Recently things have really started to come together as I get ready for the Trans Am Bike Race, so I thought it was a good time to post an update. For a while the race has been far enough in the future that it’s felt distant, slightly removed — but now there’s less than three months until the start on June 7th and it’s feeling very real.
The good news is that I’m right where I want to be with my preparation — my training’s gone well over the winter and I’ve got a clear plan for final tuning, the route maps have arrived from the Adventure Cycling Association so I can begin obsessively strategizing, and best of all I’ve received my race frame from Qoroz!
It felt like Christmas had come early when I drove up to the Cotswolds to collect my frame on Friday and I wasn’t disappointed — it’s a custom geometry disc brake compatible frame, expertly designed by Chris Davies to get me across America in one piece!
We’ve chosen disc brakes for reliability and longevity, giving me more margin for error when I’m tired after a 200 mile day. The shifting is taken care of by an 11spd mechanical Shimano Ultegra groupset — I used Ultegra during the Transcontinental and it didn’t let me down, so I had no reason to change for the Trans Am. The build is finished off with a beautiful Chris King headset, Pro Vibe bars, Qoroz titanium seatpost and stem, and a Prologo Scratch Ti saddle.
As far as the wheels are concerned I’m using a SON delux dynamo hub at the front and a DT Swiss 240 at the rear, laced to HED Belgium + rims with Sapim CX Ray spokes.
I spent Saturday finishing the build and I’m just waiting for my wheels to arrive on Wednesday before I’ll be able to take it out on the open road. Needless to say I’m ridiculously excited.
A bike like that deserves to be ridden hard and I’ll do my best to oblige during the coming weeks. I’ve entered several 300-400km audax events that will help get the miles in and I’ve signed up for the 600km Brian Chapman Memorial Classic in May as my final warm up ride.
I’m also going to be riding to Rome from London at the end of April. When I was training for the Transcontinental last year, riding from Vancouver, BC to Minneapolis, MN was the perfect warm up — it let my body adapt to big back-to-back rides and put some serious miles in the legs. Hopefully the ride to Rome will work in the same way, allowing me to fine tune my gear selection and re-adapt to big miles.
I’ll be posting updates about all my preparation, as well as a review of the new bike, so watch this space!