13/04/2015 - Transcontinental Race

At London Cycle Show we were approached by a couple of guys who got chatting to us about riding the Transcontinental Race or TCR for short.

They were clearly a bit bonkers, but in the best possible way and loved the look of the Escapade as a possible race bike. Once they told how they ran the coast of Britain for fun, in 50-something days, these guys clearly weren't messing. The phrase left ringing in our ears was this...."We're probably not the fastest, but we are stubborn. That's what we're relying on to be competitive". Blimey!!

We've decided to support them on the race and are in the process of building them some custom spec Escapades for the job. We'll have some pictures of these bikes up when we get the final parts, as we have some custom made USE Dynamo hubs and a couple of other tweaks to get sorted. Anyway, the guys are Simon and Tom Rounding and here's what they have to say by way of introduction.....

Simon Writes...

The first thing you notice when you meet us is that we both look similar, its pretty obvious that we're brothers, we both spent our formative years growing up in Yorkshire and even though we no longer live there, it still has a pull on us today.

The Transcontinental Race is an event that is relatively new. 2015 will be the 3rd time it has run, when you read about it you could easily be transported back to a long gone era. When times were tough and people were tougher

This is what the organisers of the TCR say.....

It will be no coincidence that the most prepared will be the most successful. For those who rely on luck alone; Transcontinental Number 3 will raise the stakes. Many will fail.

One stage The clock never stops. Racers chose where, when and if at all to rest.

No Support Racers can only use what they take with them, or what they can find en-route at commercially available services.

No Route Only mandatory controls ensure that racers visit some of the most famous pieces of road in Europe and connect with the suffering of their forebears. The rest is up to them.

Tom and I are relatively late comers to cycling. We - like most kids - had bikes and were always out on them but as we grew up bikes seem to disappear from our lives for a while. We both have served in the Armed forces and Tom is still serving approaching 20 years, hence why we have selected the charity we are fundraising for for the TCR.


Keeping physically fit has been an important part of our lives and endurance events seem to always manifest, I think this is partly due to liking to challenge ourselves but also because you really need strength of mind or what I know to be stubborness. Tom is pretty stubborn which is a good attribute when your muscles are aching and everything is telling you to stop....Tom says I'm more stubborn all I can say is that I'm not sure about that.

Tom recently completed a challenge where he was on the go for many months skiing across Norway, cycling across europe and running across Britain. To condense such a mammoth effort into a few lines is impossible, so more on this can be found at http://www.1664challenge.co.uk/. While I on the other hand come from a mountaineering background have started to ride my bike a lot more than commuting having rode from Lands End to John O'Groats in under 4 days and riding 12 hour Time Trials, yes for fun.

Anyway Tom and I rode the Marmotte which is considered a hard sportive, which it is... there's 5000m of climbing! We got round without doing much training I think the furthest Tom had ridden before that event was 35 miles on the flat. We basically relied on that stubborn streak and really enjoyed the freedom of riding bikes for a long distance. We decided to come back together for the TCR.

Why Cotic?

When undertaking an event it's important to know your strengths and weaknesses, Tom and I already know that we won't be the the fastest but we intend to be competitive so that means we have to ride longer than most people will want too, where aiming at about 260 miles every day for 10 days. We have been looking at the bike market for sometime looking at suitable bikes for what we plan to do and the Adventure bike that seems to be this years fashion is the way we wanted to go, many companies have a model they have labelled adventure.

We decided to make our minds up at the London bike show show as we had a short list of bikes and the plan was to check them out and discuss what we were going to put them through. After many hours of walking round and checking out our shortlist I have to be honest many people we encountered either were not that passionate or that knowledgeable about the bikes. This was not the case when we crossed paths with Paul and Cy, the passion and interest was obvious and when I mentioned what we were doing and that the Escapade could be the bikes for us the lads didn't just say yes and jump at the chance of selling a couple of bikes, they said let us have a think and see what we can come up with. We took note of this the guys are passionate but also want to make sure that the bikes don't let us down .....now we have to make sure that we don't let the bikes or Cotic down.

We shall keep going and try our best you can follow our progress on our blog https://brothersontwowheels.wordpress.com/

We will also let you know how the bikes cope. Thanks for all your help guys, Simon & Tom

What an adventure!! We're looking forward to helping the guys get the bikes right and get behind them for the race. There are spot trackers for the riders so we'll be able to keep you updated on their progress when they start in July. If you'd like to support them and their charity then please click the justgiving link.