Weight watching

As well as much needed back to back distance rides, an extra goal of the recent “Chepstow Weekend” (post coming soon) was testing the full NC4K rig. And I hadn’t even swung a leg over the bike before doubts began to emerge. The scales were reading 23.5kg loaded up but without water. To be honest, that number was probably similar to my H2H tour rig, although that being a leisurly tour I didn’t bother to weigh anything. The knowledge though that this new configuration was at least 1.5Kg heavier than either of my TCR rigs was troubling. Stood in the garage staring at the number, having weighed it again in the hope it was wrong, it felt excessive. And the next day, slogging up the dual hills into and out of the Honiton valley, “excessive” was probably the word my legs would have chosen too – if they’d had enough energy to speak. As buddy Chris van Zyl messaged on our long distance group:

That weight is going to hurt in the hills

He wasn’t wrong.

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A lesson learnt from work

Warning – geek zone alert. Put on your strongest jargon pant.

I’m a coder – aka techie, geek. At one time I might even have used the term hacker, but common usage and the dictonary have pigeon holed that definition to a narrow and more malicious subset of it’s original meaning. On my resume though it’s just “Software Developer“, since corporate types don’t like any of those other terms. OK, but what does that have to do with cycling you might rightly ask. Bear with me, we’ll get there.

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Why so much gear?

I’m not sure cockpit layout is something you ever really finish, let alone perfect. Each new ride comes with fresh challenges that your gear needs to play its part in answering. And with every event done comes a better appreciation of what works and what doesn’t – what’s needed and what can be left out. You’d think with the number of events I’ve done my cockpit layout would become more streamlined and minimal. Certainly my layout for #TCRNo8 was probably the most minimal I’ve ever used on a long event. So why is this layout for NC4K so crowded?

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North Cape 4000, 2024

Sorry What?

Yep – that is a fair question given my previous post on scratching from TCR#8 on day 9 in 2022 clearly stated it was “my last attempt“. But I still stand by that fully. Having had two attempts, TCR is not for me – maybe not impossible, but not doable by me in a time that fits the spirit of the race. The daily budget of 270km+  of riding combined with the often savage amount of climbing is not something my body and mind can sustain. I might be able to finish it in 20 or 21 days, but why enter something which is a race, knowing you are likely to finish 5 days or more beyond cutoff. To paraphrase Mike Halls words from the Race Manual – “TCR is not a tour, if you want one of those then there are plenty available“. But oddly, there aren’t – at least not if you want a properly long, adventurous event with a decent but still roughly attainable daily distance requirement (circa 100 miles) and around a 3 week duration. In fact there’s only one I know of in Europe: NorthCape 4000. Which is why I’ve thrown my hat in the ring to give it a try.

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