He got on the train I was on. Into the same carriage too. I've now bumped into a hippy at a bus stop, and Frank on a train...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 02, 2019, 12:23:04 pm

He got on the train I was on. Into the same carriage too. I've now bumped into a hippy at a bus stop, and Frank on a train...

J
:thumbsup: Small world!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 02, 2019, 12:26:46 pm

best way to deal with saddle sores is not to get them. in order not to get them one needs to pay attention if their bottom is getting damp - that's the first warning. when it gets damp - skin gets soft and easily abraded/damaged. especially if there are salt crystals to accelerate the process. best way to prevent this - ride out of saddle often. on all the rough* surfaces and inclines - both to ventilate and to remove the pressure. i don't use any potions and never had a proper saddle sore (i.e. an open wound). many days of riding long distances in high 30 mid 40 temperatures (not fun, but no problems with the bottom).

*e.g. one road leading into istanbul was paved with very rough aggregate for 140km - rode it all out of saddle only sitting on my thighs going downhill.

Agreed. It's one of the reasons I had 3 pairs of shorts with me. 1 worn, 1 drying on the front bag, and one spare. I washed them out, and did so with soap where the sink had a proper plug. I've learned this lesson the hard way before.

What I've not yet worked out, is a solution for when it's raining. I did seriously considering waterproof MTB shorts...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 02, 2019, 02:42:26 pm
You do get some chamois underwear products out there that would feasibly let you change what's next to the skin more quickly and for a smaller weight penalty than full on bibs. I've never used them myself but it's apparently common for people to wear them under regular shorts in some places.

I suspect the problem is the chamois itself. Even if your shorts are made of the latest and greatest space age uber fast wick material, chamois is by design spongy and soft. I am not an intensive researcher but I suspect a downpour-resistent chamois is not widely available. Certainly all of mine are crushed foam. DhB produce these https://road.cc/content/review/257770-dhb-aeron-rain-defence-bib-tight which are purportedly good in the rain but they're tights only.

All I could think of would be some kind of rain cape coupled with big chunky mudguards to keep water from going up the pipes.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: andyoxon on August 02, 2019, 03:43:40 pm
Just a quick ride across France to go (via Galibier)...   :) 
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 02, 2019, 04:13:50 pm
Yes, I've thrown in the towel. Not full on schermers yet but I could see which way it was heading and didn't fancy taking on big alpine descents without being able to use the drops. And with more than another week to ride it was bound to get worse. So I could have carried on for a couple of days but didn't think I had a chance of finishing, and didn't want to cause more damage in a lost cause

A few comments in reference to the discussion.

The high scratch rate is interesting but I think the reason is simply that the parcours sections, which are the hardest bits, came much earlier than in other years with no prologue of gentle riding on flat or rolling roads. The scratch rate might be comparable to what is usually seen at the first two parcours.

It wasn't that hot. I believe it was 35 degrees. That's a hot day but typical for summer in Bulgaria.  Last year they had 40 degrees right from the start in Belgium and Germany. The year before they had lucifer. In 2016 we had 40 degrees in the Po valley and in Greece and Turkey.  This has been a cool tcr. It was a bit airless on the main road on day 1 with little shade but the first two climbs had lots of trees.  As I said to QG when we met, people who scratched due to heat weren't drinking enough, early enough. Once you get dehydrated it can be very hard to turn things around. I include myself in that as I under drunk and felt a bit sick and struggled to eat, but I experimented with different foods and drinks - apple juice, dried apricots, familiar energy bars from home and fizzy water for me back in top of things.

The initial parcours weren't that hard.  Cp1 was a couple of big climbs but they were gently graded with shade.  Cp2 had a long gravel climb but again it wasn't steep or very rough.  I did some in my aerobars.  The last 5km up at Cp2 was hard. It was rocky and often very steep, basically a mountain bike trail.  But it was only 5km, so walking the bits that weren't rideable, it took me about 2 hours. Others, with better mtb skill than me were doing it a bit quicker. And it was so high that it was cool.

I think CP3 will be much harder with some vicious climbs and lots of them. It is taking people 36 hours. I expect cp4 to be hard too.


Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 02, 2019, 05:12:15 pm
Fiona has a tricky decision ahead of her. Right now she's 244 km and 2500m ascent away from the CP4 parcours, Alpe d'Huez. I conservatively estimate that she'll get to the foot of the climb in less than 8-9 hours, so around midnight French time or a little earlier. Will she have a short sleep and then start on the parcours, or jump on it right away and sleep midway up the climb? Either way she'll be doing one of europe's most infamous climbs in the dark.

In any case the good news is that the local weather today and tomorrow seems clement. I think Ben will end up doing the climb with more sunshine.

She usually stops around midnight - 1am for her sleep, on the move again 5am till 6am.  So she gets going again as the morning light returns.  If she hits the bottom around midnight she may decide to stop for the night.  But presuming CP4 is a hotel it may be tempting to head up to get some rest there, then make the descent once daylight returns.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 02, 2019, 05:38:28 pm
I expect she'll have an eye on the weather forecast.  If it is OK then it is no problem to do the climb at night.  It's actually quite pleasant as you have the place to yourself. The descent will be a bit chilly so she'll need a few layers. Otoh if there is a storm then not good to be at altitude at night. The main risk is wind, getting caught out by a gust on a fast decent might not end well.

The cp4 checkpoint is in a hotel but it is not until bourg d'oisans. Other girls are available if she wants to rest before the climb or sees a storm coming in.

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 02, 2019, 05:51:18 pm
Ah, hadn't zoomed in that far.

Sorry to hear the news about the neck.  They really are a bugger you can do little about, other than delay the inevitable with various contrived supports.  It's what stopped my WAWA in 16 after trying to continue for about 250km after it first manifested. After three near crashes it was time to stop for safety reasons.  Also put a lot of pressure on hands trying to maintain forward vision which damaged them and took some time to recover.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 02, 2019, 06:36:44 pm
I remember seeing the pictures from that.
I assumed it wouldn't happen to me as it hadn't before!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 02, 2019, 07:00:02 pm
You do get some chamois underwear products out there that would feasibly let you change what's next to the skin more quickly and for a smaller weight penalty than full on bibs. I've never used them myself but it's apparently common for people to wear them under regular shorts in some places.

I don't use bibs, I use just normal padded cycle shorts. I find bib shorts don't work for me for long distance riding. The gymnastics required to pee in bib shorts is just too much faff. Also I've yet to find a design where the straps interact well with a larger set of boobs than the average cyclist [1]


Quote

I suspect the problem is the chamois itself. Even if your shorts are made of the latest and greatest space age uber fast wick material, chamois is by design spongy and soft. I am not an intensive researcher but I suspect a downpour-resistent chamois is not widely available. Certainly all of mine are crushed foam. DhB produce these https://road.cc/content/review/257770-dhb-aeron-rain-defence-bib-tight which are purportedly good in the rain but they're tights only.

All I could think of would be some kind of rain cape coupled with big chunky mudguards to keep water from going up the pipes.

The idea of using mudguards on a ride like this just makes me shudder. I hate mud guards at the best of times, but for something with as many different road surfaces. Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

I don't know what the solution is, I know keeping dry keeps the sores at bay. But it's a non trivial problem. Especially as often anything designed to keep moisture out, is equally good at keeping it in, and at high exercise levels, the moisture coming from the body can be more than the stuff falling out the sky. On my ride today, I took my waterproof jacket off on the long slog up the hill, as I was too warm and just sweating too much.

J



[1] average, as perceived by the cycling industry, rather than real world average. After all the average woman cyclist is 1.55m, weighs 50kg, is a size 10, has boobs barely big enough to warrant a bra, and yet as a sufficiently high power output to be able to spin up any hill on a 53/39, with an 11-28 cassette... Or something...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 02, 2019, 07:56:16 pm
I remember seeing the pictures from that.
I assumed it wouldn't happen to me as it hadn't before!

Well it hadn't happened to me before , at first I thought it was a sunburnt neck, and I'd sailed passed 1200km, 1500km, 1700km without a single physical issue. IT was between 1750km and 1800km the neck issues came on. It hasn't happened since, though my longest ride since is 1000km with a 500km first leg before sleep.  A long peak cap, a high saddle to bars position, and being in the drops a lot due to the headwinds certainly contributed.  I've since changed the cap to a shorter cycle cap, have the bars higher, and saddle lower but further back. It keeps my neck better aligned with my back and definitely helps. I'm returning for WAWA next year but I'm looking to take a recumbent next time.   The frame set is currently on order. The neck was the main reason I have never looked at rides of the length of TCR. If they allowed recumbents on the understanding you are outside GC to start with, then I'd consider it.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 02, 2019, 08:10:05 pm
<saddle sores>:
The idea of using mudguards on a ride like this just makes me shudder. I hate mud guards at the best of times, but for something with as many different road surfaces. Fuck that for a game of soldiers.

I don't know what the solution is, I know keeping dry keeps the sores at bay. But it's a non trivial problem. Especially as often anything designed to keep moisture out, is equally good at keeping it in, and at high exercise levels, the moisture coming from the body can be more than the stuff falling out the sky. On my ride today, I took my waterproof jacket off on the long slog up the hill, as I was too warm and just sweating too much.
I think that's an absurd view on mudguards - they've worked for me on plenty of multi-surface rides. But we may as well argue about hobnobs-vs-custardcreams ... :P

I'm not sure mudguards actually help much here - when it rains a lot, they just stop the dirty water getting on you (which I happen to find highly desirable!); rain+sweat is going to keep your skin damp a lot of the time, expect on certain "magic" rides.
I think the right creams help a lot, but I don't claim to have a complete answer. I *suspect* sweat is the bigger problem (for most of us, on most rides).  :-\
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 03, 2019, 05:34:04 am

Agree with QG re bib shorts but not mudguards.

I don't use bibs as don't see the point.  But I do use mudguards. I had a rear one on during the race but I had to take my front one off after my final training ride as I kept catching it with my foot and didn't have time to fine tune it.  If there had been lots of rain on the off road sections and they turned to mud, mudguards could have clogged up, but this didn't happen.

For most riders a rear saddlepack effectively functions as a mudguard keeping water off their arse.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 03, 2019, 05:50:55 am
I remember seeing the pictures from that.
I assumed it wouldn't happen to me as it hadn't before!

Well it hadn't happened to me before , at first I thought it was a sunburnt neck, and I'd sailed passed 1200km, 1500km, 1700km without a single physical issue. IT was between 1750km and 1800km the neck issues came on. It hasn't happened since, though my longest ride since is 1000km with a 500km first leg before sleep.  A long peak cap, a high saddle to bars position, and being in the drops a lot due to the headwinds certainly contributed.  I've since changed the cap to a shorter cycle cap, have the bars higher, and saddle lower but further back. It keeps my neck better aligned with my back and definitely helps. I'm returning for WAWA next year but I'm looking to take a recumbent next time.   The frame set is currently on order. The neck was the main reason I have never looked at rides of the length of TCR. If they allowed recumbents on the understanding you are outside GC to start with, then I'd consider it.


Sounds like yours came in quickly in a couple of hours, which is normally the case.

