Set Your Goals

The start of a new cycling season is an exciting time as we look to the future and begin planning our next adventures on two wheels. For many riders, this is a time of setting goals and creating a road map of personal growth, whether that be on or off the bike. As a company of cycling enthusiasts, we take a look into what the Apidura team is up to this year as well as some of the essentials they’ll be bringing on their adventures. 

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Mountain biker cycling down large mountain face

Super Randonneur

The Super Randonneur award was established by Audax Club Parisien (ACP) in 1977 and consists of a 200 km, 300 km, 400 km and 600 km ride, all completed within a year.

Rider: Ali, Digital Experience Specialist

”For 2024 one of the main goals I’ve set for myself is to complete the Audax Super Randonneur (2500): the challenge is to ride a 200, 300, 400, 600 and 1000km all in one season.

“I came across the Super Randonneur (2500) via the Audax UK print magazine a few years ago. This style of riding is steeped in history and I’m drawn to the stories of the individuals who have shaped the tradition.  

“A couple of my best Transcontinental No.9 training rides were Audax events in 2023. I’m drawn to the accessible entry fees, the beautiful brevet cards and the interesting characters that you get to cross over within village halls at strange times of the day.

 

“The more I’ve got into ultra-distance cycling, the more I enjoy riding at night: the peace, the accelerated feeling of progress (when you are probably meant to be asleep), and the inevitable Costa Express when the sun comes up. I used a prototype of the Packable Visibility Vest during a 400km trip in 2023. I wouldn’t ride without it now, even if that’s during dawn or dusk. Another great advantage is how small it packs down, I can squeeze it into a pack with ease and have it ready at any given moment – another advantage of the Packable Musette too.” 

All Points North

All Points North stands as a self-supported, ultra-distance endurance cycling challenge, where participants are tasked with reaching 10 control points scattered throughout the north of England. Cyclists have the freedom to make their own routes between these checkpoints, opting for solo or pairs riding.

Rider: Jack, Industrial Designer

“I’ll be riding the event with my brother in-law, he recently had a stroke, resulting in an operation on his heart. Fortunately, he’s now fully recovered and since the operation, it’s made him motivated to get out and commit to a big challenge. I suggested All Points North and he was 100% up for it. 

“Overall I’m pretty comfortable going into the race, it will be a long route and definitely have its challenges, but I think it’s healthy to not think about that kind of thing too much. It can be really easy to get into your own head before this kind of event which can make it seem more daunting than it actually is. The routes I’ll be taking are stunning, especially some of the stretches through the Lake District. Unlike a lot of ultra-distance events, All Point North requires you to have periods of rest time. This allows the competition to focus around how well you ride, rather than how little sleep you can survive on.”

 

“That being said, it will be a new experience riding in a pair. Previously I’ve always ridden solo which helps me escape into my own world, I find it makes it a lot easier to zone out and focus. I wouldn’t say I’m overly anxious about doing this as a pair, but it is different to what I’m used to and I’ll be stepping into the unknown. Fortunately, I see my brother-in-law as a real brother and we have the sort of relationship where we will be able to tell each other how we’re really feeling.”

 

“On the trip I’ll definitely be taking the Racing Long Top Tube Pack and Racing Saddle Pack (3L), it’s not a crazy long event so I want to keep the setup quite minimal and light. That being said, the Long Top Tube Pack offers a sleek design whilst allowing me to fit a good amount of equipment inside – my chargers, food and tools can all fit in there. The additional capacity from the Racing Saddle Pack will allow me some extra layers and essentials.”

Badger Divide

The Badger Divide follows the route of the An Turas Mór, which is a segment of Cycling UK’s Great North Trail. This trail combines elements of the West Highland and Great Glen Ways, spanning 210 miles from Glasgow to Inverness.

Rider: Rosie, People and Office Manager

”In previous years, I’ve stuck predominately to road racing, however going into 2024 I want to mix things up and try some different styles of riding. I find this can be a great way to stay motivated and develop different skills within cycling. It has to be said, being a part of the Apidura team, it’s very easy for cycling inspiration to bleed into you. Last year I went to Scotland on one of my first bikepacking adventures, so for 2024 it was time to head back and delve into a more off-road route. 

