The Transcontinental is an unsupported Adventure Bicycle Race from London to Istanbul. I’m creating some mementos for those intrepid enough to enter.
With riders finishing or closing in on Turkey’s largest city, first place was already a done deal. The winner Kristof Allegaert from Belgium, had dominated from the outset and completed his 3364km journey just 7 and a half days.
Riders are autonomous and not bound to one fixed route; they must only visit a series of mandatory checkpoints between the start and finish. Friends and families have anxiously observed from afar courtesy of GPS trackers that each contestant carried provided by trackleaders.com. As I write this, my own friend, rider 29 Lee Pearce is somewhere in Turkey eyeing up the finish, some 160km away.
We’ve heard so many epic stories about the riders in this amazing race, the supporters are practically family now by means of updates on Facebook and Twitter. Stories of riders scratching the race to back-track to help another rider involved in an accident, shocks from resting against electrified fences, apocalyptic weather conditions and of course, the numerous wrong turns that navigation systems have provided.
I wanted to make something for Lee to celebrate his pending achievement which lead to the idea of cycle portraits, I thought I could offer this out to the group of supporters in a similar position to me. Congratulations to those who have made it, good fortitude to those on their way, and a tip of the hat to those forced to scratch for entering this incredible journey.
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Thanks to cycling legend Mike Hall for giving me the nod to do this, and for putting on this event. If you don’t know who he is, check out this article.