Mine was gradual over a few days, and I didn't have any pain, although the muscles are tender to touch now. The first thing that I noticed was that I was riding along and couldn't see much, just a bit of road, a white line, my hands and my garmin. All the scenery had gone! 

What made me decide to scratch when I did was reading felix wong:s account of his on tabr which was very similar to me.

Good luck with the recumbent.  I think tcr 2016 would have been fine for a recumbent but the last three editions have had steep rocky parcours which = unless I've underestimated their off road capabilities = I don't think would be rideable.  I think pushing a recumbent would be harder, esp if smaller wheels, so you might end up having to carry it, which is where Marcel graber got to in Oman this year, when he had to scratch.

The guy riding the Brompton would have had to carry it up the steepest couple of km of cp2 as would have been very hard to push over rocks with small wheels. 
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 03, 2019, 08:41:20 am
Fiona up and on her way again between 5 and 6 am with a bakery  stop at 7am in town.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 03, 2019, 10:13:53 am
There's some quite capable off road recumbents, even full on downhill rigs.  As recumbents aren't a functional class. On smooth gravel , recumbents designed for the road are fine. Smaller wheels up front are more aero, but clearly not as good off road.   Road recumbents would struggle on steep rocky terrain, but then so do road bikes. Carrying ease is recumbent specific as there are so many different designs and builds.  For something like TCR you'd want a light recumbent which means between 8-12kg unladen. My new recumbent will be in that range when built.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 03, 2019, 11:17:48 am
Interesting.  Hope you go well on it.

My other reservation with a recumbent for ultra distance was the risk of the dozies.  In tcr 2016 I kept off the aerobars when tired after micro sleeping in the prone position.  However, with a more organised sleeping strategy this time I would now be far less concerned about this.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 03, 2019, 12:42:27 pm
Fiona currently at CP4 with control car 4.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on August 03, 2019, 02:00:18 pm
Welcome back Frank  once again well done and commiserations for your medical scratch.  I'm sorry not to be able to catch up with you in Brest but perhaps another time.

Reference the discussion on chaffing and saddle sores. I had had no issues with them until last years TCR where I had them fairly seriously. I think it was a combination of the intense heat and sitting skewed on the saddle from a recent fracture. I like the idea of not wearing bibs as a couple of you have mentioned. The awkwardness with peeing etc. I'll try out some padded shorts for the endurance stuff and see how it pans out.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 03, 2019, 03:30:29 pm
A racer has been reported as badly hurt in a car crash and now out of the race. Their pairs partner is reportedly continuing after they've been seen to a hospital.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on August 03, 2019, 04:59:10 pm
Broken collar bone for the rider that was hit. What a shame.

Frank when you have caught your breath Id be curious to get feedback on how the sub compact gearing and flat pedals worked out for you.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on August 03, 2019, 10:15:46 pm
Fiona already close to Lyon, Ben Davies going for a nighttime ascent of the Col du Solude. Seems like last attempt to close the gap?

Finish of the race late monday night, early tuesday evening?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: chrisbainbridge on August 03, 2019, 10:16:55 pm
This is just awesome. She is a machine.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on August 03, 2019, 11:01:32 pm
Ben needs to sacrifice a nigth in order to close the gap. If it's wise to do that this night, that's another queston.
Fiona has a good selection of hotels now and less than 800km to go. The terrain will be a bit easier now so normally seen she should keep her 400km+ per day rhytm. So I'd say a finish on monday evening for her.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 03, 2019, 11:24:04 pm
Lovely bit of writing from Jack Enright in his latest race report. (https://www.transcontinental.cc/report)...
"TCR winners aren’t supposed to play the piano mid-race. They’re not supposed to have the time, let alone the mental reserves. And yet here was Fiona, hands dancing over the ivory keys, winning TCRNo.7. It was a moment that felt dislocated from reality, like a Wes Anderson film wrapped in an overly lucid dream.

And yet, if you could capture the mood of this race in any one moment, it would undoubtedly be this one. Fiona has spent the last eight days quietly rearranging what we might accept as realistic, and this moment feels like just more of the same."

She's now about 120km ahead of Ben. No-one other than those two has got through CP4 yet, though Job Hendrickx is closing in. Ingrid now 133km from CP3.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 04, 2019, 01:11:51 am
I was thinking more Werner Herzog.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 04, 2019, 05:10:33 am

Frank when you have caught your breath Id be curious to get feedback on how the sub compact gearing and flat pedals worked out for you.

Yes, sorry I'm not going to keep the date for Brest rendezvous.

I was very pleased with my bike setup. Gearing was about right, I used both the top and bottom gears a fair amount, certainly the 46/11 was useful for TTing across Serbia especially when the wind was behind me.  I expect my bottom gear would have been used a lot more if I'd made it to the cp3 parcours. I found that the absolute black chainring would occasionally slip, a couple of times a day so not a major problem. Others haven't reported this though

I've been using flat pedals for over a year. I'm in a small minority but I think they are the obvious choice for something like this, or audaxing, touring or anything apart from racing. The pedals were great. They are pedaling innovations catalyst, which are very long to give you a massive area to push down on and designed for mid foot use.

I experimented with different shoes. I wore innov-8 tail running shoes for the race as they were very comfortable and much more breathable than flat pedal mountain bike shoes like five tens. However I could do with a bit more stiffness in the sole. In about day 3 my heels were a bit sore from what I thought was flexing. But this went away.

Obviously a soft pair of trainers was more comfortable than shoes with cleats. Also better for running round supermarkets and hotels as well as for pushig the bike up hills.  But there are other advantages. For example when my heels were site it was easy to give them a rest by tweaking my position slightly so that the hot spots was not being used. At one point I went back to pedaling with my shoes for an hour. I don't recall my feet ever smiling off. In fact I really didn't find any disadvantage from not having cleats.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 04, 2019, 05:20:44 am
Ben needs to sacrifice a nigth in order to close the gap. If it's wise to do that this night, that's another queston.
Fiona has a good selection of hotels now and less than 800km to go. The terrain will be a bit easier now so normally seen she should keep her 400km+ per day rhytm. So I'd say a finish on monday evening for her.

I agree. And fiona has a useful lead but not a dominant one like kristof and James have had in recent years. She is favourite but it is not in the bag. From where she is now It also looks like she has chosen a shorter but hillier route across France so he could gain if he goes slightly north.

Ben only needs to get into the lead once, at the finish, so he should delay his big move until as late as possible. He is now about 900km from the finish so may have done his last sleep stop and try to ride in from there. If Fiona can do the same she will win but if she is too tired he has a chance.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 04, 2019, 05:22:40 am
Other news is that I've got a separated shoulder from my stupid and unnecessary fall on day 1.  Didn't hurt when I was riding but a bit more painful now!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on August 04, 2019, 09:43:49 am
On Facebook is a small video of Fiona's small concert:

https://www.facebook.com/KinesisUK/videos/406366699982419/
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 04, 2019, 10:42:06 am
I was thinking more Werner Herzog.
Werner Herzog for most of the field, I'm sure.....
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 04, 2019, 02:31:41 pm
Fiona is approximately 140km ahead of Ben. She's got approximately 750 km left in her race.

My guess is she'll try and have a comparatively early night today, and then do a monster effort after a couple of hours sleep.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 04, 2019, 03:57:35 pm
Fiona is approximately 140km ahead of Ben. She's got approximately 750 km left in her race.

My guess is she'll try and have a comparatively early night today, and then do a monster effort after a couple of hours sleep.

I'm not so sure. She can keep her 19/5 ride/rest, and even if Number 10 were to not sleep until the finish, he won't over take her if she just keeps going

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: andyoxon on August 04, 2019, 05:10:40 pm
I wonder if there's much difference in the via Geneva or via Turin route options...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 04, 2019, 05:37:01 pm
I think she'll stick with her 19/5 schedule. That'll leave her with about 440km to finish tomorrow.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on August 04, 2019, 05:48:56 pm
I wonder if there's much difference in the via Geneva or via Turin route options...

Maybe not, but it's quite interesting that all the frontrunners went via Geneva. It's only in the last day or two that we're seeing people taking the Turin-option.

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 04, 2019, 08:25:00 pm
I wonder if there's much difference in the via Geneva or via Turin route options...

It depends on the rider. I routed via Geneva as it would have been much quicker for me.  A good climber who doesn't time trial might rationally decide the other way.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 04, 2019, 10:00:01 pm
Ingrid is not scratching, but has made the decision to stop racing as she needs more rest and recovery time than she was getting. Easier to keep on riding than umpteen trains and buses to get back to Pompey. She was still 83km from CP3 and the closure deadline was looming. A brilliant effort to get this far, she should be really proud of herself.

At the sharp end, the Kolbinger remains relentless. 518km to go, and the lead over Ben has stretched back out, he has 661 to go. Job another 100km back.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on August 04, 2019, 10:34:44 pm
Fiona is close to the Kyriad and the Premier Classe hotels now, so she could settle for an early night. Ben is out in the sticks.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 04, 2019, 11:03:34 pm
She's stopped at McDonalds at the moment.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: nikki on August 05, 2019, 07:28:11 am
Last night I dug out a tablet (and even remembered to charge it!) so l can keep an eye on how things progress today whilst I'm in a workshop.

Yikes! Is Trackleaders normally that broken on mobile, or is this a temporary glitch? I notice the map's not displaying on dotwatcher.cc either.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 05, 2019, 10:23:39 am
Last night I dug out a tablet (and even remembered to charge it!) so l can keep an eye on how things progress today whilst I'm in a workshop.

Yikes! Is Trackleaders normally that broken on mobile, or is this a temporary glitch? I notice the map's not displaying on dotwatcher.cc either.
Yes, it's rubbish on mobile. The whole-race map view stuff just doesn't seem to work right...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 05, 2019, 10:26:37 am
CP3 closed at 5am CET....a fair few didn't make the cut. Shame the race reports never mention the back markers much, it would be nice to read about them for a change. Fiona now 340km from the finish, Ben at 467km to go, Job at 607km to go, and David Schuster 684km to go. Looks like the win will be taken tonight...
Fiona's kit, pics from her Strava post:
(https://dgtzuqphqg23d.cloudfront.net/icojxyL09i62KHB6JEXlKme4f8NnMmR2qqmhSOrMS0E-2048x1273.jpg)
(https://dgtzuqphqg23d.cloudfront.net/1SgHJLdKj-4hngezaMizq5ULFhZocZVuu5QcUQ6D_ds-2048x1512.jpg)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 05, 2019, 01:52:33 pm
Interesting to me that she's packed a spare tyre. My dad often does in case he finds it impossible to get one of his 23mm tubeless ones back on, though I've since persuaded him to try the tubeless repair shoelace thingswhich should make that unnecessary from now on.

Has she got a dynamo front wheel? Hard to tell from this angle. There seems to be a pump missing from the photos too. Good to see I'm not alone in bringing zip ties and electrical tape on my bike rides at any rate!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Paul H on August 05, 2019, 01:55:05 pm
Has she got a dynamo front wheel? Hard to tell from this angle.
Yes, you can see the wires taped up the fork, two sets.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 05, 2019, 01:56:18 pm
Well spotted.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on August 05, 2019, 02:18:14 pm
Carbon, Di2, hydraulic disc, 24 spoke wheels, not tubeless. All decisions I'd strongly agree with, although others just as strongly wouldn't...

There's something pump-ish under the downtube bottle cage.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 05, 2019, 02:46:23 pm
Done a little heatmap of TCRNo7 routes based on the data as of about 2 hours ago.

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/vk9th8jx8q4leqw/heatmap-1.jpg?raw=1)

Plus final approaches of top 4

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/2ovaaegmv3qjn4l/final.JPG?raw=1)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 05, 2019, 04:22:53 pm


This will be the first carbon bike to win the TCR!

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 05, 2019, 11:17:45 pm
 Fiona now 116km from the finish, Ben still 140km back. Job another 100km back. Ingrid has scratched, knee pain, with 2250km done. Pavel Pulawski, one of the early front-runners, has also scratched- he crashed on a bike path a few days ago.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 05, 2019, 11:28:45 pm
She is currently stopped which may mean she's now sleeping till the light returns.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 05, 2019, 11:40:26 pm
....And she's riding again....for how long for, pass....
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bhoot on August 06, 2019, 06:49:05 am
Finished!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 07:18:23 am
yep, the dot has gone crazy, looks like Fiona has won!

Awesome stuff, I met her last year at LWL, very nice girl, really pleased for her  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Jurek on August 06, 2019, 08:52:40 am
Awesome result! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 06, 2019, 09:08:17 am
What a great race. Fiona has resoundingly stolen the show. What an effort.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 06, 2019, 09:17:09 am
The post by the official race social media:
"Fiona Kolbinger has won TCRNo.7 in a time of 10 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes.

But as always with Fiona, those numbers only tell half the story.

For the rest, you have to look at how she rode. She has raced TCRNo.7 on her own time and at her own pace – never chasing, simply outlasting every other competitor. For the first 9 days of racing, Fiona never looked anywhere close to her limit, the first cracks only beginning to show on the final push through the dark. “Last night,” she said, “was too long, too dark and too grim.” And yet, she admits at the finish “…I think I could have gone harder”. Fiona is not the first woman to excel in the world of ultra-endurance cycling, and while having our first female winner is a landmark moment for the Transcontinental Race, it is not the remarkable part of this story.

What is remarkable is that she won the TCR as a rookie, in her first-ever ultra distance bike race and without ever really breaking a sweat."

I thought she'd do it that way…for all the front runners at this stage, taking a lengthy break overnight would mean potentially losing a place, or losing out on taking one. Not surprised she was finally feeling the strain, that must have been the hardest stretch of all. A remarkable achievement. Now, apparently, for PBP as a warm-down…
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 09:34:34 am
I think it's also refreshing that to win this race you don't need to be a superman who can time trial at 25 mph for hours.
For what I remember from LWL, Fiona has a steady pace, but not a "race pace"
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 06, 2019, 09:36:48 am
I don't know, it looked pretty rapid to me. She grabbed no shortage of QOMs as per her Strava tracks.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 09:42:56 am
I don't know, it looked pretty rapid to me. She grabbed no shortage of QOMs as per her Strava tracks.

Rapid for audax standards, but not the kind of rapid that is required to win a 24 TT... it's a good thing, it means there is more than one way to win TCR and she's done it the hard way!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on August 06, 2019, 09:50:39 am
yes, she was riding very consistently, if not very fast and didn't waste time faffing around. she was also very organised and planned everything meticulously. qom's are not an indicator of speed if they can be taken riding in z1 or z2..

truly amazing race and win!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: phantasmagoriana on August 06, 2019, 10:04:16 am
Amazing ride by Fiona.

I'm even more impressed that she was able to play the piano in one of the hotels along the way! :o

https://twitter.com/transconrace/status/1157626463379775489
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on August 06, 2019, 10:56:33 am
She's certainly not slow, but women often get QOMs by being the first vaguely fast female to ride a segment.

Her LEL time was 109 hours, with lots of 90+ minute control stops from a quick look at her Strava, one of which is titled "It's possible to fall asleep on the bike."
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on August 06, 2019, 11:28:41 am
She's certainly not slow, but women often get QOMs by being the first vaguely fast female to ride a segment.

Indeed.  I'm not fast, but last time I looked I held about 15 QOMs: a mixture of high-speed descents, obscure off-road segments[1] and a few longer ones that haven't seen many female riders where a brisk audax speed is sufficient.  (I briefly had a QOM on York velodrome, which is the closest I come to actually deserving it, but I was cheating.)

Anyway, what's impressive about Fiona's ride is how consistent she's been.  Chapeau!



[1] Including shared-use paths late at night, when a lot of women would avoid them.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 06, 2019, 11:38:55 am

I held a QOM for one of the Strava segments on the TCR route. Purely because I uploaded my track first... I held the QOM for about 24 hours, tho in reality, I never held it because I did it after the person who currently holds it...

I have a few QOMs from being the first (and only woman) to do a segment, but I'm most proud of the ones where I have some actual competition...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 11:44:11 am
I've recently been dethroned from my only KOM... it is a 21 seconds segment, prone to GPS signal error, which is probably the reason I was leading in the first place...  ;D
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 11:55:48 am
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49248126
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 06, 2019, 12:42:34 pm
Cracking effort, so she pushed on through the last night in the end.  I can see they'd always be that worry that you were going to be overtaken that last night :-)

Was looking at her kit photo, and the bivvy looks like a Yeti Next to Nothing down sleeping bag but can't see which model.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Bobby on August 06, 2019, 01:56:04 pm
Wow.  I’m in awe of all those that even got to the start line, my first year as a dot watcher on this event has been a good one. 

Chapeau Fiona, quite an inspirational ride   :thumbsup:

Good luck to all those still on the road  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Tim Hall on August 06, 2019, 02:16:33 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49248126
She got mentioned in the news on Radio 4 at one o'clock and on 6 Music at half past too.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 03:21:30 pm
Thrashing a field of men and in doing so rewriting the rules about gender and sport is hopefully something that will inspire women.

I hope that one day this will become normal...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: paddyirish on August 06, 2019, 03:55:16 pm
"I hope that one day this will become normal..."

Lael Wilcox, Sarah Hammond, Jasmin Parks in Ultrarunning.  I would say it already is.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 06, 2019, 04:22:19 pm
Ben looking to roll into finish in next hour or so.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 06, 2019, 05:13:26 pm
"I hope that one day this will become normal..."

Lael Wilcox, Sarah Hammond, Jasmin Parks in Ultrarunning.  I would say it already is.

Amanda Coker
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 06, 2019, 05:28:05 pm
Ben now finished
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 05:41:01 pm
Amanda Coker

irrelevant, as it's not a race
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 06, 2019, 05:43:05 pm
Amanda Coker

irrelevant, as it's not a race
Yawn - go and break the record, then come back and tell me it isn't a competition.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on August 06, 2019, 05:44:34 pm
Ju Ju and a host of other top shelf female riders..
Mike Hall titled  the first rider of a different gender crossing the line after the winner  as the "opposite Sex award" recognising the inevitability of what has just happened  and the parity of men and women in ultra events.  Women have been under represented in ultra racing compared to men to date so its not surprising that this is the first on TCR. It is one of the mandates of the TCR  to get more women racing hence the automatic qualification for entry to date.
 Compare, if you will,  this forward thinking and egalitarian approach with the likes of the TDF.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 06, 2019, 06:00:07 pm
Cracking effort, so she pushed on through the last night in the end.  I can see they'd always be that worry that you were going to be overtaken that last night :-)

Was looking at her kit photo, and the bivvy looks like a Yeti Next to Nothing down sleeping bag but can't see which model.

Is it a bivvi? Or a down jacket? I thought she took the approach of using hotels throughout?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 06, 2019, 06:07:14 pm
Cracking effort, so she pushed on through the last night in the end.  I can see they'd always be that worry that you were going to be overtaken that last night :-)

Was looking at her kit photo, and the bivvy looks like a Yeti Next to Nothing down sleeping bag but can't see which model.

Is it a bivvi? Or a down jacket? I thought she took the approach of using hotels throughout?

J

Not sure, given its packed size it could be a jacket. The TCR reports mention her bivvying down is all, so I don't know. But interested to find out what it is.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 06, 2019, 06:16:38 pm
I wondered what footage I had of Fiona on LEL. I'd just been talking to a Japanese rider who'd compared the Fens to the Nullarbor Plain, hence the reference.

https://vimeo.com/352304242
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on August 06, 2019, 06:45:46 pm
Quite some issues on the French forum with the attitude of the TCR organisation regarding local cyclists. There's a clear clash of cycling culture between the French (and especially Breton) culture where the 'stars' are very approachable and the classic point to point timetrial culture in the UK where it's half hidden.
I wonder if the TCR will finish in France again due to this cultureclash.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 06, 2019, 07:06:02 pm
Interesting to me that she's packed a spare tyre.
I suggested this strategy - in view of the gravel early on - but it wasn't popular on YACF!

Then again, I'd pack a lot differently (and probably still will), so what do *I* know ...

I'm still trying to find photos of her front-light setup (which presumably runs off her dynamo, but I don't see a fork-crown bracket)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: orraloon on August 06, 2019, 07:09:46 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/49248126
She got mentioned in the news on Radio 4 at one o'clock and on 6 Music at half past too.
And BBC R2 news at 5pm.  Even if they classed the race as 'professional'...unless I misheard...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Jurek on August 06, 2019, 07:10:45 pm
Thrashing a field of men and in doing so rewriting the rules about gender and sport is hopefully something that will inspire women.

I hope that one day this will become normal...
^
This.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 06, 2019, 07:18:16 pm

Yawn - go and break the record, then come back and tell me it isn't a competition.

Race and competition are different things... you can have a competition for the biggest cake and that might even result in a record, but it's not a race.

In a race there is a line to cross and the first to cross it is the winner, typically there are no records in bicycle races as race conditions are very different depending on the field, among other things.

What Amanda Coker did was to set a record, but she didn't win a race.

For a woman to win a bicycle race in a largely male field is something truly special
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Jurek on August 06, 2019, 07:30:56 pm

Yawn - go and break the record, then come back and tell me it isn't a competition.

Race and competition are different things... you can have a competition for the biggest cake and that might even result in a record, but it's not a race.

In a race there is a line to cross and the first to cross it is the winner, typically there are no records in bicycle races as race conditions are very different depending on the field, among other things.

What Amanda Coker did was to set a record, but she didn't win a race.

For a woman to win a bicycle race in a largely male field is something truly special
^
And this.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Wowbagger on August 06, 2019, 07:31:18 pm
Thrashing a field of men and in doing so rewriting the rules about gender and sport is hopefully something that will inspire women.

I hope that one day this will become normal...
^
This.

That Emily Chappell wrote quite a bit about this sort of thing. Her website is still broken. I hesitate to say "deliberately so" but Emily is competent, and I'm sure she is aware, and it's been broken a long time.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on August 06, 2019, 07:57:00 pm
Quite some issues on the French forum with the attitude of the TCR organisation regarding local cyclists. There's a clear clash of cycling culture between the French (and especially Breton) culture where the 'stars' are very approachable

I don't think dickheads wanting to crowbar themselves into her story are unique to any particular culture. Well, not a geographical one anyway.

