Out of Office for The Transcontinental Race
Our poor inboxes. Four Apidura staff are setting up their Out Of Office replies right now, before setting off for the Transcontinental Race No6.
With no small amount of envy of their imminent adventures, we took a moment to introduce our fab four.
We’re proud that we get to practice what we preach. In our office, you’ll find around-the-world tourers, weekend day-trippers, and ultra-racers alike, each of whom test our products and expand our knowledge and experience on a daily basis.
This summer, we’ve got four members of staff participating in the Transcontinental Race (three racing, one organising Checkpoint 4), and we can’t wait to follow their progress as TCRNo6 descends upon Europe in the following weeks. Without further ado, here are our four intrepid adventurers.
Greg Hilson – Logistics
“I predominantly handle logistics at Apidura, which essentially involves dealing with courier companies, problem solving and pragmatism – which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the TCR!
I’ve cycled on and off since forever. I did a bit of fully loaded touring in my early 20s, and in recent years have focussed mostly on road and cyclocross racing. Then, in early 2017, I did a bikepacking trip through Thailand, not long after first becoming aware of the TCR.
At first, the race was little more than a pipe dream. But the chance to explore the limits of what I’m capable of, and autonomous adventure that the self-navigated nature of it provides, really resonated with me.
I’m going to be riding the TCR as a race, because – to paraphrase Mike Hall – it is not a tour. I am very aware that things go wrong and plans change though, so I don’t want to jinx things by saying when I hope to finish.”
Jamie Saunders – Data
“I’m the data guy at Apidura. I basically roundup all the data we’re interested in (it’s legit, promise), and process it into reports for other staff members to use in decision making. It’s the experience I’m doing the TCR for though – not the statistics.
I used to row at quite a high level, but as I was coming to the end of my career, I began looking for a new challenge. By chance, I stumbled on a friend’s photo album from TCRNo3 on Facebook around the same time.
‘That would be cool,’ I thought – not really grasping the effort involved – and applied to ride TCRNo5. Luckily I didn’t get in, but the interest never receded, so I’m grateful to have a spot this year.
My expectations and motivations have fluctuated with the ups and downs of my preparation, and while initially my drive was to complete the race in a respectable time, my aim now is purely to make the most of the experience. I just want to be a part of it, enjoy it, and not put pressure on myself. It goes against my competitive nature, but I’m really looking forward to just pedalling, enjoying the views, and being able to enjoy each moment without worrying whether I’m going to succeed or fail.”
Josh Cunningham – Content
“My job at Apidura is one of those that’s impossible to explain to your Grandad (‘I create content…’), but basically involves doing things with words and pictures – something I wish there were more time for when racing the TCR.
I fell in love with touring during a ride to Italy while I was at school, but soon took off my pannier rack to have a crack at becoming a pro cyclist for a few years. In 2015, I cycled from London to Hong Kong, and immediately set eyes on the TCR upon my return. Touring at race pace? It sounded like my bag.
After scratching from TCRNo5 at CP4, my former racer’s heart having utterly abused the rest of my ill-prepared body and mind for 3,000km, I’m returning to TCRNo6 aiming just to finish.
There’s a certain set of emotions and experiences that I’ve only ever known through either racing hard or riding long, so I’m really excited about the prospect of marrying the two again. This race is such an intense and varied experience that no matter what happens, I know I’ll go through something, and feel something, that I otherwise wouldn’t. That for me is a real buzz.”
George Huxford – Marketing (among other hats)
Checkpoint Four Manager
“As an easily bored person, I’m very lucky to do a lot of different things at Apidura. I spend my time looking after our awesome ambassadors and stores around the world, as well as our friends at races and other brands. I also get involved with planning our marketing projects, filling up the coffee machine, fixing people’s bikes (you’re welcome, Josh), and doing my bit to make sure the Apidura biscuit budget is one of the highest in the industry.
I’ve ridden everything from BMX to road bikes, and eventually got into bikepacking from a touring angle. I was never a fan of the whole ‘rules’ thing, so when gravel riding came along and we were all allowed to carry pumps and inner tubes again, I was immediately using bikepacking packs on almost every ride.
At this year’s TCR, I’m lucky enough to be heading out to Bosnia to help out at Checkpoint 4, staying for the whole duration to keep the Checkpoint ticking over. I’m super excited to see all the riders I know come through, although at that point in the race I don’t think anyone is going to get a hug unless they have a shower first. I’m also going to have to keep my bike-geek tendencies in check, and resist the urge to quiz exhausted riders about their setups.”