It’s been a while since I’ve done something a wee bit epic, so with only minimal consideration I said “yes” when a good mate (Fraser Waters of Happy Cog) asked if I’d be up for the 2015 Transcontinental Race.
Organised by Mike Hall, this year will be the third incarnation of the race, this time with a completely new depart. Instead of London, it will now start from somewhere in Flanders heading to the finish in Istanbul with only four checkpoint along the route; Mount Ventoux (France), Sestriere (Italy), Vokovar (Croatia) and Kotor (Montenegro). Circa 4,000kms in total.
The race is held in the style of ITT (Independent Time Trial) with riders expected to be self sufficient along the route, relying on their own route planning and with no outside support. In addition there will be some interesting mandatory sections such as climbs to the summit of Mont Venteux and Mont Lovcen with some Belgian pave and strade bianche thrown into the mix!
As we’re riding as a pair, we’ve been thinking hard about bikes and kit and have general plan sorted out. First question was bikes and having considered doing custom Shand builds, we’ve settled on standard Stoaters as they really do tick all the boxes. We’ve also had enquiries from fellow competitors so we’re not alone in our thinking about a suitably tough, lightweight mile-muncher of a bike.
I’ll post more about our preparations in due course, but having committed to posting this here, there’s no going back now. Istanbul, here we come!
We’re back on the road again! This time at the London Bike Show in mid-February and you can find us on stand number LB901.
UPDATE 8 Jan – Tickets have all been allocated!
We also have some complimentary tickets so if you’d like to visit us, send an email to email@example.com with the following details before by midday on Friday 9 January:
First come, first served!
At the beginning of December Steven and myself will be at Spin in Shoreditch London with a Stoater and our new production 29er. It’s a great opportunity to have a look at our bikes in the flesh, so come along and say hi. Tickets are available for free from the Spin website.
Location: Rochelle School & Club Row, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES (location on google map).
Just arrived this morning and available to buy in our online shop. Thanks for your patience!
Hello Steven, Russell and Fraser and Euan
Month one went well. 382 miles, at least 75% of them on tracks I knew of but had never been on. I joined up the village, the Lammermuirs, and the Lauder Valley on a number of high-level solo excursions passing the odd sheep, one or two ramblers, and a lot of wind turbines. I joined up bits of my mental geography of my own back yard, into a more coherent jigsaw. I found large swathes of uninhabited land only a few clicks from my front door that I had never managed to access before. Ancient routes (not least the Herring Road) and newly laid access roads – the Stoater made no distinction, just rolled on through silently without a grumble. I fell off once hitting a clear-fell tree stump amongst the Crystal Rigg turbines.
Here we are in the back garden in single speed mode with some 37mm Vittorias ready for anything the winter roads want to throw at us.
Thank again for all of your precision work. I’m appreciating it!!