I hope she doesn't get too much unwanted attention at PBP.

I'm still trying to find photos of her front-light setup (which presumably runs off her dynamo, but I don't see a fork-crown bracket)

Supernova E3 Triple on a handlebar mount (https://www.instagram.com/p/B00AnOrIvmJ/).
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 06, 2019, 08:51:48 pm
500 lumens max output, and three LEDs speed controlled. Not legal in Germany. Same light Kristoff used on his TCR rides.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on August 06, 2019, 10:47:01 pm
Quite some issues on the French forum with the attitude of the TCR organisation regarding local cyclists. There's a clear clash of cycling culture between the French (and especially Breton) culture where the 'stars' are very approachable

I don't think dickheads wanting to crowbar themselves into her story are unique to any particular culture. Well, not a geographical one anyway.

I hope she doesn't get too much unwanted attention at PBP.


The ones I was talking about are accomplished randonneurs (locally based) or even a TCR veteran. The media rules of the TCR are getting a bit outdated now the main media is getting interested. Imagine l'Equipe reporters being shrugged. That's quite a bad show in France.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 06, 2019, 10:54:00 pm
Quite some issues on the French forum with the attitude of the TCR organisation regarding local cyclists. There's a clear clash of cycling culture between the French (and especially Breton) culture where the 'stars' are very approachable and the classic point to point timetrial culture in the UK where it's half hidden.
I wonder if the TCR will finish in France again due to this cultureclash.

It's not surprising that there's criticism from the French forum. Finishing in Brest in a PBP year looks like more than a coincidence. The 'usual' PBP stars will still be smarting from Bjorn Lenhard 'winning' PBP 2015, with a time below the stated minimum. Bjorn looked the likely winner of TCR on the start line, but Fiona's success brought a lot more publicity to the event.

There are knock-on benefits to celebrity. Bjorn's a brand ambassador for Apidura. https://www.apidura.com/ambassadors/bjorn-lenhard/
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 07, 2019, 09:45:32 am
Fiona was on R4's Today this morning, phone interview starts about 2:42
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0007bvr F
It annoys me that some of the media coverage suggests the whole thing's done and dusted (Fiona naturally corrected this idea during the interview).
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 07, 2019, 10:57:29 am
In a world where 10 miles is considered a long ride; like most of the general population, the presenters probably find it hard to get their heads wrapped around the distances and challenges involved.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 07, 2019, 11:12:08 am
There's a nice plug for LEL in that Today piece. Heather got phoned up by Today last week about some Woodland Trust stuff. She managed to dodge an early morning trip to the local BBC studios as the chief executive got involved. That radio interview grew into a Breakfast TV slot, which is why I had a look to see what video I had of Fiona. It could go quite well over her description of LEL. I'm not the publicist for LEL or TCR though.

Women in long distance cycling is one of the themes I'm working on for PBP. It's interesting to see the different disciplines. Heather did the PBP and the 24 hour in the early 2000's, so it's a long-term interest of mine. It was good to talk to 2018 TCR female winner Ede Harrison at the Mersey Roads 24. https://youtu.be/9smFTWoNhks?t=613

The lady in the background right of the interview with Ede is Christine Minto, who won the women's 24 in 1969. That was the year that Beryl Burton targeted the 24, but pulled out with knee problems.

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: andyoxon on August 07, 2019, 11:45:16 am
As an aside, I notice Fiona had some SPF50 in her kit.  I've been a tad surprised to see reports of severe sunburn from some riders.  Would have thought carrying a sunscreen would have pretty much been essential given the heat / high UV index. 
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 07, 2019, 11:52:31 am
As an aside, I notice Fiona had some SPF50 in her kit.  I've been a tad surprised to see reports of severe sunburn from some riders.  Would have thought carrying a sunscreen would have pretty much been essential given the heat / high UV index.

I had 160ml of SPF 50. I didn't cycle as much as expected, and used almost a whole 80ml bottle. But I am paranoid about the sun (had a relative die of skin cancer), so tend to apply it more frequently.

If you're going hours between stops and sweating a lot, then it's easy for your sun block to have limited actual benefit.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Peter on August 07, 2019, 12:31:06 pm
Anyone remember Beryl Burton, or is it just me?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 07, 2019, 12:45:52 pm
I use cheapo SPF 50 for regular cycling and P20 for audaxes. It seems to be immune to sweat though it is expensive.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 07, 2019, 05:04:59 pm
When is the party, this weekend?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 07, 2019, 07:09:05 pm
I'm still trying to find photos of her front-light setup (which presumably runs off her dynamo, but I don't see a fork-crown bracket)

Supernova E3 Triple on a handlebar mount (https://www.instagram.com/p/B00AnOrIvmJ/).
Cheers - good find!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 07, 2019, 08:02:37 pm
When is the party, this weekend?

Sunday
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 07, 2019, 08:04:10 pm
As an aside, I notice Fiona had some SPF50 in her kit.  I've been a tad surprised to see reports of severe sunburn from some riders.  Would have thought carrying a sunscreen would have pretty much been essential given the heat / high UV index.

Carrying it is not the same as using it!  Sometimes you forget, or miss a bit. 
A bit of a silly error to let it get to that stage though.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 07, 2019, 09:21:01 pm

There are knock-on benefits to celebrity. Bjorn's a brand ambassador for Apidura. https://www.apidura.com/ambassadors/bjorn-lenhard/

Wouldn't mind her becoming a model ambassador for Rapha, since she wore a brevet jersey... would be a breath of fresh air over the anorexic bearded hipsters wannabe PROs they currently use
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 08, 2019, 10:35:01 am
I extracted Fiona's comments about LEL from the Today programme, and put some of the LEL video over it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0RJW4ti0E0
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: fimm on August 08, 2019, 01:06:17 pm
Does anyone else feel that the TCR people are being economical with Fiona's lack of experience? Yes, she hasn't done a race like this before but she's clearly got plenty of experience of riding long-distance events like this.
(If there's some major difference between the experience of doing a long audax and doing TCR that I'm not aware of please tell me.)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on August 08, 2019, 01:16:41 pm
I've done a 400 and a 600 but wouldn't feel these are comparable to the TCR in any way, this year's TCR particularly.


Firstly, the burden of navigation and route planning is 100% on you. A huge amount of the TCR is planning your route; with an audax and indeed the vast majority of other cycling events, that's totally done for you.

Secondly, it's day after day after day. When I did my 400 I was completely done for the next day. I finished at 1700 after a start time of 1800 the day previous, and didn't get out of bed until 0830 the next day. Spent 2 hours sitting around drinking and eating, and did a very steady slow 120km roll to my ferry in Dunkirk.  By comparison Fiona has had 5 hours of down time *per day*, for 10 days in a row. I should think it's a lot like being in the Everest 'death zone', in which the body starts to break down and come apart as the end approaches, since she's pushed herself so hard.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 08, 2019, 01:17:17 pm
Does anyone else feel that the TCR people are being economical with Fiona's lack of experience? Yes, she hasn't done a race like this before but she's clearly got plenty of experience of riding long-distance events like this.
(If there's some major difference between the experience of doing a long audax and doing TCR that I'm not aware of please tell me.)

There is. An Audax the route is preset. Follow the line on your GPS, or follow the route sheet. They also tend to be only 3-5 days in Length (depending on distance). For TCR you have to choose your own route between the mandatory bits, it's over 10 days, and generally speaking it's got a metric fuckton more climbing. Also on an audax you can help each other, generally the sleep stops are pre arranged, etc...

Yes she's done LEL, yes she's done audaxing, but the TCR and similar ultra races are really a whole different beast.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on August 08, 2019, 01:20:42 pm
It's still about riding your bike until your body breaks and keeping going, thobut.  I doubt anyone entering the TCR hasn't got the hang of that bit.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on August 08, 2019, 01:28:27 pm
LEL has a fixed route and provided food, sleep and mechanical help every few hours and lets you tag along with other riders. You could pretty much turn up and go with zero planning and just ride yo bike. TCR requires you to pick your own route and figure out food, shelter and mechanical problems yourself. A huge extra layer of challenge.

(not to mention terrain, heat, language barriers, etc)

Wouldn't mind her becoming a model ambassador for Rapha, since she wore a brevet jersey... would be a breath of fresh air over the anorexic bearded hipsters wannabe PROs they currently use

Edging awfully close to vic_reeves_thigh_rubbing.gif here
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: DuncanM on August 08, 2019, 01:30:01 pm
I have no experience of either, but I would have thought that audax is about the best prep you can do for an ultra-endurance race, short of doing an ultra endurance race.
Surely it's loads better than doing any sort of 1 day race/crit/TT?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on August 08, 2019, 01:32:17 pm
LEL has a fixed route and provided food, sleep and mechanical help every few hours and lets you tag along with other riders. You could pretty much turn up and go with zero planning and just ride yo bike. TCR requires you to pick your own route and figure out food, shelter and mechanical problems yourself. A huge extra layer of challenge.

Depends on the person, surely?

I'm pretty good at mechanical stuff, reasonably competent at route planning, and sorting out shelter and food is surely a matter of having done you homework and allowed an appropriate cockup factor.  All of which is, IME, several orders of magnitude easier than riding a bike a long way.

OTOH, I know people who can churn out miles but are rubbish at bike fettling, have no mechanical sympathy or are allergic to maps, or whatever.  It's always slightly baffling to see people defeated by the easy stuff, but it seems to me that if you're good at riding a long way on a bike, you can often compensate for poor planning by riding more.  That's probably not the way to win races, thobut.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 08, 2019, 01:33:08 pm
Oh, and if you're curious about the route planning thing, go find Hippy's tweets. Seems he drew a straight line from the end of the CP4 parcours, to the finish parcours, and well, he didn't look at the gradients, He's found every annoying climb between the two, including a lovely little 18% yesterday.

Route planning on the TCR is a really important aspect. In the past Bjorn has lost because James had a better route.

This year there was a lot of debate as to which is better, Switzerland or Italy. Switzerland (route Fiona took), seems to be the better one.

Then there is the route Mikaa has taken, which is basically reaching levels of taking the piss in terms of scenic detouring, he's really rubbing it in now...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 08, 2019, 01:40:18 pm
I have no experience of either, but I would have thought that audax is about the best prep you can do for an ultra-endurance race, short of doing an ultra endurance race.
Surely it's loads better than doing any sort of 1 day race/crit/TT?

Audax is a broad church, so it depends. Many of us can do a 200 or a 300, but it's getting up, having had 4 hours sleep, and doing it again, and again, and again, and again. Then you have to consider that the route for much of the TCR has just bonkers levels of climbing. The CP3 parcour was something like 5000m of climbing, in 160km, Then you had another 900m or so to get over the hill into Austria. I massively underestimated the climbing.

I don't know what the best prep is for doing the TCR. What I did didn't work.

I'm pretty good at mechanical stuff, reasonably competent at route planning, and sorting out shelter and food is surely a matter of having done you homework and allowed an appropriate cockup factor.  All of which is, IME, several orders of magnitude easier than riding a bike a long way.

