Well, that escalated quickly. I started riding my bicycle longer and further in 2012, always looking for this new road and that unknown hill to explore. Riding the same roads over and over just doesn’t do it anymore. The idea of crossing a whole mountain range, country or even a continent with nothing more than two wheels and minimal baggage always fueled my imagination. It’s never been about being particularly fast, more about the sense of exploration and seeing how far I can go. Doing it as fast as possible, in a race context, adds a whole new layer of excitement and the promise of adventure in its purest form. This Friday July 28th, a new ride begins. This one means more to me than just any other bike ride. This is the big one. I’m riding the Transcontinental Race No. 5.
“The PEdAL ED Transcontinental Race is the definitive self-supported bicycle race across Europe. 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 racer’s minds as well as their physiques. The strongest excel and redefine what we think possible while many experienced riders target only a finish.
One Stage – The clock never stops. Racers choose where, when and if at all to rest.
No Support – Racers can only use what they take with them, or what they can find en-route at commercially available services.
No route – Only mandatory controls ensure that racers visit some of the most famous pieces of road in Europe and connect with the suffering of their forebears. The rest is up to them.”
More details here
Following the race online is easy. So you’re watching the dots and wonder why what is happening. The easiest way to find out more is to look up the official hashtag #tcrn05 across usual social media channels. Each rider has a different cap number and hashtag. Mine is #tcrn05cap125, with 125 being my race number. Replace it with any rider’s number (three-digit, so for example #tcrn05cap014 for Paula) and find out their stories. It’s a fascinating way of watching the race unfold in slow motion. In the words of my mate George: „Some proper random things are gonna happen.“ Enjoy.
Your support on Gofundme is very much appreciated and will help me buy a drink or maybe a good meal along the way. Simple words of encouragement go a long way too, but it is important to remember that this is a self-supported race, meaning the racers are not allowed any private outside support. Find out more about what that means here.
Beware – dotwatching is addictive, as Jack Thurston beautifully describes the process.
Leads to finding more pieces of the puzzle: