Author Topic: Transcontinental 2019  (Read 17312 times)

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #25 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!

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #26 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


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #27 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

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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #28 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.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #29 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.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #30 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #31 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! ]
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #32 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2018, 07:22:26 pm »
When is the Finishers Party (and/or deadline, cutoff, whaddeva) ?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #34 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019 - start Fri Jul 26th
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2018, 08:02:55 pm »
Thanks! [So Fri Aug 9th? Ish ... ]
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019 - start Fri Jul 26th
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2018, 08:38:50 pm »
Thanks! [So Fri Aug 9th? Ish ... ]

Sunday 11th @1900 CEST. I believe, provisionally

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #37 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...


Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #38 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.

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #39 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.

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #40 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.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #41 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #42 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!

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #43 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).

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #44 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.
All the gear and no idea.Three dimensionally dyslexic.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #45 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #46 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
All the gear and no idea.Three dimensionally dyslexic.

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #47 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.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2019, 09:16:31 pm »


Have got a place on TCR no 7.

Ye god's I must be mad...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2019, 09:26:23 pm »
I've also had an offer of a place.  8)