Introducing the #TCRNo8 Mike Hall Bursary Riders

In 2021, the Transcontinental Race introduced the Mike Hall Bursary to support riders racing the eighth edition in 2022. The bursary is designed to make the race more inclusive and open to those who might have a financial barrier preventing them from taking part. It also aims to introduce new people to the race and bikepacking community, whilst enabling new stories to be told from under-represented or seldom heard voices. At the beginning of 2022, the three bursary riders; Becky Wass, Amrei Kuhne and Hashim Hassan, were announced.

Reading time: 3 min

 

 

Introducing The Riders

 

Becky Wass

Becky was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at age 17, and throughout her 20’s the condition was unbearable. But by her late 20s, she had bought a second-hand tourer, packed her belongings in a couple of panniers and boarded a train to France. From being unable to change an inner tube and realising that weight on the bike should be considered, she went on to cycle the classic UK route Lands End to John o’Groats on a folding mountain bike.

 

 

Hashim Hassan

Hashim, originally from Somalia and currently living in England, developed an interest in cycling and exploration by bike in late 2015 when touring Morocco, and wild camping along the way. Soon after, he came across TCRNo4 and was inspired by the adventure, challenge and freedom it represented. Having completed the 2021 edition of Two Volcano Sprint, he hopes to inspire riders from his own community and background.

 

 

Amrei Kuhne

Amrei, who is studying geography and global climate change, uses her bike to travel wherever possible to avoid using fossil fuels. She recently discovered the joy of riding with purpose when cycling with her friend Emilia a couple of years ago, when they rode more than 200 km in one go. She then tackled an Everesting and her first ultra: the North Race Westphalia.

 

The Setups

 

For the uninitiated, this length of bike race can present a bit of a minefield in selecting the right kit – and the three riders all had different ideas on what they needed. So, rather than providing generic setups based on our own assumptions about their needs, we encouraged them to delve into our in-depth collection of kit grids, guide to bikepacking setups for small bike frames, and stories from the race on our journal to discover what would work best for them. Armed with a better understanding of what different types of riders have carried for previous events and how they’ve attached it to their bikes, the riders each settled on different setups that represented their individual riding styles and needs.

Becky

Becky went for our Expedition Series as she has long-term plans to explore the world by bike, so wanted more volume to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Unfortunately, Becky has withdrawn from the TCR due to health reasons, but we look forward to seeing what adventures she has planned in the future. She will be on the ground volunteering at this year’s race and hopes to take part in a future edition of TCR.

Hashim

Hashim’s setup reflects how he has adapted from touring and wild camping to packing light and travelling fast. His minimal, lightweight setup will mean careful packing and considering what is essential versus what can be left behind in the spirit of racing. Hashim has opted for the Racing Handlebar Mini Pack over the Racing Aero Pack, prioritising easy-access and convenience over all-out speed.

Amrei

Riding a 54cm bike frame and wanting to keep the inside of the frame free for bottles, Amrei used our small bikes bikepacking guide to find the right packs to distribute her kit and maximise the space available for bottles. Amrei has chosen the Racing Aerobar Pack to run on the front of her bike, making this a fast, race-orientated set-up.

These three riders have shown us the diverse ways you can approach a race, picking and choosing a set-up to suit your riding style. There’s no “right” way to set up your bike for an ultra-distance race and what works for one rider won’t necessarily work for another. If you’re wondering what sort of set-up will work for you, our kit grids and guides are a great place to start.