Looking Forward

So, here we are. Another calendar year has ticked over, and there are plans to be made. This year everything leads towards the Transcontinental Race No. 5. Yep, that’s right, after last years race I caught the bug for this sort of thing. Many are surprised I’m going back for more, but I couldn’t be happier that I’ve been accepted back in. I will be using my place in the TCR to raise money and awareness for the amazing charity, Action For Kids. The race is a huge commitment, and there will be over 6 months of training, planning and preparation to get me to the start line. Action … Continue reading Looking Forward

2016 Round Up

What a year. Politics and celebrity deaths aside, for me it’s been all about the Transcontinental Race. It is more than that though, to think of everything I’ve done to get me there and then beyond; its been incredible. Most of this I’ve blogged about in previous posts but it’s worth mentioning again the amount of fun I’ve had preparing for the TCR while riding with a great bunch of mates. If you want to see those TCR posts, start here View this post on Instagram #dawnraid #ridewithmates A post shared by Matthew Falconer (@b1rdmn) on Jul 19, 2016 at 12:22am PDT These guys have been … Continue reading 2016 Round Up

TCR No. 4 Part 7: The Final Push to Çanakkale – Part 2

Greece: Shortly after as dawn was breaking I made it to the border. I was starting to flag a bit, but there was a certain euphoria at having made it through the night and into Greece. This started to catch up with me and in the early morning sun, and I began to nod off. I decided enough was enough and pulled into a field to sit down for a short snooze to shake the fatigue. A dog barking in the distance snapped me back into waking, realising that it could be a TCR rider approaching. Time to hop on and push on. The short cat … Continue reading TCR No. 4 Part 7: The Final Push to Çanakkale – Part 2

TCR No. 4 Part 6: The Final Push to Çanakkale – Part 1

While resting at CP4 on the Sunday afternoon, checking Facebook when I saw some from family indicating that sadly, my Nan had passed away over the weekend. This was a bit of a shock. My gran was a vibrant character, even at 95 years of age was very active. I made some calls home to see how my mum and sister were doing, and came away lost in thought, but also with some added determination to get to the finish for my Nan. Before the race she had been really interested in all the training and the riding I had been doing and had sent a good luck … Continue reading TCR No. 4 Part 6: The Final Push to Çanakkale – Part 1

TCR No. 4 Part 5: Storms and CP4

I finally plucked up the energy to push on. A few km’s down the road before Sinj, I found a grocery store and loaded up on food and water. I was fairly baked from the last couple of days and a really bad night so refreshed my water and food reserves, enjoying the ‘delights’ of 7 day croissants yet again. Once I sorted myself out, it was time to push on in a break in the weather. This break didn’t last that long as the rain and storms kept escalating. At one point I swerved off the road and took shelter under someone’s porch in a … Continue reading TCR No. 4 Part 5: Storms and CP4

TCR No. 4 Part 4: Escaping the Mountains and South to the Balkans – CP3

Breakfast I slept badly on the hotel lobby couch. There were a few coming and goings through the night with riders arriving late at the checkpoint, but I didn’t wake to see who as I was pretty tired. Stephane  #12 must have made an early start as he was gone by the time I woke up. My iPhone, Garmin & Wahoo batteries was flat too, so I would need to get moving in order to charge devices. Frustratingly, when changing over batteries in the tracker it became faulty so was given a replacement tracker. This would cause some problems later. The first order of the day was … Continue reading TCR No. 4 Part 4: Escaping the Mountains and South to the Balkans – CP3

TCR No. 4 Part 3: The Mountains. CP2 – CP3

I woke up much later than planned, but I really needed the sleep. After fueling up on the hotel breakfast buffet, I retrieved my bike from the cellar and headed up to Grindewald to start the CP2 parcours. I nearly missed the hotel checkpoint, with the name on the buildings on both sides of the road, but safely pulled in to get my brevet card stamped in about 32nd position. I bumped into Darren Franks #114 and met the pairs #212, Andrew Boyd & James Stannard for the first of many times on this journey. It was great to meet up with and chat to some … Continue reading TCR No. 4 Part 3: The Mountains. CP2 – CP3

TCR No.4 Part 2: Attacking the Jura

As much as I had realised I would be unlikely to compete with my choice of route, I thought that I should at least make a good go of it. Had a quick clean up at McDonald’s, stowed the emergency cheeseburger, packed up the bike and pointed it to the lumpy horizon. I had to laugh at myself as they came closer. Hills 1: Thiers, Col St Thomas, and down to Roanne There was a mostly flat and reasonably quick run to the first of the hills, but boy did it step up in Thiers. The town has an almost vertical ramp up into the town followed … Continue reading TCR No.4 Part 2: Attacking the Jura

TCR No. 4 Part 1: Start to CP1

Wow. The start was pretty incredible. I had barely time to process it before I was trying to work out which way to go next. A cobbled descent off the Muur, hang a right, spot Paul #67 and gave him a shout, then hang a left where almost everyone seems to be going straight. A pair went past shouting “another one for the cool route!”. No sooner had they passed me and were pushing on they took another turn, then I was alone. It might have been 2o minutes, but that’s all it took. for the next hour or so at various junctions you would spot … Continue reading TCR No. 4 Part 1: Start to CP1

Starting the Transcontinental Race

Getting there Crunch time! I booked my bike and I onto a Eurostar to arrive in Brussels the day before the race to allow me an easy night in Brussels, using a free night with Hotels.com to get a fairly decent hotel. I dropped the bike off at eurodespatch where I had arranged to meet with Neil from Bowman, who wanted to do a short interview for the Bowman video blog, and to hand over a spare mech hanger. Just in case. You can see the interview here on their Between the Lines Blog. Bowman Cycles also did a nice pre-race blog post with questions and answers from all the BC … Continue reading Starting the Transcontinental Race