Can you do all of that (well apart from the route planning), when you haven't had more than 4 hours sleep in the last week? Can you do that when you don't speak the language? and don't have phone signal?


Quote
OTOH, I know people who can churn out miles but are rubbish at bike fettling, have no mechanical sympathy or are allergic to maps, or whatever.  It's always slightly baffling to see people defeated by the easy stuff, but it seems to me that if you're good at riding a long way on a bike, you can often compensate for poor planning by riding more.  That's probably not the way to win races, thobut.

Or are just defeated by the heat, and their own incompetence when it comes to feeding the body properly...

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: DuncanM on August 08, 2019, 01:56:04 pm
I have no experience of either, but I would have thought that audax is about the best prep you can do for an ultra-endurance race, short of doing an ultra endurance race.
Surely it's loads better than doing any sort of 1 day race/crit/TT?

Audax is a broad church, so it depends. Many of us can do a 200 or a 300, but it's getting up, having had 4 hours sleep, and doing it again, and again, and again, and again. Then you have to consider that the route for much of the TCR has just bonkers levels of climbing. The CP3 parcour was something like 5000m of climbing, in 160km, Then you had another 900m or so to get over the hill into Austria. I massively underestimated the climbing.

I didn't mean a 200, I meant LEL or PBP or long DIYs. The more days in a row, the better. Most ultradistance races seem to delight in mountains, so I guess climbing would be an advantage too - you are fairly limited in what you can achieve near home on that score. A couple of club-mates did Le Loup - I reckon that probably has the bashing out miles day after day thing down (and the last week certainly had enough climbing), but it's not got any of the self sufficiency elements of TCR.

On a slight tangent, is TCR (or similar) good prep for doing RAAM? Less brain work, more just churning out Watts.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: paddyirish on August 08, 2019, 02:05:58 pm
@QG

from what I've read I'd agree with everything you've written- the TCR seems brutal in terms of all the "soft" skills involved.  James Hayden seemed particularly good at that - riding his own race, not racing the guys over the first two checkpoints and playing the long game.  Fiona did that as well- the number of guys who dropped out trying to keep up.  Jasmin Paris had a similar experience in the Pennine Way race with the second place guy bailing within a few miles of the finish.

You can eat cr@p for 2-3 days on an audax- but how does your body cope with that for 15 days? Can maybe manage sores, injuries and so on if the end is after ~36 hrs.  A pre audax bike service will get you through to the end, how do you service your bike when sleep deprived.  Gravel parcours abuse, etc. 

Now the dust has settled a little,  first question, do you want to try again? Then, if yes, what would you do differently to prepare?  Would a hilly 1000-2000 be better than RATN as prep?  Do you need to train further south to replicate the heat? Do you need to carry less?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 08, 2019, 02:19:54 pm
@QG

You can eat cr@p for 2-3 days on an audax- but how does your body cope with that for 15 days? Can maybe manage sores, injuries and so on if the end is after ~36 hrs.  A pre audax bike service will get you through to the end, how do you service your bike when sleep deprived.  Gravel parcours abuse, etc. 

You can not eat on a 200. Sure it won't be fun, but you can do it. I've done 150km of a 300 on an empty stomach (I puked and couldn't eat), it painful, and slow, but I did manage it. It's just not sustainable.

Quote
Now the dust has settled a little,  first question, do you want to try again? Then, if yes, what would you do differently to prepare?  Would a hilly 1000-2000 be better than RATN as prep?  Do you need to train further south to replicate the heat? Do you need to carry less?

RatN and TCR in the same year is a stupid idea for me. People like Hippy may be able to do that, and maybe one day I would be able to, but right now, RatN did too much damage, meaning that I couldn't do as much training in the last couple of months as I'd like.

Training for the heat is tough, with a 9-5 job, getting down south to train for 2-3 weeks in the heat isn't plausible. What is more, if the route is going East to West (the traditional direction), then it probably won't be as much an issue. I'm hoping that next year is Geraadsbergen to Burgas. It gives a first 600km of rolling Belgium and France before things get gnarly.

I'm thinking I may spend a weekend a month down in Limburg, just banging out climbs.

Did I take too much? Yes. I had more battery capacity than I needed. It's the only thing I have in the bag that I didn't use (aside from the first aid kit). But that's only saving me maybe half a kg. I'm still umming and ahing about whether to carry bivvi kit next year. I may replace it for an emergency bivvi and a down jacket. In eastern europe, finding hotels with late checkin was a lot easier than in western Europe. A lot of people were caught out around CP3 because all the hotels in the valley were booked for a sportiv.

What you pack on your bag is basically your fears. Fear the cold? You carry cold weather clothing. Fear not getting a hotel? You carry bivvi kit. Fear saddle sores? you carry extra creams and extra shorts.

Not taking bivvi kit would save me about 1kg. Not much as an overall proportion. When I unpack my bike, I'm tempted to do a kit grid of everything I took that is in Fiona's bags, and then another with all the kit not in Fiona's, for comparison...

For now I need to get my bike working again (see thread about rear mech), and get my head ready to cycle again. I may try a 300k audax next weekend. Maybe.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 08, 2019, 02:34:06 pm
Without knowing much about > 1,000 km rides, it seems to me that in order to do well (let alone win) TCR, one has to be comfortable doing multi day rides... and by comfortable I don't mean barely scraping through the time limits  of a 600 km Audax, which are very very generous for the distance.

Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 08, 2019, 02:42:01 pm
Without knowing much about > 1,000 km rides, it seems to me that in order to do well (let alone win) TCR, one has to be comfortable doing multi day rides... and by comfortable I don't mean barely scraping through the time limits  of a 600 km Audax, which are very very generous for the distance.

As with may things "It depends".

In theory, with 15 days to do 400km, You can do 266.6km per day. For 15 days. If you average 20kph, that's 13.15 hours in the saddle per day, giving you 10.8 hours per day to sleep, faff, eat, etc... but, averaging 20kph for that long, over the terrain in question is harder than it seems. When you're having to get off and push your bike up 30% inclines on the CP3 parcour (even Fiona walked that bit), that means you need to be going faster else where to make up for it. In theory you can descend the mountain quickly, to make up the time, but you will never actually achieve this. You can't descent fast enough, it's just too dangerous. The fastest time for completing CP3 was about 19 hours, many were taking over 30.

The 40 hours for a 600 isn't as generous as you think it is when you apply the amount of hills of the TCR. It's like doing one of the ACP SR rides, but doing it at BRM pace. Has anyone achieved the Cambian 6C in 40 hours?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: DuncanM on August 08, 2019, 02:43:58 pm
Training for the heat is tough, with a 9-5 job, getting down south to train for 2-3 weeks in the heat isn't plausible. What is more, if the route is going East to West (the traditional direction), then it probably won't be as much an issue. I'm hoping that next year is Geraadsbergen to Burgas. It gives a first 600km of rolling Belgium and France before things get gnarly.

There's a fair amount of information about heat aclimation in some of the Trainer Road podcasts. In particular, they seem to think that getting into a sauna for 30 minutes after doing a training ride can help with heat tolerance. So it is definitely possible to prepare for a hot race while living in a cold climate. I believe that the benefits of this sort of stuff wear off quite quickly, so while it's worth experimenting with, it may only work if you are able to do it in the few weeks before the event.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 08, 2019, 02:51:05 pm


The 40 hours for a 600 isn't as generous as you think it is when you apply the amount of hills of the TCR. It's like doing one of the ACP SR rides, but doing it at BRM pace. Has anyone achieved the Cambian 6C in 40 hours?

J

It is very generous if you think that there are riders out there who can do a 600 in 24 hours but wouldn't even dream of doing TCR. I assume the same riders can probably do an SR in 40 hours, if they put their mind to it.
Ultimately, the Pendle 600 has 10K of climbing and could qualify for SR status by sheer numbers and people have done it in BRM time.

I met Fiona at LWL last year, she was in the leading group with us doing 35 km/h for a little, until willingly or not she got dropped. There are fast people out there, not all have the mindset to go for 10 or more days


Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Kim on August 08, 2019, 02:58:09 pm
I'm pretty good at mechanical stuff, reasonably competent at route planning, and sorting out shelter and food is surely a matter of having done you homework and allowed an appropriate cockup factor.  All of which is, IME, several orders of magnitude easier than riding a bike a long way.

Can you do all of that (well apart from the route planning), when you haven't had more than 4 hours sleep in the last week? Can you do that when you don't speak the language? and don't have phone signal?

Probably not very well, which is why I tend to do my homework.  I'm used to overcompensating for an unreliable body with obsessive (and for many people, excessive) planning, and don't find the organiser-provided facilities on a typical AUK event particularly helpful (I can't rely on them for food, for example), so probably underestimate how much they benefit other riders.

But I can't homework my way into endurance racing, no amount of planning and good luck will make my digestive system work properly, or allow me to function on a massive sleep deficit.

Through that lens, LEL and TCR are equally unachievable, so maybe I underestimate the barrier that the soft skills can be.  Thousands of metres of climbing on fuck all sleep simply dwarfs the effort involved in sitting down and spending some quality time with maps and Google, which frankly sounds like Type 1 Fun.


Quote
Quote
OTOH, I know people who can churn out miles but are rubbish at bike fettling, have no mechanical sympathy or are allergic to maps, or whatever.  It's always slightly baffling to see people defeated by the easy stuff, but it seems to me that if you're good at riding a long way on a bike, you can often compensate for poor planning by riding more.  That's probably not the way to win races, thobut.

Or are just defeated by the heat, and their own incompetence when it comes to feeding the body properly...

BTDT, in far less audacious circumstances.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 08, 2019, 03:21:50 pm
The longest audax I've attempted is the 2,100km Wild Atlantic Way in 2016.  The time limit was 175 hours, so 7 days 7 hours.  Daily averages 300km a day. So it sounds like it would be a similar schedule to a 15 day TCR. The only proper controls were the sleep stops at the end of each day.  It has plenty of climbing and steep stuff.

It took my stomach about two days to settle into the routine and normal appetite returned.  I was getting about 3-4 hours sleep , and found that each day, in terms of distance and sleep, was perfectly repeatable.  One mechanical where my chain went in the spokes, and I had to true the wheel at the side of the road. Sadly on what would have been my final day I got Shermer's neck and after a futher 200km of plugging on, had to abandon, a little over 100km from the finish.

Some riders have completed the Trafalger - Trafalger audax 3100km permanent this summer. 

There are definitely audaxes you can do that will help prepare you for the physicality of TCR.  Some of the other skills you may already have, such as mechanical skills and route planning, and thinking on your feet when tired etc.  If you didn't fancy audax format the Transatlantic Way ride, at about 2300-2400km would also probably be good prep, other than dealing with hot weather.

The Shermer's neck put me off trying anything longer than the Wild Atlantic Way.  I'm going back next year, to try and finish the event, but opting for the new option that averages out at 240km a day and just under 9 days.    Hoping to do it on a recumbent, the frame of which is on order.

The TCR, based on the numbers, does have some brutal days out there but it also has some gentle ones. For instance Fiona had a section through Switzerland of 474km and only 1,164m of ascent.  That is flatter than some 400's in Suffolk / Norfolk.

