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North Cape – Tarifa Race

The North Cape – Tarifa (NCT) race ran from the northernmost point in Europe in Norway, to the southernmost point in Spain. Spanning 13 countries, it is the longest bikepacking race one can do at 7,390 km with over 65,000 m of climbing.  It took me 29:10:30 minutes for 10th place, an average of just over 250 km/day.  It was an incredible adventure and I was pleased to participate in the inauguration of what deserves to become one of the top bikepacking races.


Snow graffiti on my way to the top of Pico du Veleta in Spain 

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Preparing for North Cape-Tarifa Race

imageIt seemed like a good idea at the time …

Andy Buchs—who I met at last year’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia had the idea for a race from the northernmost part of Europe in Norway, to the southernmost in Spain: the North Cape-Tarifa (NCT) race. Sounded like quite the adventure so I signed up and we start the inaugural race at midnight on 20 June. I’ve just been sent the final route and it’s a bit more than I expected: 7,389 km with 85,000 metres of climbing. Ouch. I’m prepared as best as I can be all things considered, but will be interesting to see how things go!

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Ready for the Tour Aotearoa

A week tomorrow I’m starting on the 3000 km self-supported ‘Tour Aotearoa’ which goes the length of NZ from Cape Reinga to Bluff. In spite of my crazy travel schedule I’ve managed to keep to a good training program and according to Xertonline I’m right where I need to be fitness wise which is great.  This is the best time—starting to taper. With a few rides this week, then driving north on Friday.


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Epic Ride Weather: The One App All Endurance Cyclists Need

When doing long distance endurance races the one question I wonder when tired is whether or not it is worth pushing on. Some years ago in the Tour Divide I passed a group of racers who were setting up camp as the sun was setting just east of Lima Reservoir. It was a perfect evening so I decided to ride a few more hours towards the Idaho border.  The next morning the weather changed and they had miserable headwinds and rain compared to my idyllic ride. This would have been avoided had ‘Epic Ride Weather’ been around at the time. I used it to plan my rests around wind when racing across Australia earlier in 2017, and will be using again in the Tour Aotearoa and the North Cape-Tarifa in 2018.

What makes it so useful? It loads your route where you are riding, you input your expected speed, and it then gives you the weather and wind forecasts over your ride.  In other words, you know exactly what to expect!

Here is how it works.


You first link the app to where you want get your routes from. Here I have connected it to Strava and Ride with GPS.

Screenshot_20180103-110154 (002)

It will then list the available routes. The above are the routes I have in Ride with GPS.


Here are my Strava rides. I’m going to do a ride up the Cobb Valley.


You indicate when you plan on starting (now in this example), and what you expect your average speed to be. It uses the average from Strada. The red slider bar allows you to shorten the route.


The app then gives you the expected temperature over your ride and the precipitation. It was very correct here—it rained after 11:00.


This is the expected wind map, showing both the intensity and direction. I can expect a 6 km/h tail wind on the way out; and up to 12 km/h on the way home.

You have to pay a modest amount for weather predictions—$8.99 for 20,000 ‘units’, but it is well worth the investment. Give it a try. Late one day in a ride you will be grateful when it tells you to keep pedalling because of what tomorrow will bring!

Reflections on my IPWR Race Kit

Time to share some reflections on the racePIC_20170311_154126 kit that I used for the Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR) in Australia. As this was not my first race, I’ve got my gear pretty well dialled in. Here are 12 areas of success … my failures? A footnote on those as well …


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Indian Pacific Wheel Race

My ‘A’ race for 2017 was the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR). This self-supported 5,471 km race across Australia from Freemantle to Sydney was to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the 13+ day ride by Sir Hubert Opperman. As a twist, the route would take us through Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra before finishing at the Sydney Opera House.

Unfortunately, the race was cancelled on day 13 when Mike Hall was hit and killed by a car outside of Canberra. I had done just over 3,600 km at the time so my race ended outside Apollo Bay Victoria, about 240 km west of Melbourne. It was a tragic end to a great adventure, and the loss of an incredible man and cyclist. So I write this race report with a sense of sadness and loss …


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2017 Indian Pacific Wheel Race–Gear List

On March 18th at 06:00 I will be starting the ‘Indian Pacific Wheel Race’ (IPWR) across Australia. The 5,471 km route takes us from Freemantle in Western Australia across the desert, then down through Adelaide and Melbourne before heading up into the Snowy Mountains to Canberra and eventually finishing at the Sydney Opera House. As with all endurance races, a big chunk of time is spent planning the logistics and the equipment to take.  Here’s what I’m taking.


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