Katherine – pretty cool isn’t it that on a January Friday night you could go out and have a little mini adventure, you can still go out with friends and have such a great evening, even though it’s bitterly cold and it’s not yeah maybe not the training right or anything, they still so much fun So I just woken up in my hammock overlooking this frosty twinkling clearing in the woodland looking down over the city of Oxford, and you can hear us now starting to ride down into the city to start our ride for the day but before we do that I wanted to take you back to the night before when we were sat around the campfire and it was a really incredible night, not only of you know, shooting stars and this wonderful warmth amidst -2° but really actually quite deep conversation and some really deep belly laughs about just what it means when this adventure cycling goes to the extremes. So in part one of this episode we spoke to Lachlan Morton who wrote GB DURO which you could argue as one of the hardest endurance events in the UK and also Miles Resso who founded that event and the racing collective which puts on a whole host of rides right across the UK throughout the year we went for a ride with miles around the fringes of Oxford and off very wet off-road route in fact and we were joined by Phillip Abbate and Tom Probert and they’re the two that you’re going to be hearing from in this episode we had some really fascinating conversations not only about how they got into endurance cycling both of them but also some rather strange conversation about late-night kebabs and Bach spores which will all be explained later on so let’s get back to the campfire something sizzling hi my pretties so be good so Phil it feels like you’re a really well-established character in the endurance world but where does it really start for you did you start on mode or off and how did you get into it yeah definitely started on roads started commuting in London really about nine years ago and then a gradual upgrading of bikes as they either got stolen or I destroyed them so maybe four or five bikes in I then found myself finally buying a carbon ride bike so then distances were getting longer and then I guess alongside that I started doing tours on my own going to Scotland and France countries I was familiar with but not really knowing what was doing at all so yeah there’s some sort of steep steep learning curves with solo touring and then it was probably like two and a half years ago that it was sort of tied in with quitting my then job buying a new bike a bike that I could sort of go anywhere on gravel at venture bike and then yeah from there I spent three months touring in Europe doing mostly road but could also go off radio gravelly stuff and then I’d always been aware of the ultra endurance scene TCR was there I was like one day actually when I went to go and buy my bike from Masons I said to Tom mace and I said one day I’d like to ride the TCR and I could see him give me a look like but yeah I knew it was something that I can remember which film it was but one of the films about either that Race Across America or no this is this is what I meant to do you know something really resonates with you you start just a physical challenge it’s it’s it’s all of that looking after yourself and that whole mental game that your you’re playing that it’s it’s a much more sort of holistic undertaking so yeah then did the transatlantic way which is like a road road endurance race which was gray learnt loads backed up loads and then a couple of months later got a sort of last-minute place on the Silk Road which I just dive right in and I’d been doing more offroad from there I think like having the right bike that means you’re confident to just sort of take any any path helps because you’re you’re not scared of ending up on like the wrong shit I’m on this track that I can’t ride and I’m gonna be walking for

hours it’s quite nice that you can ride almost anything even if you’re really on you might be quite uncomfortable for a few kilometres same yeah and now I just I mean I don’t I don’t have a car so I my bike is my means of getting around but and so I do use roads because they are you know the quickest but I don’t like being on roads at all anymore yeah have a taste of the good life and I just think yeah that when you’re on when you’re off road it’s it there’s something about being on a bike that makes you so much superior to someone being in a car because you can go places they can and I think that’s what’s so much more exciting about the off-road riding I say you can yeah you can get to places that you just couldn’t otherwise unless you’re unfertile on a horse so tell me about some of those places that you can go on a bike but not in your car is it places that are local to you is it places in in south of Spain or on the Silk Road you know what places really stick in your mind yeah I mean actually Spain was I cycled down through Spain about a month going from Girona down to the south coast and following a route on bike passing calm or parts of it and that was probably my first real taste of bike quite off-road Easter and that was just amazing but I was also my first taste of like longed where longer-term touring and wild camping and all those things it was just and I just quit my job so I’ve never felt so free in my life and actually the bike becoming comfortable with wild camping that was the real liberating thing because once once you’re comfortable with that and you’ve got a bike that you trust like everyday you’re you know if you’re confident in yourself and your kit and your abilities then suddenly the world really is your oyster when you’re not limited by either trying to find accommodation or the roads that you feel like you need to be on so that was that was pretty special yeah and I mean yeah Kyrgyzstan is just otherworldly in terms of landscapes it’s it’s it’s so so remote and so unpopulated and it’s I think sort of 60% of it is above 3000 meters so it’s it’s just all all