Thanks Anna, thank you all to make this race possible once more!
The Transcontinental Race, I rode it with plenty of memories also to Mike -#RIDEFORMIKE- and his idea how to ride this race, also he called it an adventure. This was the way I looked at it, it was an adventure and I rode it.
I did not race, looking at my stats some day, they will confirm there was no discipline at all in my riding habit this year, although there had not been any physical issue or worry. For sure this year the reloading of energy was a huge issue for me. Even though I have lost almost seven kgs, I think that my food consumption curve lowered over the days which had a serious impact on my daily milage which decreased from day to day a little. As usual again, plenty of things for my lessons learned box!
Comparing to my first start in 2016, I felt much more under pressure or stress. To breath and feel the scenery and enjoy what was flying by, there was way less time than last year. But this seems to be my own recognition, so it must be related to myself only. If there is going to be a next race, I really have to plan differently, to force myself more enjoying the adventure or experience.
From leaving my home until Meteora, I did spend all nights outside and that was exactly the way I loved it! I brought a sleeping bag and used it every night, for comfort. The matress stayed inside the bag all the time, never took it out.
Possibly sleeping outside weakened me but it brought back an amazing peace, balance and freedom. These two weeks showed to me once more: Europe is an amazingly beautiful place, with amazingly open and warm hearted people and soo many facettes of everything.
This means a lot to me as many people seem to complain about the idea of Europe, about refugees and so on. But look, it was possible to cross 13 European countries in fourteen days and I was welcome EVERYWHERE. Nobody told me to go away or frightened me, the complete opposite happened. When I left school, my biggest dream to become a European! Today, after having finished TCR for the second time, I feel much closer to reaching that dream one day.
I did not suffer from anything but from the heat. My bike did not have any issues except one stupid flat. The front tire (Schwalbe Marathon Plus) already joined the last years TCR and several other races and rides. The rear one was changed just at the day of departure for this race and is going to be replaced soon, as it has a huge cut that travelled with me for about 2000kms. There had not been any change to the bike since the last TCR, except two bottom bracket replacement and a new crank set that urgently needs maintenance or replacement. I did not change to the new sram etap hrd levers as they were only available very shortly before the start and I did not run amy risk with unknown equipment, there might be an exchange, soon!
Dream team I would say!
My greatest respect to all riders that started this race, and even bigger respect and compliments to all that finished this race, no matter whether they were within the time limit or not!
My PDF summary of free route data
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A massive thumbs-up both for your achievement and you socio-political reflections.
And wow, did you really go all the way on Marathon Plus tires? I fo not know if I should be astonished or also feel some pity. These tires always felt so uncomfortable to me! But it is of course great if they work fine for you!