Author Topic: TCR no8.  (Read 14098 times)

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #200 on: January 13, 2020, 05:36:48 am »
Not long before the start, when people have paid their final instalment and confirmed that they are riding. 
Probably early July.  I DNS'd in mid-June in 2018 and that was before the list came out.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #201 on: January 13, 2020, 05:45:08 am »
I have struggled with the whole pay-to-regoster thing, but assuming the bursary scheme does some good things,

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

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


Firstly, only a week to apply doesn't give people much time to get their things together, and then making it so that they will receive extensive publicity might not be everyone's cup of tea.  Some may be fine with it but others on low incomes may not want to give such a high profile to their personal situation, both for normal reasons of privacy and also because it could put extra pressure on them during the event.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #202 on: January 13, 2020, 10:52:39 am »
That is true. I don't know. TBH I think it's now accepted that TCR is not a private personal challenge, it is a race with your name and face up on a live tracking leaderboard which thousands of people follow all around the world. Your background and general 'story' is liable to come under a lot of visibility.

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



Draft route...
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #203 on: January 13, 2020, 11:35:49 am »
Does anyone know what the number of applications was ?   I note that, among my peers, everyone that I knew had entered has got a spot.

Despite this being a bit of a long shot for me to enter, I had also discounted it as it was too difficult to get a ride.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #204 on: January 13, 2020, 12:41:12 pm »
Entries were down on last year, 613. I think they were about 650 last year, and a bit more the year before.  IIRC correctly they were about 900 in 2017.  But more competition nowadays, and maybe a feeling that the last couple of routes haven't quite been as exciting as earlier. 

Shame you didn't enter! 

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #205 on: January 13, 2020, 12:46:13 pm »
That is true. I don't know. TBH I think it's now accepted that TCR is not a private personal challenge, it is a race with your name and face up on a live tracking leaderboard which thousands of people follow all around the world. Your background and general 'story' is liable to come under a lot of visibility.

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


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

I think there's massive interest in the winner, but it tails off rapidly after that.  A few people have made an effort to promote themselves, either for a laugh or to get publicity for their own ventures.  And some people are sponsored by brands so they are essentially generating content for marketing purposes.  But for the average person who is not on the podium, not sponsored and not a raging self-publicist or tweeter, it is mostly only close friends and family who know much about what they are doing. 

Phil W

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #206 on: January 13, 2020, 12:47:38 pm »
I have a hunch that there might be at least one other on the forum who might have got a place too...

There is, one other forum member has confirmed on his latest video that he has got a place.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #207 on: January 13, 2020, 04:02:28 pm »

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

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

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

Still, 1 more woman than last year...

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

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #208 on: January 13, 2020, 04:19:28 pm »
How much do we reckon the registration fees have left over minus the overhead? Maybe next year they could use the dough plus the input from the 'bursary recipients' to finance a EDI campaign (equitable, diverse, inclusive) recruitment campaign.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #209 on: January 13, 2020, 04:22:15 pm »

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

J

I'd really like to know more about how to go about this down to the nitty gritty.
Frequent Audax and bike ride videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/djrikki2008/videos

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #210 on: January 13, 2020, 04:37:00 pm »
I wonder if The Man in Seat 61 might be interested in doing an article for the TCR people about '... and how to get home'
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #211 on: January 13, 2020, 04:59:52 pm »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was the route I took.

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

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

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

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

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #212 on: January 13, 2020, 07:12:01 pm »
I see Matt F is sitting it out this year.  Its always interesting to see the characters on the start list that have pointy end potential.

I'm making some major alterations to my rig for the race. So major in fact that on reflection I concluded it was prudent to build a new bike altogether and leave it over in Europe rather than chop out all the stuff on my bike here and risk the back and forth and $ involved in the flights.
 As a nod to advancing age and various aches and pains in a knee and rugby neck I have specced a slightly more relaxed geometry, super low gears, slightly lower BB than my current machine, 650b and mahoosive tires. It should serve well for when I get even older and more broken. After that its dominoes because gardening is already a pain in the back.
often lost.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #213 on: January 13, 2020, 08:18:36 pm »
I see Matt F is sitting it out this year.  Its always interesting to see the characters on the start list that have pointy end potential.

Who is riding who is a podium contender?

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #214 on: January 13, 2020, 08:26:35 pm »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was the route I took.

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

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

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

J

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

Did you dismantle your bike at all that year?  That sounds like a royal PITA.
Frequent Audax and bike ride videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/djrikki2008/videos

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #215 on: January 13, 2020, 08:28:32 pm »
Who is riding who is a podium contender?

Fiona and Bjorn at a guess...

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

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #216 on: January 13, 2020, 10:00:57 pm »
Jonathan Rankin is too

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #217 on: January 14, 2020, 06:20:46 am »
Just a small trip for travelling home.
There's a train from Brasov to Budapest carrying bikes. However, in 2017 when I took it it doesn't carry bikes over the border. The last Romanian railway station is Episcopia Bihor, the first Hungarian one is Biharkeresztes. The train takes 1h3 minutes for these 11km. So you can get out, cycle across the border and reboard the train at the first Hungarian railway station. I could even pay by credit card in the train in 2017.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #218 on: January 14, 2020, 08:24:17 am »

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

- Train to Sofia...


Quite an adventure! 
I enjoyed my train trip back from Austria. Not quite as eventful, only three trains and I broke the journey staying overnight with a friend in Frankfurt.  It was such good fun that, when I had a business trip to Stuttgart in October, I went by train and retraced my steps along the same line. 
I was thinking about getting the train back from Burgas and had looked it up on the man in seat 61.  It would be fun but it would take a while - the trains are a lot slower east of the iron curtain.  It's 7 hours from Burgas to Sofia on top of his 2-day route so it would mean leaving on the Sunday overnight train to get home for Wednesday evening!
https://www.seat61.com/Bulgaria.htm

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #219 on: January 14, 2020, 12:11:37 pm »
I see Matt F is sitting it out this year.  Its always interesting to see the characters on the start list that have pointy end potential.

Who is riding who is a podium contender?

Pretty much. Maybe a new face to TCR with a top pedigree. Some one like Abdul Z. Or one of the ex pros that have expressed an interest in ultra racing. Then there are unknowns (or little knowns) who appear out of the blue and take the race by storm like Fiona last year.
often lost.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #220 on: January 14, 2020, 12:19:52 pm »
Shame you didn't enter!

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

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #221 on: January 17, 2020, 05:52:56 pm »
Shame you didn't enter!

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

Well there is always TPR open about now.
often lost.

Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #222 on: January 30, 2020, 01:59:15 pm »
Hows folks Winter training going? Long rides? Gym work? Not started yet?

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

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





often lost.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #223 on: January 30, 2020, 03:15:11 pm »
Hows folks Winter training going? Long rides? Gym work? Not started yet?

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

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

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

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

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: TCR no8.
« Reply #224 on: January 30, 2020, 07:41:24 pm »
Shame you didn't enter!

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

Well there is always TPR open about now.
Sunday deadline - don't hang about! Everyone got in last year, but you have to apply :)
Has never ridden RAAM
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