“I was thinking of tackling the King Alfred’s Way, but I didn’t think the route was quite as interesting and I wanted to be somewhere a bit more on the wild side. For one of my first off-road/gravel trips, I did want to remain in the UK. There’s a lot of amazing scenery right on our doorstep, and I also don’t need to worry about flights, accommodation (as Scotland allows you to wild camp) and general accessibility.”

 

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the terrain we’ll be facing, as a predominate road cyclist, I’ll be pushed outside of my comfort zone when it comes to some of the more treacherous routes – but I’m down for the challenge of course. Scotland is also very well known for it’s unpredictable weather, we have timed the trip to try and avoid the downfalls – but you can never be certain with these things, anyway, it adds to the adventure.”

 

“An essential bit of kit I’ll bringing will be the Racing 1L Frame Pack, this fits perfectly on my small-framed bike. I love how accessible it is, perfect for carrying snacks, headphones, cables and especially in Scotland when chances of it raining are extremely high, I know the gear in side will stay safe and dry. Carrying on from my small bike setup, the Packable Backpack will allow me to carry essentials both on and off the bike, packing down so small that I won’t even know it’s there!” 

Read our guide To Bikepacking Setups For Small Bike Frames. 

 

A Japanese Adventure

Bikepacking in Japan offers a unique and captivating adventure, blending the tranquillity of rural landscapes with the vibrant energy of bustling cities. 

Rider: Freddie, B2B Manager 

My cycling goal in 2024 is to create my own journey. All the adventures/races I have completed so far have have pre-set routes so you just upload the GPS file on your Garmin and the job is done. By planning the routes through Japan myself, I think it will make me appreciate the adventure more and learn more about the places I’ll be visiting. 

“Japan is a country I have always wanted to visit. When I travel I always try to embrace the culture and lifestyle of the place I am visiting. Bikepacking allows me to explore hidden spots and aspects of a community that I would not be able to discover by spending 10 days moving by public transport or car. Not only that, it’s a much more environmentally friendly way of travelling.

“I’m never nervous about bikepacking – any issues are solvable. I’m also looking forward to all the ramen I’ll be eating along the way.”

Rider with bike setup

“I often find myself riding for hours and realise that I haven’t touched a drop of water. It’s important to not forget that backcountry lanes tend to cover water bottles in mud and dust. It’s an easy call for a stomach bug! The Backcountry Hydration Backpack will help me drink more whilst storing it safely giving me extra storage for food and clothing.”

Trakka 360

The Traka has a reputation as one of Girona’s most beautiful events but also one of its most brutal. With several distances to choose from, it explores the iconic roads, landscapes and trails Girona has to offer and is swiftly coming to be known as the “Unbound of Europe”. 

Rider: Ian, Head of Brand and Marketing

“The Traka has established itself as THE one-day European gravel race and this year I’ll be taking on the 360km route. After a few years of toe-dipping into ultra-distance races, the Traka is an altogether different challenge as it’s very much a one-hit affair. At the pointy end of the race, the pace is really high, but, with technical climbs and descents punctuating the fast gravel sections, there’s a bit of everything thrown in.”

Cyclist riding up grass hill

“Girona itself is a mecca for cyclists but it’s the prime gravel riding that really started to pique my interest when looking for an event to add to the 2024 calendar. Part of my motivation is my ability to train for this length of race between work and having a young family as between commuting and some late night/early morning turbo sessions, I should be able to get myself into a good spot come the start of May.”

 

“Although Traka takes place before the heat of summer really hits, there was a heat wave during last years event, and as someone who runs hot, staying hydrated is at the top of my list when riding in warmer climates.  My strategy is to have fuel in the shape of carb mix in my two bottles, then, the Racing Hydration Vest gives me 2L of water, with hydration tablets added. I’ll utilise the front mesh pockets for gels and bars, with internal storage for an additional layer for the evening.’’