Joe here - we’ve all had to adjust our performance goals this year.
Ultra-endurance racing is as much the art of creative adaption as it is the capacity to endure so when one after one our season’s races were cancelled, we set our creative minds the task of exploring where on earth ‘reaching further’ could take us in 2020.
Our old friend Malin Head to Mizen Head to Malin Head, the most northerly point in Ireland to the most southerly point and back again, poked its head out from under the COVID-19 clouds and we asked ourselves this question.
Is it possible to put the current World Ultra-Cycling Association’s World Record under 48 hours?
Ummm….not sure, especially under the weather conditions this weekend, but let’s find out!
My long relationship with this record is founded on the qualities of all great relationships - effort, collaboration, forgiveness and a little bit of mystery.
Time has always been the competitor that gets me out of bed and into the saddle to go training.
To beat such a tireless competitor you have to employ both consistency and inconsistency.
You have to be measured and you have to risk it all.
Guaranteed there will come a time where you have to magic a way to transform self-belief into distance. You see, you can plan your average speed all you want but you can’t plan where that average speed will come from. Your legs? Your mind? Your belief? Your team?
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
You also can’t plan what will take average speed from you – wind, cold, rain, mindset, human error? The rules of the road don't apply to time. It just keeps on running. Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
(It's important to note that when you make your application for a WUCA World Record you don't get to choose a favourable weather weekend. You choose your dates and lady luck provides you with a weather pattern to work with. And wouldn't you know it, this weekend is extremely unfavourable. We could cancel or reschedule but that's not our style.)
The road and the race can give and it can take.
So can the rider and team by the way – create time or lose time.
It’s a fine and exacting balance over great distance and within great fatigue.
So if you want to see if breaking 48-hours is possible, come with us and watch our dot as we make our way.
For the first time this record attempt will be fully tracked by Primal Tracking with lots of live video feeds from the different support vehicles.
For all you endurance folks eyeing this record, you can start planning your own record-breaking attempt using this route. Records are made to be broken after all! And you may just get lucky with a good weather pattern. Someone needs to!
If our example of reaching further inspires you to reach further in some way in your own life then our mission has been accomplished.
We want to acknowledge our partners and friends at White’s Oats, who are the nutritious and delicious Title Sponsor for this World Record attempt. We want to thank them for continuing to support the 2020 Season of Reaching Further. Their steadfast commitment as we have adjusted our plans is a testament to the values they hold as a company.
A final thank you to Mr Ted Spiegel for sending me one of their Diablo frames to build, test and provide feedback on under race conditions and on some of the world’s toughest endurance terrain. Spiegel is a company putting both energy and resources into building the sport of endurance cycling. We are happy to collaborate with them for this World Ultra Cycling Association's World Record Attempt.
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