A massive thanks to the following companies who have helped with some of the essential kit I need to get me across America.
USE – Exposure lights
Ultimate Sports Equipment (USE) manufacture products right here in the UK and I am delighted to be running their dynamo hub powering up a Revo light, with a small Sirius light as back up. Machined from very robust aluminium and pretty waterproof setup, they are very much a product I have tried and trusted over the last few years. So was over the moon when they were able to support me with the type of lights I need for the TransAm Bike Race, but also to have a means of charging up the technology without the need to book into a hotel. Wild camping here we come. If you’ve read my blog on “Are USE exposure lights worth the £300 price tag?”, I can confirm this was written some time before USE sponsored their products. It was a light I have had strapped to my bike for 5 years.
Based up north (well north from London), Hope Technology are another company who manufacture their products right here in the UK. Reliability and efficiency are two crucial words for the event I am doing, I wanted kit which was both and Hope Tech are definitely in this category. Running their hubs, bottom bracket and jockey wheels, I am praying my legs won’t have to work as hard. Should I feel the weight of my eyelids getting a little heavy, all I need to do is freewheel and that should jolt me wide awake.
Middleburn hand-machine cranks, chainrings, etc right here in the UK (I think you can spot a theme here, no?). Again I am chuffed to be supported by a company who produce their wares right on my doorstep.
Apidura are new onto the bikepacking market and product all the bags you’ll need for those lightweight adventures. With a cool beehive pattern and night reflective markings on they kit, they’d added some groovy features not seen on other brands, like a place to clip a back light onto the bag.
My eternal gratitude to the following sponsors, without whom I would be sitting on the couch enjoying cycling on the TV.
http://www.rideblue.com | distributed by MultiSportDistributors
Blue bikes are a US brand, distributed in the UK by Multi Sport Distribution, the AC1 SL is their top end road racing bike, it’s a very responsive bike, you only have to glance behind to change lanes, so whipping through the corners is really quick. Put the hammer down and the bike responds instantly with little feeling of lost power between the pedals and the back wheel. Beautiful looking too. I also ride their cyclocross bike a great off road bike, but also well suited to the bikepacking world.
http://www.sportsmassagezone.co.uk | Sports Massage Zone
http://www.onimpex.co.uk | Bioracer subsidised by Onimpex
Clothing sponsored by our London Sports Massage clinic in the City of London and subsidised by Onimpex. Spending a month in lycra demands quality kit with a good fit, if it’s good enough for the pros to spend a whole year in, then my month of lycra-clad living won’t be much of a challenge for this kit. It is distributed by Onimpex in the UK who will customise the clothing with your design or club’s colours. Onimpex also distribute Reskins, invaluable for preventing friction on the contact points with the bike, something that’s bound to happen during 4000km in the saddle.
http://www.mavic.com | Mavic
While I’m not quite in the Emmalda Marcus league of wheels, but I do have a set for most occasions and the Mavics come up trumps. From the Askium which I’m happy to commute on a day to day basis, to the Kysiriums which work well in racing, light and very robust, great for those wheel touching moments. Last but not least, two sets of Cosmic Carbonnes, I went for the clinchers to keep life simple and having an alloy braking surface means I can swap wheels without forgetting to sort out the brake pads.