TCR 2022 – Done!

In the early hours of last Friday morning, in Burgas, Bulgaria, I succesfully completed Transcontinental #8 ultra-endurance bicycle race. I arrived at the final checkpoint 25 days, 5 hours, and 43 minutes after setting off from Geraardsbergen, Belgium.

It’s a long time, and a long distance to be cycling, and inevitably the race brought many challenges and rewards. To summarise the challenges:

• Used my ‘third’ choice bike after hitting issues with the first two, which meant quickly getting it into a good condition after I’d used it for racing the Pan Celtic Race the week before
• Replaced headset 5pm the night before leaving
• Lost my wallet the day I was leaving for Belgium
• Bottom bracket slightly loose on arrival in Geraardsbergen
• The frame broke on the third day
• The rear tyre developed a split 2/3 way into the race
• Numerous punctures – I got through all 5 spare inner tubes that I’d taken
• BB and headset both started deteriorating from about halfway into the race
• Cycling on a lot of fast roads, often sharing the roads with trucks and fast cars.

With the broken frame taking a day out of my schedule, I had to push hard to make it to Control Point 1 within the time cut-off. This was tough, but it was fun to race against the clock. I reached it ok, but I’d burnt a few matches in the process, and wouldn’t be able to make CP2 within cut-off. I transitioned my efforts to doing my best to make it into the Transcontinental Finisher category. My race had really only just begun. I set myself four goals:
1. Stay safe
2. Have fun
3. Embrace adventure
4. Get as far as possible

With hard work, decisions made by experience, and a dollop of good fortune, I made it to the finish.

I enjoy riding my bike, so challenges aside, I had a great time. I visited countries I’ve never been to before, and really enjoyed seeing the towns and villages on my route. I had good encounters with locals and visitors, and I received lots of nice comments along the way, from friends and also strangers invested in my progress.

That’s all I have time / space for now. I just wanted to say, thank you for following me on my journey!

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