mountains Bashi I mean gb0 and Scotland probably still is my favorite place in the world because it is it is it it can feel as remote as Karastan almost and it’s actually only twice as populated as concerned populated country in Europe yeah so and I think you feel really feel right yeah so yeah GB Giro is a sort of cross section through the country all through all the countries yeah but and because it felt like such a well built really well thought through roof none of it felt either gratuitous or you know just hard for the sake of being hard it all sort of made sense so that and even though it’s about it’s a very sort of renowned point-to-point it was in no way anywhere near that the usual route that someone would take when they’re doing that plans integrate see without without saying too cheesy it really was about the journey not just you know you could I think people we well I say easily quite regularly people complete Lands End to John O’Groats in as little as four days if they’re really really going some yet gbg row is you’re looking into double figures at least right I think seven and a half days needs a pro cyclist say I let’s see if anyone can be that say prior to taking on the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan what off-road experience did you have and did you have any real practice rise or anything that stuck with you really paved the way if you’re off-road career as it were mmm I saw I’ve mountain biked over the years me and me and some mates we used everywhere every Easter we go to Wales for a weekend so we go to like Coney Brennan or a fan and I normally hire if I can spend one week in the year

smashing about I’m a child and I loved it yeah but other than that and then all my mates brought me a mountain bike on my thirtieth birthday which has not been as used as it should be so that but that was very much like Trail Center Easter which is quite different because that is just kind of going around the circles and then maybe it was I mean probably thought once goes Kyrgyzstan was just watching like the the video I was so drawn to it as a place at the mountains and and I had my new mates my new insurance mates who were there when I was like I want to go and I still didn’t have a job at this point so I was kind of in a position where I could just and I think yeah spending a lot of time on one bike that was quite adaptable meant that you can I could skill up quite quickly on doing certain levels of terrain just by doing lots and lots of miles on what lots of people like to call my road bike but it’s not I think I’ve I don’t know if I’ve just become more sensitive to it but just how vulnerable you are as a cyclist on the road and maybe it’s partly with like in London that she didn’t feel vulnerable at all because generally all the traffic’s moving so slowly but being in the countryside and also it like touring around Europe you know you just the lot of driving is really terrible I had a statistic recently that a cyclist gets killed every 40 hours in Italy and they stopped described it is you know when you cycle in Italy you do take the life your life into your own hands and I think yeah sometimes you feel that on in backcountry roads around where I live it’s just it’s the speed cars go and how close they’re willing to cut you that and the rate that sort of races that we’re all interested in you are putting yourself in a very vulnerable position so I guess yeah unless you’re trying to get from A to B quickly then why would you not just take this lightly bumpier slower almost definitely more beautiful room that is yours and you’re not having to share it with so yeah I’m sort of feeling more and more strongly about that but most of my yeah experience with riding off-road has been through doing races because Pete other people have like really thought about the routes and then you’re just following the line and you’re getting to experience saying that someone else has really thought about which is why I quite like the fixed-route event I’m a bit lazier when it comes to route planning and you’ve had some really amazing results at races whether it’s here in the UK or further did you start participating in the races because you were competitive you knew you really wanted to do well or was it more participation thing and just wanted to get involved I think if there was just something that really drew them to me it was the like this this I like I do like spending a lot of time on my own I’d go touring on my own I was like cycling self-supported managing yourself this is what I meant to do and I thought like trans events where I was like I’m just gonna rock up and do it and and you know oh my god like day 3 I was in pieces I just thought I’m just gonna be a natural at this I just made all the rookie errors but yeah you learn you learn pretty quickly about how – okay so you really do have to look after yourself you can’t actually get away with like sleeping 2 hours a night well I certainly couldn’t and I am competitive and I guess I like to challenge myself and as I keep doing them well after last year so it wasn’t good early this year because I was just felt like they’re too much but already like they are addictive and there is this desire to do them and do them better you just like is it something about like doing something to the best of your ability and at the end of it going I did that as well as I could which I think you can translate anything in life right if you’re going to do anything why not just do it as best as you can because you’re doing it anyway that’s not to say I do because I also think doing them well is about enjoying them and not just doing them as fast as you can so would you say it’s more about the personal challenge for you than about other people are you so interested to see how you compare