The advantage (and curse) of TCR is that essentially you set your own time limit, other than passing the checkpoints by certain times. Are the closing time of checkpoints based on a 15 day schedule, and I presume if you miss them then you are out of the GC?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: slugbait on August 08, 2019, 03:25:01 pm
In Sölden right now: let's see if I can shout a "bonne courage" to Beate Weiland. She should be passing by any moment now. (Random encouragement is still allowed, I hope?)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on August 08, 2019, 03:54:11 pm
Training for the heat is tough, with a 9-5 job, getting down south to train for 2-3 weeks in the heat isn't plausible. What is more, if the route is going East to West (the traditional direction), then it probably won't be as much an issue. I'm hoping that next year is Geraadsbergen to Burgas. It gives a first 600km of rolling Belgium and France before things get gnarly.

There's a fair amount of information about heat aclimation in some of the Trainer Road podcasts. In particular, they seem to think that getting into a sauna for 30 minutes after doing a training ride can help with heat tolerance. So it is definitely possible to prepare for a hot race while living in a cold climate. I believe that the benefits of this sort of stuff wear off quite quickly, so while it's worth experimenting with, it may only work if you are able to do it in the few weeks before the event.

"You know all the space I take up in the garage with bikes, tools, turbo trainer etc ?"

"Yeah"

"Do you think I could squeeze a sauna in there as well ?"
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on August 08, 2019, 04:00:34 pm
having done plenty of long audaxes and two tcr's my view is that tcr is much harder because of several factors - uncertainty about the planned route (including road surfaces, traffic levels, sleep stops and food locations), longer overall distance (the body goes into a different survival mode after days 4-5), and a pressure to push yourself all the time (audax control times are very relaxed).
i would not call tcr super hilly - on average it is close to a typical 1km vertical per 100km. yes, there are stretches with lots of climbing, but they come and go. i made many mistakes on both tcr's which have cost me a fair amount of time, but all of them added to a greater adventure - and that's what tcr is about!

the nearest "tcr" experience on an audax was a tinat600 in wales - a proper tough one - i encourage you to try it out!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: DuncanM on August 08, 2019, 05:46:01 pm
Training for the heat is tough, with a 9-5 job, getting down south to train for 2-3 weeks in the heat isn't plausible. What is more, if the route is going East to West (the traditional direction), then it probably won't be as much an issue. I'm hoping that next year is Geraadsbergen to Burgas. It gives a first 600km of rolling Belgium and France before things get gnarly.

There's a fair amount of information about heat aclimation in some of the Trainer Road podcasts. In particular, they seem to think that getting into a sauna for 30 minutes after doing a training ride can help with heat tolerance. So it is definitely possible to prepare for a hot race while living in a cold climate. I believe that the benefits of this sort of stuff wear off quite quickly, so while it's worth experimenting with, it may only work if you are able to do it in the few weeks before the event.

"You know all the space I take up in the garage with bikes, tools, turbo trainer etc ?"

"Yeah"

"Do you think I could squeeze a sauna in there as well ?"
You're thinking about it the wrong way.

"You know how you say that we have to make certain sacrifices for my bike riding? How about we get you a sauna so you can have your spa day anytime you want?" ;)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 09, 2019, 12:42:15 pm
I think fiona was pretty well prepared.

She'd done LEL, she did regularly with Olaf's audax group in Western Germany until she moved to dresden, where she booked up with Bjorn. So loads of advice from those sources.

When I did my first tcr I'd done pbp and lots of audax, plus some unsupported time trials. I felt I was one of the more experienced ones.

However she will have learned a lot from her experience, as we all do from a first ultra. She said as much in her interviews, that she could go faster next time.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 09, 2019, 12:46:30 pm
Nick Van Mead finished in the early morning, he runs a BBC blog... he also was at LWL 2018 and finished ages ahead of Fiona, which goes to show how different TCR is from Audax
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on August 09, 2019, 02:27:37 pm
Concur with Zigzag. TCR is a different animal than repeated long rides on home turf so its not prudent to compare like for like.  Ive ridden a fair few 300's, a few 400's and a couple of rides beyond 500km inside 24 hour periods on a loaded bike and been pretty chipper next day. A few days into TCR is a whole other ball game though, things get ugly.  Quite why its different is debatable and likely a host of reasons, and probably vary from rider to rider. The elevation is a big issue IMHO though as its stacked at certain critical points where there are horrendous climbing days then maybe a couple of rolling/flat so overall elevation is misleading.
I'm in Brest at the mo and the guys coming in are getting nailed by headwinds/ lashing rain on the final run in. One of the high place finishers from previous editions commented that this race was the hardest thing they have ever done.
Its a very different vibe from the previous finishes in Greece, but I think that adds texture and variety to the history of the race.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: fimm on August 09, 2019, 02:48:03 pm
Thanks for all the interesting thoughts and contributions.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Phil W on August 09, 2019, 04:37:37 pm
90 km/h winds forecast out Brest way at the moment.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 09, 2019, 06:33:30 pm
I have no experience of either, but I would have thought that audax is about the best prep you can do for an ultra-endurance race, short of doing an ultra endurance race.
Surely it's loads better than doing any sort of 1 day race/crit/TT?

Audax is a broad church, so it depends. Many of us can do a 200 or a 300, but it's getting up, having had 4 hours sleep, and doing it again, and again, and again, and again. Then you have to consider that the route for much of the TCR has just bonkers levels of climbing. The CP3 parcour was something like 5000m of climbing, in 160km, Then you had another 900m or so to get over the hill into Austria. I massively underestimated the climbing.

I didn't mean a 200, I meant LEL or PBP or long DIYs. The more days in a row, the better. Most ultradistance races seem to delight in mountains, so I guess climbing would be an advantage too ...
For this specific question I would say Yes (i.e. if you are constrained to organised* events, with a choice of more than 1-a-year within 500 miles-ish of home). Clearly hardly any audaxes have the exact same demands as TCR, but that's not the question - clearly RIDING a TCR is the best practice for riding another one!

Many riders currently still struggling to Brest would also find PBP a pretty challenging ride. For more of a self-sufficient, variable-weather and some big hills event, LEL would be better (did someone say that a top female TCR rider also completed LEL recently? Hmm?).

If you showed me a finisher of the Mille Pennines, I would rate their chances of a top-half TCR finish very highly, given no other information.

I have no idea what events would test the soft (non-pedalling?) skills - I guess some sort of small field ultra-run would be pretty good, but not perfect; I don't enough about other niche endurance sports to recommend something ...


*if you just want a solo event, the long perms could work; something like Calais-Brindisi would be good practice (I *think* you're pretty much self-routing?), you could even self-impose a minimum speed above the 200km/day just to "improve" the experience :P
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 10, 2019, 11:51:53 am
The platonic ideal of the 'Transcontinental' ethos is surely an unsupported round the world trip. A sort of cycling  version of ocean racing. These 'ultra races' are an extension of other marathon cycling rides, but they are also limited versions of the ultimate ambition of a self-reliant global race. I blame the Wacky Races myself.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 10, 2019, 11:53:40 am
The platonic ideal of the 'Transcontinental' ethos is surely an unsupported round the world trip. A sort of cycling  version of ocean racing. These 'ultra races' are an extension of other marathon cycling rides, but they are also limited versions of the ultimate ambition of a self-reliant global race. I blame the Wacky Races myself.

https://www.adventurebikeracing.com/worldbybikechallenge/

Like this?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Exit Stage Left on August 10, 2019, 12:08:58 pm
The platonic ideal of the 'Transcontinental' ethos is surely an unsupported round the world trip. A sort of cycling  version of ocean racing. These 'ultra races' are an extension of other marathon cycling rides, but they are also limited versions of the ultimate ambition of a self-reliant global race. I blame the Wacky Races myself.

https://www.adventurebikeracing.com/worldbybikechallenge/

Like this?

J

Indeed. The winner of the first PBP embarked on a St Petersburg to Paris ride a couple of years later. That led to a book with 100 illustrations.

Quote
Terront avec l’appui de son entraîneur Duncan (un ancien très bon coureur) va dès lors se spécialiser dans les exploits au long cours. Il battit d’abord lors d’un défi mémorable Corre sur la distance de 1000 kilomètres derrière entraineur avant d’établir successivement deux records tout aussi mémorables qu’inutiles Saint Petersbourg Paris en 1893 et Rome Paris en 1894.Parti le 27 septembre 1893 de Saint Petersbourg sur des chemins déplorables Terront couvrit 1200 km en Russie avant de traverser l’Allemagne, puis la Belgique pour arriver finalement au vélodrome Buffalo (à Paris) après un périple de 3000 km effectué en 14 jours et 7 heures.En 1893, au sommet de sa gloire, Terront fut sans nul doute le premier sportif suffisamment célèbre pour qu’un éditeur publie de son vivant ses mémoires. Dans cet ouvrage, écrit avec Baudry de Saunier, Charles Terront parle de sa vie, de ses courses, de Jules son frère qui fut un très honnête coureur et il livre enfin à ses lecteurs sa méthode d’entraînement…La même année parut également un ouvrage de Duncan intitulé « En suivant Terront » qui entre autres au travers de 100 dessins retrace le raid Saint Petersbourg Paris.Le parcours de Charles Terront me semble remarquable, par son palmarès mais surtout par son étonnante capacité d’adaptation, passant du grand bi à la bicyclette et des épreuves de vitesse, aux courses de fond et même aux épreuves marathon sans aucune difficulté, démontrant ainsi des qualités athlétiques peu communes. Terront était aussi une sorte d’aventurier, de pionnier qui a su se servir de sa notoriété pour préparer et réaliser des exploits qui n’avaient finalement plus grand-chose à voir avec le cyclisme mais qui lui ont permis d’aller au bout de ses rêves. Alors Chapeau Monsieur Terront
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on August 10, 2019, 12:22:01 pm
It's a race, you are competing against the others, that should be the spirit. If you start with the idea of taking 20 days and do a bit of sightseeing, it's not in the spirit of the event
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 10, 2019, 07:21:13 pm
I've just had a look at the route into Brest - they appear to tackle The Mighty Roc Trevezel of PBP fame  :o

Odd that no riders seem to have mentioned it on arrival ...  ;D
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 12, 2019, 09:37:24 am
The platonic ideal of the 'Transcontinental' ethos is surely an unsupported round the world trip. A sort of cycling  version of ocean racing. These 'ultra races' are an extension of other marathon cycling rides, but they are also limited versions of the ultimate ambition of a self-reliant global race. I blame the Wacky Races myself.

The thought process was actually the other way round.  Mike's idea for the Transcontinental came after he did his round the world race: to create a version of it that could be done by people with jobs / families who could only spare two weeks. 

He spotted a gap in the market!

The Wacky Races analogy is one that is frequently referenced!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 12, 2019, 10:01:53 am
The platonic ideal of the 'Transcontinental' ethos is surely an unsupported round the world trip. A sort of cycling  version of ocean racing. These 'ultra races' are an extension of other marathon cycling rides, but they are also limited versions of the ultimate ambition of a self-reliant global race. I blame the Wacky Races myself.

