The Transcontinental. The What, When & Why

What is it?

For those coming here without the foggiest idea about what the Transcontinental is, here’s a very very brief summary:

It’s a long race. Well a very long race really. It’s about 4,000km in length – I say ‘about’ since apart from a defined start and end point, and 4 ‘check points’ in between, each rider is required to determine their own route. To make things a little more interesting the ride must be totally self-supported (no outside assistance) and can only use facilities (eg. cafes, hostels, etc) that are available to the general public, but these cannot be booked in advance of the race start. To make it more interesting still, it must be a solo ride, therefore you cannot ride with other competitors (well unless you’re in the pairs category, which I’m not).

How long does it take?

The winner last year took 8 days and 18 hours, which for around 4,000km isn’t hanging about. I’ll take significantly longer, and intend to make it in time for the finishers party, which gives me a maximum of 15 days, or an average of at least 260km/day.

When and where is it?

It starts in Belgium on 28th July at 10pm, and the finishers party is on the evening of 12 August in Greece. The route will be something like this …. (ignore the time estimate, that’s Google indicating I’m in a car)

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-14-35-43

How do I feel?

Pretty excited but also intimidated by all the planning that is needed even before I get to the start line. The biggest challenge will however be a mental one. I expect numerous times asking myself why am I doing this, why not give up, why not put my feet up and have a long rest. Sounds tempting already …. I better stop this train of thought.

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