mm I mean obviously it’s nice to see where you where you are but like I don’t really see any point in me seeing where I come in the women’s rankings because this tends to be so few women that if I’m the first woman in that’s that’s just because you know a few of my like good female pals on in that race and otherwise they would have you know they would have won it but is but it’s interesting to see you know to see where you come in the overall because all the race you can see like what’s a percentage like okay I came you know in that like percentage so that’s even just finishing I mean I’m thinking about further right now and a few others even just completions I say just completion is an incredible feat that was like a red rag to a bull challenge accepted how did you come to be involved with gb0 as a concept well I’d met mile I came along and did the whales during that is that was from banger to Cardiff stopping at – farm Midway which is also CP one 4gb GRA um so I was actually my first sort of taste of the racing days were sit all the vents it was just you know a big strip trying to get to the right places you know having free time and I did that one which uh it was just the best of n I mean it was so the route was amazing there was 12 of us like – farm which is just the most magical place in the world you know this field in the middle of Wales with the friendliest Welshman he’ll ever meet you just a hot chocolate my baby yeah it was great it like I done I think actually that was that was it the other the other woman there she was doing sill trade and actually that’s kind of what spurred me on to think ah fuck it I just try see if I can get a place and so right but yeah that’s in terms of people wanting to get there’s actually been a few people women getting in touch with me since last year asking about gb0 and asking like why why do so many people scratch and you know and with sort of different concerns and I sort of said I said we’ll go and do like some racing collective events because they are just the best warm-up for what to expect and a lot of the worries are about while camping and being alone and all these things and the terrain it’s like if go and do something like this and if you like it and you can bivy in a you know a group like situation and if you like that then you’ll well I’m not saying a love GB do but your easing gently I guess by doing these friendly event so then yeah and then miles got in touch after that because yeah we got to know each other on that and basically said do you want to be involved with sort of pulling this thing together and making it happen so yeah we sort of took it from there or I guess I was a bit of a sort of sounding board we kind of settled on the the format which was I guess took sort of strands from both of us or things that we enjoyed in races which I one of the main things is the stopping the clock at the checkpoints so you can actually have that yeah time out and actually have have time to sort of debrief what you’ve just been through and it did always feel like that and I think almost everyone who did it said they really liked the format and by the I guess with all these races by the end the people that you’re generally riding with throughout the event because you’ll generally be with similar people you can feel very close to by the end and I think what was quite nice about gbto was because it kept bringing everyone back together it’s you know it was just it it could all sort of friendships could grow so be interesting to see how it well if more people finish this year because obviously the great thing about an inaugural event is lots of people don’t know what to expect so there’s an element of people whoever’s on the start line more knows a bit more what they’re

getting themselves into they’ll have watch that block concealment a lot about friendships and having the time to build those at the checkpoints 2gb Jareau did you find that getting together with like-minded people at the other events like Wells Joe really fostered that in terms of getting going on these rides with people who are into the same sorts of things with you whether it was Silk Road Mountain race or you know other aspirations that they had yeah the last few years for me have been kind of huge in how I feel like my whole world has changed and the people in it it was like this time last year that two years ago that I went on the adventure syndicate sort of cycling training get together in Girona and like some of the people that I met on that and now you know some of my closest friends and have just kind of opened like a whole world up to me and then and then the people that I’ve met on races and then you see it repeated races and there is this you know it’s one of actually the really good things about social media is that you become friends with people via social media and then you meet them or you meet up with them they’ll Google Hellmuth and the price because we had one day we were like let’s just actually me out rather than just commenting on each other’s posts we met midway between where we live when we weren’t for a ride and I think there is an amazing sense of community in this whole scene and it really yeah you you you meet people from so many different walks of life and different ages and there is just this thing that binds you all together even before you start the race and then you do it race and then at the end of it you’re like we will always have this knowing what you’ve just been through I think further you know that was that I mean that was quite well know they’re all really unique experiences and is that kind of sharing of when that storm here where were you and you’re like oh the top of the mountain I had to take shelter here and you know and there’s something really nice about that that these very like elemental things like huge storms that everyone can then talk about like a GB Giro I think me Tom Andy and someone else all slept in the same woodshed in Scotland but we didn’t see each other yeah like I was like well I left at about 3:30 and Tom was like well I got there for and it was literally the only shelter I think it was the penultimate night in Scotland and it was blowing a Hooley and