The thought process was actually the other way round.  Mike's idea for the Transcontinental came after he did his round the world race: to create a version of it that could be done by people with jobs / families who could only spare two weeks. 

He spotted a gap in the market!

The Wacky Races analogy is one that is frequently referenced!
Mike was a rare person; a dedicated athlete with great ability who understood ordinary people.

BMM
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on August 12, 2019, 01:12:56 pm
Looks like Ivan finished this morning.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 12, 2019, 01:31:37 pm
Looks like Ivan finished this morning.

Before or after 5am French time?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on August 12, 2019, 01:38:24 pm
His brevet card is on Instagram. 15 days 23 hours 9 minutes, which I think is 4:09 am French time.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 12, 2019, 01:40:00 pm
His brevet card is on Instagram. 15 days 23 hours 9 minutes, which I think is 4:09 am French time.

Perfect! 51 minutes in hand. Nicely done!

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivan on August 17, 2019, 11:51:50 am
Phew, that was hard! Difficult to encompass in a post, but as I mentioned on FB, I discovered during TCR that I'm really a randonneur at heart rather than an ultra-racer, preferring to stop every few hours instead of spending 24h on the bike eating on the go. In the end, all my audax experience came into play -  targeting control closing times, self-sufficiency (having to replace & rotate my tyres after a sidewall gash plus breaking my seatpost clamp) and the relentless search for supplies.

Those breaks allowed me to handle the heat in the first few days, as I find I can drink a lot more off the bike, consuming ayran and other cold drinks at every stop. Reckon I took in around 10 litres of fluids on those days of which I sweated out at least 75% - I was monitoring my urine for signs of dehydration, if I didn't want to pee after an hour or so, I would drink more and check the colour. Got through my 3 Nuun tubes in 6 days leading a wasteful, fruitless search for replacements in Zagreb, wish I'd packed more - maybe my only kit list error, so not too bad. Time off the bike was also good for managing any contact issues, not suffering problems at all apart from my hands which were severely blistered by the end and still sore - my climbing technique requires me to be out of the saddle pulling on the bars will all my might to get that 66" gear round, and that twisting action on my hands has turned them from a soft computer-operator's to more like Monty Don's!

Having planned countless DIYs helped with the routing as well, and I'm really happy with the result, only spending maybe 100km on roads with uncomfortable levels of traffic, of course this comes at a price of a longer, slower and grimpieur route, but it's not like I was ever a contender for a fast finish. Made extensive use of OCM to pick cycle routes which varied from the crappy to spectacular - the disused railway path from Tarvisio to Moggio Udinese was a particular highlight, descending through countless tunnels and over bridges without encountering a soul - the only downside was not having time to stop at the station buildings converted to bars. Definitely on my list to re-visit, and made even better by finishing at an Albergo in Tolmezzo that let me take my bike into the room and help myself to the breakfast buffet they were setting up the night before for a pre-dawn departure.

I was pretty gutted when it dawned on me that I wasn't going to make the finishers party as that had always been my goal, but then realised that was only one evening of 'fun' and finishing the TCR would stay with me forever, so I re-focussed on getting into GC and I'm still elated that I did make that cut off, as I had to ride the last 36 hours with almost no sleep, stopping for roadside naps whenever the hallucinations got the better of me - it was like Inception at times, with my visual field almost folding in on itself, and haunted by imaginary people in the shadows.

I also feel like I've achieved closure with the loss of Mike, I thought about him a lot on the ride, and completing it has somehow helped me draw a line under this. I'm so proud of what Anna has done, keeping this incredible event running and can't fault any of the organisation, though maybe I'm biased. Of course it's incredibly tough and far harder than I expected but that's the whole point, and now there are people complaining on FB that the parcours are getting too difficult with hike-a-bike sections, but if I can get round with a couple of gears I don't see what the fuss is about - it is truly audacious that will push you to the limit with the expectation that there is a high chance of failure and you have to accept that. At Mike's mum says, just getting to the start line prepared to do the event is a massive achievement in itself and something to carry with you if you have to scratch for whatever reason.

Would I do it again? Maybe in 10 years for my next milestone anniversary, it requires so much preparation (plus riding) time to do properly that I can't really afford - I'm lucky in that I could take a 3 month sabbatical from work this year which helped immensely but unlikely to repeat that, and having done it once don't feel like I have anything to prove now. But hey, maybe I'll be retired at 60 and with have all the time in the world to do it!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 17, 2019, 07:02:50 pm
Well done, Ivan - massive achievement. 
When I saw you the last time about to hit the steep rocky bit of the climb at CP2 I was (once again) amazed at what you were doing. 
Mike would have been impressed by you targeting, and getting, a GC finish time - you either get it or you don't and no-one can ever take that away from you.
I can identify with what you say about the last 36 hours push.  When I did similar in 2016 I went to the strangest place that I have ever been to - and I don't mean Canakkale!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 17, 2019, 09:02:04 pm
Well done Ivan, and a good read.

Meanwhile, dotwatching continues. The last riders are still making their way to the finish (even when controls close, the stamps are still there, and they'll still get counted as finishers, just not in the GC). About a dozen or so have or will reach Brest this weekend, which will leave the Belgian pair, Els and Marie-Lou, who are still steadily plugging away and have about 876km to go.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 17, 2019, 10:57:25 pm
I only noticed today ( in the Cyclingtips interview) that Fiona is riding PBP too. Quite a packed summer before she goes back to school :)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: marcusjb on August 18, 2019, 09:29:13 am
I only noticed today ( in the Cyclingtips interview) that Fiona is riding PBP too. Quite a packed summer before she goes back to school :)

And I believe rode from Brest to Paris post TCR.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 18, 2019, 09:35:42 am
I only noticed today ( in the Cyclingtips interview) that Fiona is riding PBP too. Quite a packed summer before she goes back to school :)

And I believe rode from Brest to Paris post TCR.

Yes, she set off on Monday and arrived in Paris on Thursday. Slightly more touristy than her TCR- stopped off at Mont St Michel, did the Champs-Elysees- but still at a rather rapid pace!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: JenM on August 18, 2019, 10:34:12 am
Report of a ride in The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/18/transcontinental-cycling-race-europe-riding-high (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/18/transcontinental-cycling-race-europe-riding-high)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on August 18, 2019, 10:39:15 am
Looks like all but get 250s are going to finish before the first PBPers catch them. Maybe some will ride back with us?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 18, 2019, 02:56:39 pm
Looks like all but get 250s are going to finish before the first PBPers catch them. Maybe some will ride back with us?
That could be a laugh.

- Oh, you think you're tired well listen to this ...
- Yebbut you haven't had to ....

<ad nauseum>    ;D
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 18, 2019, 06:40:36 pm

Yes, she set off on Monday and arrived in Paris on Thursday. Slightly more touristy than her TCR- stopped off at Mont St Michel, did the Champs-Elysees- but still at a rather rapid pace!

Fiona, and Bjorn are both doing PBP. I'm surprised to see that it looks like Bjorn is in the 84 hour group, either that or his timing chip hasn't worked if he started in a 80 hour group. I kinda expected the 2 of them to be pushing to win PBP as well. Imagine if they worked together as a pair. (Discussion at CP3 was what would happen if Bjorn and Fiona raced next year as a pair, a pair has yet to win outright!)

Mikko is also doing it. There's other TCR riders doing the same but I can't remember which ones.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Tim Hall on August 18, 2019, 06:56:40 pm
"Win PBP" Are you sure about that?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 18, 2019, 07:01:08 pm
By 'win', QC presumably meant 'rider with fastest overall time' ;)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 18, 2019, 08:29:49 pm

Bjorn started 43 mins ago. So looks like he's in the 90 hour group.

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on August 18, 2019, 09:09:47 pm
According to Olaf, fiona is planning a leisurely ride. Born is apparently riding singlespeed with no intention of getting to repeat what he did four years ago.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on August 19, 2019, 08:18:25 am
great job Ivan. Something to cherish and remember. The good and the bad!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 19, 2019, 07:56:54 pm
By 'win', QC presumably meant 'rider with fastest overall time' ;)
Well that's not as simple a statement as it sounds! There are more knowledgeable voices than mine (mainly actually riding the thing right now). Just consider the French attitude to "rules" :P

[ zigzag did the first 521km in 17h26min  !!! ]
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 20, 2019, 10:57:53 am
By 'win', QC presumably meant 'rider with fastest overall time' ;)
Well that's not as simple a statement as it sounds! There are more knowledgeable voices than mine (mainly actually riding the thing right now). Just consider the French attitude to "rules" :P

[ zigzag did the first 521km in 17h26min  !!! ]
Quite....!
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on August 21, 2019, 05:45:00 pm
Fiona was in my start group, being asked for a lot of selfies.

She was 4hrs down on me at Brest, though.  I can imagine she isn’t ‘racing’.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on August 21, 2019, 06:15:58 pm
Fiona was in my start group, being asked for a lot of selfies.

What, even more than you, Rob?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: StuAff on August 22, 2019, 11:11:44 pm
Els and Marie-Lou have made it to Brest. 26d, 13h, 44m. Well done them.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2019, 06:54:21 am
Preliminary results are out:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tud9lVHRuulQCOUJHilcaLdg-t47ilhz/view (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tud9lVHRuulQCOUJHilcaLdg-t47ilhz/view)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: S2L on December 03, 2019, 08:41:55 am
Some very interesting data... numbers are not large enough for reliable stats, but some interesting trends nonetheless

Women are more likely to finish than men, but overall less likely to finish within the GC.
CP3 was the killer for both men and women, but not for the pairs
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on December 03, 2019, 09:14:28 am
Interesting to see almost every finisher got a time penalty, including 5.5 hours for Kolbinger. Do they detail what these are anywhere?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 03, 2019, 01:51:08 pm
No, they don't usually - it would be a big admin task.
I thought it was interesting that there were so many people with penalties.  It wasn't like that in 2016. 
Fiona will most likely have got some for using a section of road in France - the N82/N7 south of Roanne - that is not legal for cyclists.  There are reports that she did something similar in Switzerland.   
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on December 03, 2019, 07:28:36 pm
No, they don't usually - it would be a big admin task.
I thought it was interesting that there were so many people with penalties.  It wasn't like that in 2016. 
Fiona will most likely have got some for using a section of road in France - the N82/N7 south of Roanne - that is not legal for cyclists.  There are reports that she did something similar in Switzerland.

This was quite extensively discussed on the French randonneur forum.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on December 03, 2019, 08:05:03 pm
Interesting to see almost every finisher got a time penalty, including 5.5 hours for Kolbinger. Do they detail what these are anywhere?

No inside knowledge here but I would guess its because the event is maturing and being refined with each edition. I imagine official dot watchers are receiving more sophisticated mandates as a result.
I guess its possible that the trackers now having 5 min pings (rather than 10 mins) could also come into play. (at least I think thats the case)
I don't think Im giving anything untoward away by saying that the #8 registration doc really hammers home safety that goes beyond previous races.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on December 04, 2019, 06:41:49 pm
The doubling of pings could well make a difference. When I was dot-watching in 2017, there were long sections thru winding  mountain gorges where the riders "track" would tend to be nowhere bloody near the actual roads! With a "No-bikes" road running vaguley alongside an older road, I was often flagging riders who MIGHT have been on the motorway, but I really couldn't be sure. I suspect they all got the benefit of the doubt; I never heard of any pens for my riders, and I'm not sure if I'd have been told anyway.

It certainly is interesting, this quantity of pens in 2019! I do hope that Lostdot disclose some details :)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 05, 2019, 08:29:39 am
I've dug into it a bit more and a lot of it apparently comes from the A1 in Serbia, where many riders missed the banned sections.  They must have been through the tracks with a fine-tooth comb to sort it out.

I diverted off the A1 for the banned sections but it turns out I did use another bit of banned road - the bridge over the Danube to the east of Belgrade.  It was busy with lots of trucks around but didn't spot any signs there at the time.  It is on streetview but from 2014 so not much use.  I wasn't the only one to go that way so some penalties will be from that.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: rob on December 05, 2019, 10:35:49 am
So, as an example, could you decide to ride on a banned road knowing that you will get a 1hr penalty but that it will save you 2hrs of riding ?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: bludger on December 05, 2019, 10:51:52 am
It's a tricky one - Sean Conway broke German law by cycling in the road when there was a quality cycle track available, which got him no end of aggro from raging Audi drivers. Should that invalidate his record in some way, as it gives him an advantage over a law-abiding record attempter? Very difficult. I think the laws are complete baloney but nonetheless it seems a bit much to basically have it a requirement to break the law and be at risk of getting nicked by Das Plodmensch in order to be on matched terms with an incumbent record holder...
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 05, 2019, 11:04:41 am
I've dug into it a bit more and a lot of it apparently comes from the A1 in Serbia, where many riders missed the banned sections.  They must have been through the tracks with a fine-tooth comb to sort it out.

I diverted off the A1 for the banned sections but it turns out I did use another bit of banned road - the bridge over the Danube to the east of Belgrade.  It was busy with lots of trucks around but didn't spot any signs there at the time.  It is on streetview but from 2014 so not much use.  I wasn't the only one to go that way so some penalties will be from that.

Can you confirm that it is this bridge that you got a penalty for?

https://goo.gl/maps/bUyJbYRhnw5ZuB3N6

Thanks

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: trekker12 on December 05, 2019, 11:57:56 am
Reading with interest as I'm fascinated by the event and the riders but in the knowledge I won't do anything about it and have never read the race manual.....

I would imagine if you are breaking race rules because they think you shouldn't be riding on a particular road for your own safety based on their knowledge of ultra-riders and the event is one thing, breaking a country's laws in anyway including their road law is another and I would expect a more severe penalty for the latter.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Ivo on December 05, 2019, 12:32:00 pm
Reading with interest as I'm fascinated by the event and the riders but in the knowledge I won't do anything about it and have never read the race manual.....

I would imagine if you are breaking race rules because they think you shouldn't be riding on a particular road for your own safety based on their knowledge of ultra-riders and the event is one thing, breaking a country's laws in anyway including their road law is another and I would expect a more severe penalty for the latter.

In that case many riders wearing Rapha reflective gilets should be severely penalised since they aren't sufficient at night according to French road law.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: trekker12 on December 05, 2019, 12:46:27 pm
As is always the way some laws do not comply with many peoples view of 'reasonable and fair' but If it stands a chance of bringing the race into disrepute then, yes.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 05, 2019, 12:52:04 pm

In that case many riders wearing Rapha reflective gilets should be severely penalised since they aren't sufficient at night according to French road law.

In most nations the law is so complicated that nearly everyone is breaking it in multiple ways at all times.

On Race round the Netherlands exactly 1 bike was fully legal by the letter of the Dutch law. Then there is the slight issue of how local law interacts with the vienna convention. Tho explaining that to some cop at 2am in the middle of nowhere rarely ends well.

Regarding Sean Conway's riding in Germany, it's more complicated than people may suggest.

In Germany the cycleway/pavement along the side of the road is compulsory where the correct sign is placed. When the sign is there, the cycleway has to be maintained to specific standard. This responsibility lies with the local council, and for many of them, they have decided it was a lot easier to just remove the sign rather than maintain the cycleway. What this means is that you're cycling along in the road, quite legally, but the audi driver over taking you doesn't feel you should be there, you're still going to get shouted at, a lot. The same is true when the cycle way is full of ice, but the road is gritted, making the cycleway suicidal to ride in (Had the same problem in Belgium).

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: FifeingEejit on December 05, 2019, 01:17:38 pm

In that case many riders wearing Rapha reflective gilets should be severely penalised since they aren't sufficient at night according to French road law.

In most nations the law is so complicated that nearly everyone is breaking it in multiple ways at all times.

On Race round the Netherlands exactly 1 bike was fully legal by the letter of the Dutch law. Then there is the slight issue of how local law interacts with the vienna convention. Tho explaining that to some cop at 2am in the middle of nowhere rarely ends well.


Reflective tyres and pedal reflectors (and maybe bells)?

The vienna convention is both amazing and amusing, it sets a minimal set of rules all signatories are meant to meet; and sets a set of rules about vehicles in "international traffic" that completely ignores the fact that bicycles aren't required to be registered! Depsite the fact that the rules of vehicle registration are set in it...

How do you convince the polis that a bike is in international rather than domestic traffic???!!!
If you do, then the bike has to meet the standards of the country it's supposedly from; there's more chance of UK regs being enforced in that case than on UK roads!

The French forced Prioritie a D'Roit into it for right hand traffic...  Everyone else countered that with the priority diamond sign to create the same set up as left hand traffic.

I think some international cycle tourists need to infiltrate get jobs with the UNECEs road traffic department in time for the Vienna convention's next revision.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Morbihan on December 05, 2019, 07:00:19 pm
So, as an example, could you decide to ride on a banned road knowing that you will get a 1hr penalty but that it will save you 2hrs of riding ?

That would be an infraction of the rules. "Don't be a dick" and rule #10  "Ride in the spirit of self reliance and equal opportunity"
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: mattc on December 05, 2019, 07:18:57 pm
So, as an example, could you decide to ride on a banned road knowing that you will get a 1hr penalty but that it will save you 2hrs of riding ?

That would be an infraction of the rules. "Don't be a dick" and rule #10  "Ride in the spirit of self reliance and equal opportunity"
In theory, perhaps - but the rider could claim ignorance. (and I don't think they know the exact penalties ... IIRC??)
Anyway, I do think there will always be grey areas. for example how on earth do organisers decide what is a "fair" penalty??
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Danu on December 05, 2019, 08:34:37 pm
Ask you, Matt
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 06, 2019, 11:30:19 am

Can you confirm that it is this bridge that you got a penalty for?

https://goo.gl/maps/bUyJbYRhnw5ZuB3N6


That was the bridge I went over.  I didn't get a penalty as I didn't finish but I've been told by someone else who went over it that they got one for it, and quite a few others did - so I expect I would have got one.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 06, 2019, 11:42:42 am
So, as an example, could you decide to ride on a banned road knowing that you will get a 1hr penalty but that it will save you 2hrs of riding ?

In practice I don't think people do that, in part because they don't know what the penalties are so don't have the info to make the 'professional foul' calculation.  However, I also believe that if people reckoned that they would get a really big penalty (or get disqualified) they might behave differently sometimes. 

The philosophy behind the penalties is that they are designed to compensate for unfair advantage, not to punish.  The basis is that they accept that anyone can make a mistake but it shouldn't affect the result.  Like my bridge ^ it was a genuine mistake, I didn't see  any indication on any map that it was not rideable or any signs on the road.  So I would expect to have the time advantage I gained from it vs the next best route wiped out by a penalty.  If someone was to make a deliberate mistake, ie cheat, they would expect to be disqualified rather than receiving a time penalty.

In the past I've said that I think the penalties are not enough to outweigh the benefits of taking the illegal road.  This was based on my experience in 2016 when I leapfrogged with another rider for much of the race, was slightly ahead of him when we both slept at Skopje, but he finished about 12 hours before me, with a 2 hour penalty. 

How did that happen?  From Skopje, I took a rough and hilly but legal road while he took the motorway (waved onto it by a policeman).  Not only was his road far quicker but it meant that he was able to finish on the Friday evening, while I had to have an extra sleep stop which took me into Saturday morning. 

If we had taken the same route I may not have beaten him but I think we would have finished within a couple of hours of each other.   
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: quixoticgeek on December 06, 2019, 12:29:20 pm
That was the bridge I went over.  I didn't get a penalty as I didn't finish but I've been told by someone else who went over it that they got one for it, and quite a few others did - so I expect I would have got one.

If there's no signs saying you can't ride over it, how do they know that it isn't legal to cycle over it?

J
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: zigzag on December 06, 2019, 01:26:49 pm
That was the bridge I went over.  I didn't get a penalty as I didn't finish but I've been told by someone else who went over it that they got one for it, and quite a few others did - so I expect I would have got one.

If there's no signs saying you can't ride over it, how do they know that it isn't legal to cycle over it?

J

it's legal, but not allowed by the race organisers due to elevated danger (e.g. no shoulder and fast moving traffic). some trunk roads in romania were fine during most of early and late hours, but too busy/dangerous during the daylight, hence they were forbidden.
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 06, 2019, 03:02:49 pm

it's legal, but not allowed by the race organisers due to elevated danger (e.g. no shoulder and fast moving traffic). some trunk roads in romania were fine during most of early and late hours, but too busy/dangerous during the daylight, hence they were forbidden.

Is that right?  I assumed I must have missed a sign but maybe not.
Do you know where it is listed as being banned?  I didn't see it in the manual or on the 'hazards' map
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Karla on December 06, 2019, 04:34:12 pm
Is this one of the cases where they reserve the right to fiddle with the rules on the go?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 06, 2019, 10:46:35 pm
They reserve the right but did not exercise it
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Pickled Onion on December 07, 2019, 08:25:13 pm
There is this sign https://goo.gl/maps/ePZ43hKRhosGvPMs6 (https://goo.gl/maps/ePZ43hKRhosGvPMs6) on the approach, which (guessing) being blue might mean motor vehicles only?
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: grams on December 07, 2019, 08:45:25 pm
That’s exactly what it means. Very common in continental Europe. I don’t know if there’s one on every approach though.

There’s no direct UK equivalent, so we have signs like this instead:
https://goo.gl/maps/HkiKi6W9sUbEvDPg9

(Normally they mention animals or horse drawn carriages, so apparently you can ride a horse through the Blackwall Tunnel)
Title: Re: Transcontinental 2019
Post by: Frank9755 on December 08, 2019, 07:35:37 am
There is this sign https://goo.gl/maps/ePZ43hKRhosGvPMs6 (https://goo.gl/maps/ePZ43hKRhosGvPMs6) on the approach, which (guessing) being blue might mean motor vehicles only?

Yes it does.  I missed it (which is what I was assuming was the case).
Well spotted, I had checked streetview when I found out that the bridge was a problem but hadn't looked that far back down the road.  It's a 2014 image so possible that things have changed since then, but more likely that those signs will have been added than taken away.