Author Topic: Transcontinental 2019  (Read 17739 times)

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #325 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
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #326 on: August 12, 2019, 01:12:56 pm »
Looks like Ivan finished this morning.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #327 on: August 12, 2019, 01:31:37 pm »
Looks like Ivan finished this morning.

Before or after 5am French time?

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

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #328 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.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #329 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #330 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!
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #331 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!

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #332 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.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #333 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 :)
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

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #334 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.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #335 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!

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #336 on: August 18, 2019, 10:34:12 am »

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #337 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?

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #338 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
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
« Reply #339 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
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #340 on: August 18, 2019, 06:56:40 pm »
"Win PBP" Are you sure about that?
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #341 on: August 18, 2019, 07:01:08 pm »
By 'win', QC presumably meant 'rider with fastest overall time' ;)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #342 on: August 18, 2019, 08:29:49 pm »

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

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

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #343 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.

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #344 on: August 19, 2019, 08:18:25 am »
great job Ivan. Something to cherish and remember. The good and the bad!
All the gear and no idea.Three dimensionally dyslexic.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #345 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  !!! ]
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

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #346 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....!

Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #347 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’.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #348 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?
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

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Transcontinental 2019
« Reply #349 on: August 22, 2019, 11:11:44 pm »
Els and Marie-Lou have made it to Brest. 26d, 13h, 44m. Well done them.