there was like no shelter anywhere and we must have all just spotted the sheds and it was literally like an open-sided shed the wind was just like blowing through but you were like yeah these things that sort of because it’s a very intense experience that you just don’t experience that sort of thing in daily life this kind of sensory overload where the things that happen to you and the experience and that you see is like life on like fast forwards that I think it’s sort of I don’t know it like condenses and then also stretches time so by the yet but when you get to the end of it you really do feel like you’ve gone through something that is quite hard – I’m rambling you say that it’s very different normal life but you find that going through these experiences whether it’s some immense challenge or as you say surviving the storm does that affect how you feel in your normal day-to-day life well I’m always really looking forward to going home or like having like routine and being in my own bed each night and you really you do really appreciate like but it is this kind of the small things the comforts of like yeah having a having a warm house and a bed I think you appreciate them more it’s two degrees minus two it’s gonna be really cold and because like I said early I haven’t actually slept outside since I don’t think it’s in September because then it’s almost like after a year of quite a lot of intense whatnot you know I don’t need to go

sleep outside I’m just gonna sleep in my bed but then it’s nice when you’re persuaded or there’s a reason to go and do it because you’re always gonna wake up even if you are freezing and you know you bought your water bottles of frozen you’re probably going to be so much more grateful that you slept outside then you did in your own bed that’s what I find and then after a while at home um I’m like itching to go and do a race again and feel that kind of you know that rawness of living what miles was saying about it it comes back to your very human needs about living every day to find out what you can eat and how far you can travel and when you can sleep it’s just basic things really really basic things and there is something really nice about stripping your existence back to you know that just that which is what we would have been doing you know I don’t know a thousand years ago we would have just been worrying about survival and also moving a lot like you know as nomadic people so maybe there is something your tack you’re sort of tapping back into actually what whist we’re still more hardwired to be doing which is just more about survival than comfort yeah and just just constantly being faced with like unknowns and newness and excitement because there is there is a weird thing about I particularly I guess with the more privileged that we do things that is kind of trying to like seek out pain or discomfort or suffering depending on how you choose to look at these sort of events but people doing you know marathons ultra marathons ultra cycling which I like early was talking about people and trying to explain that nomads in Kyrgyzstan least but why on earth would you do that and I think trying to explain that to people hundred years ago who because they would have all been doing manual labor and it’s a very hard thing to explain but it feels like we’re all seeking something that’s been lost in modern day Society so we’re just trying to find it in other ways sorry that was it was really deep I’m gonna have to take her from whiskey hang on yes setting yourself up discomfort and potential failure which actually no it’s highly unlikely that you will be that uncomfortable or fail or something really catastrophic will happen I’m sure you’ve got 101 examples of times where things have gone pear-shaped whether it’s some mechanical that you thought you’d never be able to fix or you’ve run out of food or gotten massively lost and then you’ve managed to get over that and how does that feel well yeah it just which is just which is the highs and the lows when you’re feeling great you just gotta remember that this will not last and when you’re feeling shit you know that you will be okay when either the Sun comes out or you find a McDonalds important question though what is your McDonald’s go to until oh no actually I was gonna say until just the cargo bite thing I hadn’t had McDonald’s for like years but sure that’s not true I was really hung over in Portugal after a wedding in like a lovely seaside town where I should have been eating fish well actually I had a I had a milkshake jelly Graham’s advice because it settles your stomach and we just come out from it was like – – outside and and I kind of put this milkshake away and it just like freezed me from the core so we all had chicken vegan chicken burgers and we were and then one of them had bacon in it anyway and then we were like these are definitely chicken burgers should we transfer over to Tom and Chris I’m a bit mad out of five races they told you made it all the way up here with a huge rucksack of logs obviously that’s due to your massive training last year including five endurance events talk us

