There is always something new, again. For this year we plan to add some more gravel to our route so we will already have some preparation for next years off-road adventure. But back to the sixth edition of the legendary transcontinental race.
More or less, we are done with planning. Only some small shoppings for water cleaner and some electrolytes is still open. The bikes will only receive some fresh new bar tape and the dynamo connection will be replaced, no more work left. For my personal feelings a little too early. This year we need to arrange things wisely as we are both busy, until Friday evening.
Yes, the route requires two last checks, banned roads and Bosnia’s borders. We are looking for a current map of wood fires, all over Europe but they are not really helpful. Mine fields are considered slightly, mainly followed by the decision not to leave the road, as I did in my early times. The heartbeat after realising what you were just doing is just terrible, no need to repeat.
There is not much to be said.
The bike is more is less the same, as the last three years. As I did not yet go for hydraulic couplings, I am still riding with my converter for the brake system to be flexible for disassembly.
I had to replace my saddle, due to personal ignorance, I had to change it just now. I could have realised the issue way before, but I did not. So, now I have to live with the consequences. From brooks leather, brooks itself recommended their swallow saddles the least, for endurance cycling. But I was so happy on them, for a good while. But they do not live long under this kind of loads.
We still have some options on the road, depending on personal preferences and weather, of course.
Roughly, we try to stay below 4000kms, currently we reach a figure between 3900-4000kms.
The elevation is a challenge this time, currently we have a total elevation of app. 45.000m on our route. The maximum amount of countries that shall be crossed by us are . Belgium, Luxemburg or The Netherlands, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Austria again, Czech, Poland, optionally Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, optionally Macedonia, Greece. Maximum,there are 20 border crossings, minimum 14. There is room for decisions on the way.
Heat is again my biggest mental and physical challenge, not saying that I am afraid. But cycling in the early and late hours of the day, must be considered more than before. Hopefully this year I can avoid the heat stroke paired with sickness that made me lose a day, twice.
I am very much looking forward to the end of this week. I will try my best to give some updates from the road!
Looking forward to see all the bike and bikepacking porn in Geraadsbergen, meeting some familiar faces and trying to find some rest. Ending up by knowing that there will be no rest before the torches will light us the way up the wall.
There are already several friend along the way, that want to know the planned route, so we can meet up on the way through Europe.
These people are just amazing, and I am just grateful to be part of this free minded family that does not see a limitation when there is rain, mountains or an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere. As every year it is a very big back to basic!