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The Transcontinental

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Earlier this week I received the news that I have a place in the Transcontinental Race. It is a 4,000+ km unsupported race across Europe, this year from Geraadsbergen in Belgium to Meteora in Greece. One of the hardest cycle races of its kind, what makes it unique is there are very few rules and you devise your own route – ideally the fastest way from start to finish. You are tracked online by means of a spot tracker and the ‘dot watchers’ will be looking for any infringements, such as riding on forbidden roads or through tunnels deemed unsafe by the organisers. As it’s unsupported, this means absolutely no outside assistance and you choose your own level of comfort. Those aiming for a top spot will typically cycle in excess of 300 km’s everyday, sleeping by the roadside or occasionally booking a few hours in a motel. It’s not a race for the weak or faint hearted, that’s for sure.

Meteora Monasteries, Greece

Meteora Monasteries, Greece

For me, it’s the perfect event as it fits my personal strengths and gives me a shot at doing something pretty special. This is what I’ve been training for: the ultra endurance rides and long sleepless nights were just preparation and I haven’t even begun to get specific yet. I’m not looking to be just another finisher (which trust me is a major challenge in itself) but to be in the mix at the finish.

Over the years I’ve raised many thousands of pounds for various charities, many of them cycling based. Along with my late wife I even organised a huge cycle sportive in the UK to raise funds for cancer charities, cycled Lands End to John O’Groats (1,000 miles) in 5 days (raising £200,000) and Leeds-Paris-Leeds (970 miles) in 4 days. Only recently I cycled 1,620 km’s in 52 hours 37 minutes to take the Zwift distance record and raise funds for the dZi Foundation and a few weeks ago in the World Bicycle Relief (WBR) 24 hour challenge I claimed the highest mileage by cycling 731 km’s and raising enough to send two buffalo bikes to Africa.

I want to continue fundraising for WBR in 2017 and this (and others planned) is a great event to seek sponsorship for, not least of all because of my background story (please see the About Me page) and the media interest this will create. However I need some personal help to do this. In the past I’ve not needed to worry about putting my hand in my own pocket and paying my own expenses, but that has all changed now. I simply can no longer afford to take funds from our very meagre budget to pay for my fundraising challenges. The cost of taking part in the Zwift distance record in Utrecht was one half of our yearly holiday budget and is not something I can repeat. A few people have offered help in the past and I asked them to wait until I really needed it; well now I’m asking.

In order to take part I need to buy specific kit, as while I do own some of what is needed, there is much I don’t yet have. I’d hoped my fundraising exploits this last year would raise the necessary sponsorship and support, but apart from a few items this has not been the case. I’ll list the items below. You can support me in one of two ways:

  1. Offer to pay for a specific piece of kit.
  2. Make a general donation.

I will also say I’m doing my very best to help myself and have even taken on a evening office cleaning job to help towards the costs, but it will not be enough. I’m a dab hand at web design and particularly with WordPress, so would happily help out any supporters if you needed a website or blog as a way of giving something in return. Please understand I’m not looking for free handouts. I’m simply wanting to give myself the very best chance of finishing in the top 10 or better of this event, raising significant sponsorship for WBR and then going on to do the same in other events. If you know of anyone or any organisation who might be prepared to give me help and personal sponsorship please put them in touch, I think I would be very good value in promoting any brand.

If you’d like to discuss anything with me, I can provide my mobile number or we can arrange a Skype call. I’d also be very grateful if you could share this page amongst your friends. Thank you.

Essential kit needed

A decent bike. Erik from Merida Benelux is looking at doing me a deal on a disc brake specific bike (my existing bike is truly not up to the job) but I will still need to find around €1,000.

Apidura Frame Pack
Apidura Seat Pack
Rechargeable USB front light
Rechargeable USB rear light
Backup GPS (a second hand Garmin Etrex would be perfect)
Anker USB Powerbank 20100
Anker USB charger 2 port
Rab Survival Zone Bivi
Rab Sleeping Bag Liner
Klymit Inertia X Lite Pad

Other kit I’d like to take

Giro Synthe Helmet
Gore One Active Jacket
Gore Element Over Shorts
Gore Winstopper Gloves
Gore Toe Warmers
Merino Wool Arm Warmers
Merino Wool Leg Warmers
Merino Wool Socks
Abus Combiloop Lock

In US Dollars $

In Euros €

In Pounds Sterling £

Please Note:
All donations and help will be accounted for and in the unlikely event someone steps in to sponsor me, extra monies raised will be donated to WBR.

1 Comment
Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for sharing this site it was very informative and helpful.

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