Wise words from Dave

A message of encouragement from an old friend and colleague, Dave Roberts…

“Bloody hell Gionny. I’ve just checked out the Transcontinental race site. There’s a shortage of pubs en-route. That’s serious shit.
However, upon reflection I realised I am inspired by your endeavours. As of next Thursday I am going to drastically up my own exercise regime. Instead of my daily drive out to my local for a pint I will walk there on an extremely arduous route along a completely level disused railway track – and back! Oh, just realised I’ll be able to have more than one pint. As my training regime kicks in my aim is to do this more than once a week. Further inspired by that photo of you with a G and T in your hammock. Whilst I don’t think I can reach your lofty heights – particularly given the temperature relevant to my latitude just now – but I will definitely enjoy the research. Thanks, Gionny, for showing the way.”

Thanks mate, love your work! A cold one is definitely something to look forward to, once the effort will be completed. They seem to have free ones at the TCR finishers’ party, which is my goal, “just” two weeks after departure. Perhaps the stinkiest party in the planet, dozens of men and women in lycra who haven’t washed in two weeks. Oh well, no-one has ever died for a tough armpit or two. Besides that, I can only dream about the flavour of that icy clod beer, after two weeks of drought.


3.7 thousands kilometres for few free beers. That’s right, not much of a prize for the sweat, so there must be a different motivation behind all of this but we’ll get to it in due time.

Comes to mind Velominati Rule #
Drink Tripels, don’t ride triples.

Cycling and beer are so intertwined we may never understand the full relationship. Beer is a recovery drink, an elixir for post-ride trash talking and a just plain excellent thing to pour down the neck. We train to drink so don’t fool around. Drink quality beer from real breweries. If it is brewed with rice instead of malted barley or requires a lime, you are off the path. Know your bittering units like you know your gear length. Life is short, don’t waste it on piss beer.


And now, the moment only very few of you were waiting for, the techie corner!

This week, I will explain the data field configuration I’ve chosen for my Garmin head unit computer. The Garmin 520 is what I’ll be using for navigation, as well as for recording data and analysing my performance.

While for racing criterium I use a very simple screen, with only time, speed and heartbeat, the #TCRN06 will require a more sophisticated setup, which will be the following…

Time: is intended as the time moving ahead, I can see this easily reaching the 15 hours daily.

Speed: instant speed, measured in Kilometres per hour. I reckon 25Km/h is the golden standard, unless climbing a mountain, but I can see after few days 20 becoming the new 25.

Distance: this is the total distance traveled for the day

Time of the day: self explanatory

Calories: very important field and directly connected to the heartbeat. It will tell me how many calories I’ve consumed and I need to replenish in order to keep riding. I tend to consume 1000 calories every 50Km, on an undulated course. I reckon my gas station diet will have to be integrated with some road kill 🙂

BPM: shows the instant heartbeat, as read by the sensor around my chest. My rest BPM is around 47, while my threshold starts at 168. Ideally, I plan to climb an alpine pass somewhere in between 140 and 150 BPM. A reading which is too high indicates that I’m tired and it’s time to have a siesta.

Grade: it’s the incline of the road. I’m usually on a big ring (53T) until 6% gradient, as the road kicks up, I usually shift to a more comfortable 39T. For the TCR, I’m expecting inclines up to 18-20%, which will be hard to overcome with a fully loaded bike. I’m seriously considering installing a compact chain set (50T/34T) and a cluster up to 30T at the back.

Total ascent: it’s the elevation gain attained during the day. Rather demoralising if you know how many meters you have to go in total and you’ve got few thousand to go.

Sunset: it’s the exact time the sun will set. Time to switch the lights ON…and keep on riding.

Average Speed: self explanatory, I’m not expecting any big numbers there, we shall see.