through those yeah I think I drew the short straw coming up here carrying a huge bag of our firewood which is done soon done us proud oh yes yeah last year I probably bit off a little more than was strictly advisable I did sort of five big endurance races and couple of other little ones just for good measure as well I think it’s a lot easier to sign up to things than it is to actually then do them yes carry them out in reality and I think that’s one of the nice things about being becoming sort of part of the community and start making friends you know that put on events and getting to know people that are that are involved in these things is that it becomes a lot easier to enter events get persuaded yeah partly because people are egging me on to do it because you know a lot of other people that are racing and being involved in them and also partly because when when there’s events where it’s like your mates that were actually running them and lots of lots of you make too involved in them it’s like I’ll be a nice fun thing let’s turn up and see all my friends and you forget that reality of what it’s going to be like because I think the brain is quite good at filtering out the hard times and all the pain and suffering and you know remembering all the good stuff which is a really nice thing once you’ve done the events but it can sort of trick you into going back for more because you just forget how horrific it can be and how much suffering you go through and then yeah so you end up signing outs all these things and then and then he actually has to go and do them so yeah I did transcontinental for the third time last year this time as a pair so it was a slightly different experience a whole new set of challenges and sort of experiences from that transparent ease as well run my same team and that was the first edition of that and I think again that’s one of those little tricks where you like oh yeah I’ll sign up to that so that becomes your like reason to do it without thinking about it too much the again another first edition was gb0 which was probably I’d say the hardest one of all of them that I did and then all points north which is a fantastic thought that was the first one as well fantastic new event up based out of Sheffield going exploring all the lesser-known northern sort of enclaves of the UK and and then one in France that I’ve done a couple of times which nobody seems to know about because it’s barely marketed or all talked about and it’s just about kind of run you know it’s like it’s pretty loose and called Normandy cats in Normandy which is transcontinental format so you have all these checkpoints but actually you can be them in any order and go man Normandy and we we did the few of us did all points north and then immediately followed by Normandy cat which was like two days later so we did one and then kind of traveled down the country got the ferry over to France and then started the whole India did back-to-back ferry and you go sleep in the ferries a problem actually so we we were lining up on the start line of Normandy cat three of us and we were like I don’t know if this is a good idea like I don’t know we’re actually safe to to be cycling here I think we might be too tired to start this race you know it started it like 10 o’clock at night so everyone set off the race started and we just cycled straight to our hotel the wise decision but I expect yeah definitely Isis so but yet I got through that year of of cycling and it was it was like it was a fun thing for me to do because I think part of the allure of when you get into doing these races and the reason they’re so addictive is you get a little taste of like pretending to be an athlete to some extent because you’re like you’re doing something that is in some ways you can you can sort of contort what you’re

doing to compare it to things that like pro athletes are doing even though you’re not doing it really at all to the same intensity and it’s a completely different thing that it gives you a little glimpse as a analysis of hobbyist as into the world of what it would be like to be a a pro racer so you know I’m there thinking you have got this like season of races that I’ve put together and you know you’re getting through this in this season so it’s kind of like a nice little land as a year of pretending to be like a pro in in on the terms that it’s certainly not your first year of stack traces and you’ve done a lot of travel around Europe and further on your bike what was it that first got you into the long-distance touring and then into offroad and it’s really through my family through my dad to be honest we would always just go on bike rides as a family and he would have a habit of kind of taking being a bit ambitious with what we were doing so I would we would end up getting pushed a little bit further than you should strictly do as a parent and so I remember quite a lot as a kids kind of just being absolutely destroyed on these like multi-day rides so the format of what of what I’m doing what I’ve been doing last year in the last year is actually something that the the pattern was sort of set early on and I remember one particular ride on the South Downs when I was like pretty young I probably got 10 or something but we ended up hamster sleep in a barn on these like hay bales because we couldn’t get to our B&B that would like booked up in time because it was too far to get there and we had to improvise and we found this barn to sleep in and it was just mind blowing you know as a kid because you’re there you know under the supervision of your your your parent and then suddenly you’re just doing this mental thing outside of the normal parameters of life we like what we’re gonna sleep in this barn this like we really have any like equipped with early thing and I think that’s something that I still find amazing about these races and the whole sort of subculture that exists around it and one of the really attractive parts of it is that it does just take you out of the the patterns and the normality of normal life and you’re doing stuff that most people just aren’t doing and just don’t have any conception of and it feels quite exciting and kind of important in a way to like try and subvert the the normal rules of a reality where you like well you know yeah that normally you have a day and then you get to the end of the day and then you sleep and then there’s a new day that starts but what if you just don’t sleep and you just keep stay up and then when does one day end and the next day start and then suddenly you existing in a whole different sort of reality where you’re allowed to just go and sleep in someone’s garage or like in a disused Hanks outside of the shop or something you know that’s it’s it’s kind of escapism in a way but it but within the real world which is quite a potent thing to experience so yeah that’s that’s how that was the seed for the whole thing really and then staying in a barn with your family yeah and I just like I just remember seeing the Sun rising and being in this barn and I there was something that I was it was like digging into my side and there was like this disembodied Fox’s poor souls like yeah this is what it’s all about you know this is like this feels this feels real yeah it’s kind of like important somehow so and I think it might be that thing about you know it’s tapping into something primal in its elemental and it’s simple in its you know it’s just you know strictly everything down to the basics and suddenly you I think you feel everything more because it’s it’s closer to the to

