360KM??? How does one prepare for a race like that? You've tackled big endurance events before. Can you speak to how it has evolved for you?
As a family run operation, Klassmark with its ‘leave no trace’ philosophy supports and is supported by the local community, so there is an incredible sense of camaraderie at all their events. Girona is really well set up to welcome riders from all over with easy accommodations, wonderful restaurants, coffee shops, and bike shops. For me, there is nothing like being able to roll out your front door to a race without having to travel.
This was a new record in terms of distance and time in the saddle for me. (360km | 5,000m | 16hrs ride time) A large part of the joy I experienced in preparing for this event was planning long weekend adventures with friends. We compiled or "stole" new routes on Komoot every weekend, averaging 7-9 hour rides on Saturdays in the couple of months prior, backed up with a 4-6 hour ride on Sundays. There is a story behind every ride, including when we lost our friend Xavi and thought he had ridden off a cliff, when we were chased by dogs and bees, and when we were unwilling to believe the weather forecast and subsequently had to bail mid-ride in a near hypothermic state. Each ride ended with big smiles and many tales over food and drinks, though.
I love setting my sights on a new challenge over new terrain, so the evolution has been just that. From the shorter and super challenging Grasshoppers and Lost & Found events to longer or multiple day events like Breck Epic, High Cascades, Belgian Waffle Ride, and Unbound, each has been an evolution for me, and each has been incredibly satisfying and fun. While I do like to repeat some events, I enjoy having something completely new to look forward to. The 360km was just that, given the distance and the actual route, which went through the spectacular Cap de Creus area. The really smart people chose to spend the night in Cap de Creus and make it a two day adventure. I have something longer and more adventurous on the cards for September with Badlands, which will involve some overnights as it is 725km and 15,000 metres and is located on what is described as ‘the edge of Europe' in Spain.