TCR No 5 – The Start

Having completed the TCR just one year previous, you would have thought I would have been much more prepared second time around. I basically left a load of stuff to the last minute and ended up panicking right up until midnight on the day before travelling to Brussels. Work was really busy in the last few days and I ended up having to work Arizona time for some of that week. As much as there was last minute packing, I’d actually done a good job of lining everything up ahead of time. My route was in a much better shape. My kit was, and has mostly been … Continue reading TCR No 5 – The Start

Stupid me #1

It’s amazing how much you can learn in the first few days of the Transcontinental Race, things that you would have thought you might have picked up before hand. I decided to make a list of some of those points in the hope that I’ll remember them for TCR No. 5. At least that is the hope! Failing that, it makes for an entertaining list of stupid or funny things that I did, or should have done, or that just happened during the race. I’ve a feeling this is going to be a long ish list, some funny, some just plain dumb, others a little concerning … Continue reading Stupid me #1

TCR No 5 Training Update – Feb to May

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, and there’s a lot that has happened in that time. I thought I would share some of the things I’ve been up to as part of training for the TCR (aka just having fun riding my bike… mostly), and then give an overview of where I am in my training and preparation. The Curve Belgie Spirit The first thing to mention is I managed to build up my ‘adventure’ bike at the end of February. I’d trained an awful lot over winter on a fabulous Colnago aluminium CX bike, clocking up over 4,000 km since December, but it … Continue reading TCR No 5 Training Update – Feb to May

Heading for Some Mac n Cheese

Its time to take my new TCR machine on a test ride to my mums for some macaroni cheese. She makes the best. Trick is, she lives 430km away in St. Davids, in South West Wales. You can read all about my trip for Mac n Cheese last year here: TCR Training Ride This year, I’ll be riding my new bike from Curve Cycling that I bought from G!RO Cycles, a Ti Belgie Spirit built with most of the parts from the old bike. I’ve had a couple of rides so far and I’m seriously impressed. I’ve been riding with a huge grin on my face most of … Continue reading Heading for Some Mac n Cheese

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