the edge it’s closer to survival and it’s it’s you know it matters a lot more when you’re just pushed outside if you’re your bubble of of comfort and you say closer to the edge and away from comfort what makes you want to go there and I think again that’s that’s part of it because I had these experiences with my family so just personally I’d I’d got into cycling I realized it was something that I enjoyed but basically all of my cycling experiences of long-distance and touring were within the kind of comfort bubble of like doing it with my dad and like within a sort of little family group felt really safe and I really thought I was drawn to the the racing aspect of it because he was taking that thing that I knew that I really enjoyed but just pushing it to an extreme that was beyond something that I was doing with my family so I needed to claim it for myself and to be like okay well here’s something that I really like doing but what can I do in that that’s different to you know what I’ve been doing with my with my family and and then you know you want to see how much you can push that and then you get into like well the the the real spirit of the whole competitive thing which is the competition with yourself really in and then you want to once you start to see what what is possible which is quite surprising actually when you start doing things like riding through the night and depriving yourself of sleep and you start to realize how far you can actually get yourself on your bike within say 24 hours and how little sleep you need and then it becomes a case of like you know that’s a natural progression if you want to push that to see how how far that goes I mean there’s it’s it’s multi-layered like multifaceted thing that’s what’s nice about it because it’s it’s I think it’s good and it’s satisfying and you get stuff out of it on multiple levels so my personal kind of angle on it is the the sense of self-sufficiency is very empowering and you know that that stuff is all you need to survive more or less indefinitely you know you can as long as you’re moving you’re keeping yourself warm and you’re also generating power with like your dynamo hub so you can charge your things with devices and things that you want there’s always you can find food then you can keep going and it’s just a really lovely feeling what’s your go-to snack on the bike I really got into Oreos 2019 the year of Oreos because I I discovered that I’m quite sensitive to sugar and like blood sugar levels and it’s really important when you’re trying to not fall asleep on a bike if you have like an ice cream or something you know you feel great for maybe 20 minutes half an hour and then the crystal crashes and I would have to literally stop and have a sleep sometimes once you’re really like depleted of energy so I really got into like I am kind of like keto diet and really depriving myself of sugar and trying to like switch over to like fats and stuff and then and then this year I was just like actually I’m just gonna go for the first time that we met on we were doing trans Curnow which is like little endurance event a mini TCR if you like mini trans continental down in Cornwall so you set off from Plymouth at 9 o’clock at night into the darkness I think it’s may bank holiday weekend and there’s four checkpoints across Cornwall yeah thank you and I remember that was pretty much the first time I’d ridden through the night yeah and I was really struggling with keeping my eyes open as we rode through two consecutive nights and with a I think about three hours sleep in between and the only thing that I could find to keep me awake during that time was chewing yeah it was skittles and my partner was literally force-feeding me skittles one at a time

to keep me awake on this massive climb up to launch turn I mean I don’t know how you do that for several weeks at a time it worked for me for a weekend but yeah well that’s the funny thing isn’t it that’s another thing that you learn quite quickly I think is that nothing that happens is on a kind of steady graph you know like you don’t start off with 100% energy and then gradually lose energy throughout the event no matter how long is you know you go through these peaks and troughs and it’s weird you know you might you might feel really tired on day one and actually you might feel the best you’ve ever felt in the whole thing coming into the the last day you know two weeks it’s just you go through these kind of random cycles so it’s kind of the it’s the same thing really like you might think oh yeah struggle to get through a two-day thing how could you do that for for a week or two weeks but it just it just doesn’t work like that somehow I don’t know if you’ve ever found this this is just from personal experience in that I think mentally I adjust to whatever whatever event is coming up so I remember doing my first 200k and the last sort of ten percents are like the last 20k were really really hard and two weeks later I did my first 300k and again the last 20% was really hard but when I going back two weeks I was just about reaching 200k and I find that really hard but the following time two weeks later that wasn’t a problem at all I feel like it’s almost you set your expectations or your level Act what that final goal is and you only start