If you’ve got your ears tuned to the endurance race scene, you’ll have no doubt heard about the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race. We reported about the race back in January, and since then there’s been a whole load of excitement building around the event.
One of the world’s fastest endurance riders, Mike Hall, will be lining up at the start in Perth, Western Australia on the 18th of March. The race will take competitors over 5000km to the east coast of Australia, with the entire route taking place on sealed roads.
So what kind of bike would you ride for such a long distance event? Read on for the full press release from Hall’s main sponsor, Kinesis Bikes.
Yorkshireman and former round the world record holder Mike Hall heads to Australia for what is set to the most hotly contested self-supported endurance bicycle the world has seen to date. Hall, who now lives in rural mid wales and currently organises the Transcontinental Race, is set to battle three titans of endurance cycling in a quest to win the title.
The “Indy Pac” route takes riders 5,300km through deserts, plush vineyards, rolling hills, winding coastal roads and tough alpine regions. The Indy Pac brings together experiences of the early Australian overland cyclists. Riders will travel through the heart of Australia’s major cities and some of the most remote areas of this vast country.
Mike faces his toughest ever competition, in particular from three of the stalwarts of long distance racing: Kristoff Allegaert three times winner of Transcontinental; Jesse Carlsson former winner of the Trans Am in 2015; Sarah Hammond winner of the women’s trans Am in 2015 .
Mike extends his close working relationship with Kinesis UK to build a unique ultra-distance race machine to balance comfort and speed through aerodynamics. Through extensive research of the route with close attention paid to the predicted prevailing headwinds, Mike has chosen to optimise his bike and riding position for sustained aerodynamic advantage.
We speak with Mike about the event and his chosen bike setup.
Why Indy Pac?
I’ve raced in the US the last few times, bikepacking has been strong there for a while with a few key events like Tour Divide and now Trans Am. There is a strong distance riding scene in Europe with a long history of Randonnuering and Audax and now Transcontinental is doing well. Australia has a good history of overland records but they have become a little forgotten. Jesse (Carlsson) had an aim to create a flag ship event and route for Australia in unsupported racing and I was excited by that and wanted to support it. He has also made great efforts to get certain riders there at the same time to provide a very strong field and an interesting race both to watch and be a part of – which couldn’t necessarily happen in other races at other times of the year. Really I saw this race had great potential to help the long distance self-supported scene as a whole.
What are the tools of your long-distance trade?
For the Indy Pac I have a Kinesis Grandfondo Ti V3 with conventional road calliper brakes from TRP and I’m rolling on Reynolds Aero 65 wheels. The front is built around the newly revised SP PD 8x dynamo hub. Shimano provide all the go with a Di2 Groupset. My favourite feature of Di2 are the bar extension shifters which are so flexible. Shimano also provide all my contact points with their PRO components. The Falcon saddle has been good to me in Trans Am and Tour Divide. For Luggage, I will have Apidura bags and to fix everything a small, light but very capable set of Lezyne tools.
What unique training have you been doing?
I wouldn’t say its unique as such but my training doesn’t necessarily follow the conventional trends, its more old-school if anything but I like to think about things, come up with a few ideas and try things out. Curiosity keeps me motivated and I very much like to keep things down to feel. I haven’t used a power meter (yet) and haven’t used a heart rate monitor for about 10 years. I haven’t even had a coach. [We think Mike is fuelled mainly on pies and Yorkshire tea.]
What kit will you be wearing?
I’ll be wearing PEdAL ED clothing, Natsu bib shorts (which are the only bib shorts I have finished an ultra in and then continued to use) and a Shibuya Jersey which is about the nicest jersey I’ve ever worn. Then I’ll just have a set of arm and leg warmers and a Nachi Jacket for colder weather.
What does working with the Kinesis team mean to you and your racing?
It means some great bike options for the road and other adventures with a real opportunity to feed my ideas and experience into new projects in the future.
The race will start on the 18th March and live tracking and all info will be available here