Transcontinental Race – TCR4

Hip Hip Hooray wheels
Hip Hip Hooray wheels

With only a couple of weeks to go until the start of the Transcontinental Race #4 it’s a good thing the new bike has finally arrived. Bike Whisperer HQ was busy with sweat, swearing and Shimano grease and the bike made its debut on a commute last Friday and then straight out into the wild on a little 600k audax called The Buzzard. I’d attempted the Buzzard before, as a Perm, just after Christmas but failed when my GPS went mental after 450k.

There’s still a lot of (mostly panicking) to do before the TCR leaves Belgium for Turkey. At this stage, given how much damage I did during the 700k last weekend I’m looking to just survive the TCR. I have no goals for securing a ‘result’ other than doing my best to finish and finish healthy. My route is about 3700 kilometres and includes about a BILLION metres of climbing, thanks to Mike “suck it up bitches!” Hall who made the checkpoints so that riders were forced to stay in the Swiss Alps, Italian Dolomites and then the Black Mountains. So, yeah as a fat bastard this race is totally not geared up for me. You’ll be pleased to note that I abandoned my weightloss plan months ago for a “drink beer, she’ll be ‘right” plan instead. As such I’ve ordered some even lower gears in the hope I may be able to haul my carcass over all these bloody mountains before the end of days.

For race info:

Checkpoints, etc:

Twitter Hashtag – #tcrno4

2016-06-19 ECCA 100mi (E2/100C)


Easy to get a course best on this ride since it was a new course! The clever cookies started the race at stupid o’clock in the morning so riders could spend more time on the fast DC parts of the A11 and A14. It worked and I secured another club record and PB, even though I had issues with my left leg going numb again and spent a lot of time out of the saddle trying to regain feeling in it! 14th in a very strong field was pretty good considering my ongoing leg issues.

Thanks for supporting me again Mal!

Results: 2016 ECCA 100 result sheet

2016-05-08 Charlotteville CC 50mi TT


16th place. This was grim. The day after PBing 10mi I was broken. Everything was tight and my left leg numbness came back hard so I was sitting up for a lot of the race. I thought I was way off the pace and had basically given up but then did some calculations and thought a PB might still be possible. I really upped the pace and got very close, only 30s down on my PB in Wales late last year but it wasn’t enough. Lesson learned – no 10s the day before. In happier news, Daniel, the organiser came good on his promise for a free bit of cake if I broke my course record. Since the last time I rode this was the day after a 100mi TT and my time was over 2hrs, I was pretty much guaranteed cake this time around! 🙂

Results: Charlotteville 2016 Open 50 Results

2016-05-01 Welsh 25mi Champs (R25/3H)


Extremely wet but it was a 3hr drive to the start of this R25/3H “cheat course” so I figured I best ride it anyway to at least see what the fuss was about and learn the course for a better day. Annoyed I didn’t do sub-50 (combination of taking it too easy due to wet roads on an unknown course and my valve cover came off causing a weird noise where I thought I’d broken something) but should be happy with my second fastest 25mi ride ever – 51:17 (11th place).

Results: WCA 25 2016 Result

2016-04-17 H25/2 25mi TT


Finally got back to this course to kill those 4 seconds in the face. I managed that easily but was still almost 5 min down on my new 25mi PB set last week on the E2/25. It was very cold today and there was far less traffic here than the E2 course. Even so, Andy Halliday said most riders were about 3min down on last week’s E2/25 race – I managed to be a whole 2 minutes extra shit on top of that! I think doing a bunch of gym work early morning Friday and then going clubbing that night until 5am (Hardfloor rocked the 303s btw!) was detrimental to my performance. “Oh, you think?!”

Anyway, long and short of it is – I won’t be doing any gym work close to an event I care about (or drinking my own bodyweight in beer) and I never have to ride the H25/2 course again.

If anyone has DA9000 56T, 57T or 58T chainring they want rid of, please get in contact!

Results: 20160417-H252

2016-03-19 MDCC Fifield 15mi TT H15/10

2016 MDCC Fifield H15/10 results
2016 MDCC Fifield 15 mile H15/10 results

35:43 (course and distance PB having never ridden a 15 mile before, potential club record since none is listed on the Willesden CC site for Men’s 15 mile)

Wasn’t taking this particularly seriously so I rode out to it – really just wanted to finish to set a club record for 15 mile and test the new Pro Missile stem I’d installed.

It was very cold and I was a bit worried that in just a skinsuit I might have another wheezing asthma attack thing like I did at the Worlds last year. That didn’t happen, thankfully. Maybe the preventer they’ve put me on is working?

Once again I thought my pacing was a bit off but it turns out I was pretty decent 1.01 VI with some baulks at turns and slowing for some horses – plus some silly spikes when passing people and on some hills, but it was a technical circuit so this kind of thing is expected.

Actually made the same power over the 15 miles as I did setting my PB over 10 last year so perhaps I need to hit next week’s 10 a bit harder than I’d planned. Cue: snotty mess blowing up at 7 miles…

Wore my old Assos skinsuit (NoPinz) so I didn’t need to use pins, calf guards and aero gloves but didn’t bother with overshoes and I left on the stock 32h rear with touring tyres and didn’t bother with other aero tricks.

Left leg went numb again – really need to work out how to fix this!

1st Cat roadie, James Local, won the event with a 32:57.

2016-02-27 a3crg Hardriders Sporting 10mi TT – P886

27:21, 12th place road bike.

a3crg P886 Hardriders, image from Graham Robins
a3crg P886 Hardriders 10mi, image from Graham Robins

Thought I’d enter a sporting 10 to spice up an otherwise dull, 7hr training ride. I’d entered the road bike event and wasn’t taking it too seriously but left the 404s on the Tarmac and I arrived early enough that I bothered to take off all my audax-esque saddle packs and bottles.

It was freezing and the ride out took a bit longer than expected because of some interesting choices the Garmin made in combination with the largely ignored RideWithGPS route I’d planned. No, I don’t want to ride down muddy cycle paths but equally, did you have to route me down the bloody A3, only to turn up a hill and head backwards?! Sigh, will I ever come to terms with GPS tech?

The race itself went basically as expected. Although being told to take it easy on the way out I only have listened so that when I turned around into the headwind AND the long ass climb I was regretting not going a little easier. I thought I’d be caught by the rider(s) behind but I guess they did the same as me so I wasn’t caught and finished, probably with a bit left in the tank on 27:21. Rode back to the HQ for coffee, cake and presentations and then rode home – bit quicker with the tailwind back and quieter roads thanks to letting the Garmin do all the navigation rather than following RideWithGPS route and its stupid off road trails.

Results Hard Riders Ten

Graham Robin’s race photo gallery

Blog of the hippy. Mostly cycling these days.