The Racing Collective is not-for-profit cycling club dedicated to self-supported road and gravel racing in the UK. Inspired by races like the Transcontinental and The Tour Divide, we set out to construct a series of races that carried this spirit of self-sufficiency, but which could be completed in a weekend rather than over a few weeks. The collective is run on a not-for-profit basis by a few ad hoc racers. There is no-one in charge of the races on the ground, they are entirely self-organised meaning the members of the collective who race on the day are simultaneously competitors and administrators. If no one announces the results, there will be no results announcement... you get the gist.
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.
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 man is 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' sportives and instead race in events that made 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 races are designed to allow you to practise these skills in a race environment; distances are ramped up to create milestones in your TCR training plan.
The CROSSDURO races are designed more because we love gravel, bikepacking, wilderness, and adventure, but there's no doubt they contribute to your bikehandling skillset. Clue: if you can't bunnyhop, don't expect to complete the TCR...
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 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, photographer, #GreenUpCycling