In recent years the popularity of cycling has reached an all time high; public transport is shit, cars are expensive, a lot of us are trying to get fitter and here in the UK we've also been buoyed by Olympic and Tour de France glory. Over at the World Cycle Race website we've been interviewing all manner of cycling endurance veterans from inaugural Transcontinental champion Kristof Allegaert to The First Lady of bicycle circumnavigation Juliana Buhring. These are some of the highlights of their tips.
Mike Hall - 2012 WCR champion, 2013 Tour Divide winner
"You can do more than you ever thought you can, the human body is amazing and the way it recovers so quickly after months on the road is just phenomenal; after that everything is down to what goes on in your head."
Richard Dunnett - Second place 2012 WCR, second place 2013 TCR
"When the going gets tough and you are feeling at your lowest. Stop, eat and sleep! So many times I have thought it was all over and I am ready to go home. But after a short rest and some food all seemed to get much better. Never decide to pack it all in when you are tired or hungry!
Other than that.. ENJOY RIDING YOU BIKE! if you don't, prepare for a long miserable ride."
Juliana Buhring - First woman to cycle the globe 2012
"A very large part of the challenge of cycling the world is psychological. I’d say the three most important attributes you can have are self discipline, tenacity and a sense of humour. If you’re not mentally tough, forget it."
Sean Conway - WCR veteran and 1st man to swim the length of Britain
"My tip would be to just get on the bike and start getting the miles in. Mileage make champions. I was going 700 miles a week in training."
Kristof Allegaert - Winner of the 2013 Trancontinental Cycle Race
"Love cycling; if you cycle 10 hours a day or more and you don’t love cycling it will hurt and you will struggle to motivate yourself. If you are going to undertake a race of this scale you need to be doing it fore the right reasons."
In response to our interview with Kristof we also got some thoughts from 4 place finisher Ed, you can read the rest of his tips over on his website
Ed Pickup - 4th Place 2012 TCR
"In order to finish an endurance cycling event / route, I think the most important thing is to want it really badly. If it’s a target that you’ve been obsessing about and that you’ve invested months in training for, you’ll be much more likely to finish and to enjoy it while you’re out there."
You can catch the full interviews with the riders over on the WCR blog. The 2014 WCR begins 1st March