to really suffer when you nearly reach that I think that probably changes for these long events there’s such a mental game it’s so true and that shows I think what you’re doing kind of behind the scenes in your mind isn’t it because you you won’t realize it but when you’re whatever event you’re about to take on you kind of you psych yourself up for that particular thing and you know that that’s the distances but it and yeah I’ve definitely found that you know I struggled more on you know a 100k ride and felt worse on that than kind of doing three or four hundred K if if you know that’s what you’ve got to do and you’re completely focused on it and when you do it that can be easier it’s just yeah it’s all about how you almost like prepare to yourself and conditioned your your mind to do that but a lot of the time you’re doing that without realizing it what’s your go-to snack on the bike whatever you can get hold of yeah yeah and it does change I always set off thinking all I want is cashews and peanuts and then by like the afternoon it’s the first day I’m like oh god I never want to see a cashew again I am I do like a late-night curry I found they’re actually surprising nutrition so I supposingly nutritious on bike tours yeah I’m always because I think I do eat a lot of sugar on the bike I’m like sweets and cakes and so yeah by the end of the day I might just give me a command which I think I don’t know about you but in my case you see I’m touring it’s just carb carb carb actually getting some Tomatoes should ride over to Jason Donovan and Bristol so thanks to Philippa and Tom for such amazing campfire conversation and even after listening to all of those stories and weird and wonderful tales if you’re still feeling like this might be something that you could be tempted into I would really really recommend checking out the racing collective so they organized routes all over the UK throughout the year half of them are Road here the half off road and it goes from everything from single day rides like cots Jerome ox gyro pender oh right the way through to like multi-day rides like whales churro and then all the way up to gbto which of course is Lands End to John O’Groats you can’t get much bigger than that in the UK they’re all really really friendly you literally just turn up in there or almost all free

to write apart from TV – I think so I hope to see you’re one of those at some point this year now if you want to do the Oxford route that we did in the last part of this episode then of course that’s in our commute profile and there’s also a link in there to the gb0 collections on commute so these have loads of information about some of the highlights sort of travel information everything that you might need to go and write them and of course you can just pick off a stage or a couple of days rather than the whole thing unless you’re feeling very ambitious and if you haven’t used commute before remember that you can get a free region by going to commutes calm /g so that’s kom 0t and using the voucher code unpaved all in capitals we’ll put all the instructions for that down in the show notes and thanks to commute we’ve also got the results of our giveaway for a brother in the wild which is a sort of weekend by packing festival I think it’s probably the best way of putting it so that they go to image and dislikes so yeah really excited about seeing you there next week we’re talking to the bicycle Academy which is based in Freeman Somerset and in the simplest sense they are place that you can go to learn about frame building but it’s kind of more than that it’s more about bicycle design overall and Tom sturdy there make sturdy cycles and it’s one of the key parts of the tape and he’s pushing frame building further than almost anybody else in the world at the moment and so we sat down with Tom and talked about how with bigger clearances one by drivetrains and a kind of variety of drop bars and flat bars and things are kind of influencing what you have to think about when it comes to making a bike we were also sat down with Jack Watney and Jack you met Jack a little while ago didn’t you yeah I think I first met Jack when he was working at the Rafa store nearby and some of the rides that he was leading and just you can’t forget him he’s just one of those like incredibly enthusiastic characters he’s just good fun to be around and he sort of fell in love almost by accident I think with bicycle Academy and the rest is history which you’ll hear and he had you doing a bit work for him to new a little braising demo which was really fun actually really good so listen to that one – how Kevin got on with a bit braising you might have seen it on Instagram already so we’re also going to be speaking to somebody who actually learned their craft and set up as a result of attending the bicycle Academy so Adlon amuro’s been a frame builder for a number of years now also an incredible cyclocross an off-road racer and a very good friend of mine she founded mercredi bikes after learning at the bicycle Academy and we have a really good in-depth chat about some things that make the way that she builds frames a little bit differently and actually what instigated her to start building frames in the way that she has done and she’s got some really interesting thoughts I think around making custom and unique geometry bikes accessible so that’s been a really interesting conversation especially as it’s something that I’ve been through myself because she built my gravel bike for me last year and also some very controversial points in there which you which are quite entertaining well in a way it’s not gravel bike yeah it’s actually a cross bike what’s the expression brain-fuck so we hope you’ve enjoyed this episode do remember to share it with your mates if you enjoyed we’d always appreciate that tag us in your roots and your photos using unpaid podcast on social media and commit and until next time folks listening

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