The Tour de France has changed, over the last 102 editions, from a treacherous, long-distance race that relied solely on the adventurous and resourceful spirits of its entrants, to the great corporate caravan it is today. It’s still a great spectacle, but the original glory of the event no longer holds us in awe.
It is that authenticity that the Transcontinental Race, presented by PEdAL ED, hopes to provide in a modern age — an unsupported, single stage competition, in which the boundaries of the riders’ courage and preparation are truly tested. The 2015 event started on July 24th and finished with countless stories of bravery and endurance.
If you have the heart for adventure cycling and appreciate gear that is designed to make your riding as comfortable and efficient as possible, you might already own some pieces of PEdAL ED kit in your wardrobe. The Transcontinental race provided a tough test for this year’s range of cycle wear, and was worn by the team riders of Niccolò and Jacopo.
Niccolò and Jacopo, like the other racers, brought along only the minimum essentials for the ride, a marathon effort of over 4,000 kilometres. Their list included the Kaido Jersey, Kaze Access Vest, the Raku Bib Short, the Gufo Jacket, Kaido Arm Warmers and, of course, the standard issue Transcontinental Cap.
Sure, the guys might’ve been the best-dressed in the lineup, but that was due to the eye of PEdAL ED’s founder and designer, Hideto Suzuki, who combines the essentially Japanese aesthetic of well-constructed simplicity and functionality. Their kit performed as it should, enabling Niccolò and Jacopo to finish in 15 days, 13 hours and 14 minutes.
Completing the Transcontinental Race within the competitive time frame meant riding up to 250 kilometres a day and sleeping only when it was desperately needed, in any location. Sometimes that was by the side of the road, other times in underground carparks. Luckily, PEdAL ED gear is built to last.
Often, there were headwinds and torrential storms, but thanks to the quality of the fabrics PEdAL ED gear is made with, this was able to be endured. The Kaido Jersey, for example, is made from breathable Merino wool, which doesn’t smell, even after being worn for many rides and washed only by the rain.
This was the third Transcontinental Race, in which 175 racers set off from the Muur van Geraardsbergen in Belgium, finishing in the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul. There were four checkpoints: Mont Ventoux in Provence, the Strada dell’Assietta on the French-Italian border, Vukovar in Croatia, and finally Montenegro’s Mount Lovcen.
Even after such hardship, Niccolò and Jacopo still managed to stay relatively comfortable within the PEdAL ED gear, and as anyone who has completed such feats will testify, the less you have to think about your kit, the easier it is to manage the pain and keep the mind focused on reaching your goal.
Some people might call them crazy to undertake such a massive race by bicycle, but for some of us there always exists the challenge to push the limits of our capabilities. There is no greater satisfaction than that of reaching a goal which seems insurmountable, and it does help if you have the right gear.