"The fact that sustainability seems almost a non-issue in the cycling industry bewilders me, as the freedom we experience as cyclists is so closely intertwined with the environment we ride in" Lian van Leeuwen, TCR photographer, #GreenUpCycling
The Racing Collective is a not-for-profit road and gravel bikepacking club for self-supported racers.
Inspired by races like the Transcontinental and The Tour Divide, we set out to construct a series of UK trials that carried this spirit of self-sufficiency, but which could be completed in a weekend.
The founding members of the collective met on the #ClimateKilometre ride from London to Paris for the UN climate talks in December 2015 (COP21). The formation of the collective was Inspired by Erlend Knudsen and Daniel Price of Pole to Paris, two climate scientists who ran and cycled to COP21 in Paris from the North and South Poles respectively... they made us realise the future is in our own hands.
Our values are best summed up by Yvon Chouinard (founder of 'Patagonia' in his book 'let my people go surfing' 2016... "The basic tenants of our philosophy are a deep appreciation for the environment and a strong motivation to help solve the environmental crisis; a passionate love for the natural world; a healthy skepticism toward authority, a love for difficult, human-powered sports that require practice and mastery, a disdain for motorized sports, a bias for whacko, often self-deprecating humour; a respect and taste for real adventure (defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive - and certainly not as the same person), and a belief that less is more (in design and in consumption)."
To rewild ourselves through self-sufficiency
A hundred thousand years ago, our Stone Age ancestors were as "wild" as the animals they tracked and hunted for food and clothing. Life was intense, often desperate, but undeniably human.
21st-century woman and men are fully domesticated. We eat processed and packaged meals, sleep in climate-controlled houses, and the closest most of us come to an authentic wilderness experience is watching a survival reality show on TV.
The Racing Collective is an attempt to rewild ourselves; a chance to get away from 'organised-fun' and instead ride routes that make us feel alive, free, and wild.
To help prepare TCR hopefuls for the challenges that lie ahead
Don't expect to finish the TCR if you've just 'put the miles in' at a collection of audaxes.
Most people fail because they aren't proficient at route planning, navigation, and night riding.
The Trans trials are designed to allow you to practise these skills with distances ramped up over the months to create milestones in your TCR training plan. Please note we are not affiliated with the TCR.
The XDURO trials are designed more because we love gravel, bikepacking, wilderness, and adventure, but there's no doubt they contribute to your bikehandling skillset.
To create the UK's first crowd-funded national park
Our collective supports ventures that protect and restore the wilderness.
Our long-term goal is to create the UK's first crowd-funded national park. However in the meantime our members are encouraged to become members of Trees for Life and for those ultra-committed, join us on our annual conservation and race planning week.
The Racing Collective is run by volunteers with busy schedules so please only get in touch after you have read the info on this website in depth and have subscribed to our mail-list.