20th June 2019
MASONite | Angus Young, GBDuro Rider
Have you done this sort of thing before?
Tell us a bit about your riding.
I started off as a runner and was always drawn to longer events, competing in several ultramarathons. I caught the cycling bug after a cycle touring trip down France with a friend and since then I have been riding my bike as much as I can. This has taken me on bikepacking trips all over the world including a 6000km trip from Kyrgyzstan to Mongolia through Kazakhstan and China, as well as several trips in Europe and a whole load of weekend micro-adventures here in the UK.
Last summer I organisined and raced in the inaugural Quad Tandem World Championships, a stage race down the Pacific West Coast of America raising $30,000 for mental health charities whilst on the move. We then continued to ride our four person tandem into Mexico and down the Baja peninsula.
During the off season my focus switches to winter sports where I race in Cross Country skiing and Biathlon races in Europe. Recently I have got involved in Winter Triathlon; a sport which involves running, XC mountain biking and Nordic skiing all on snow. This season was a great success as I managed to become European champion in my age group.
What bike are you riding, and what have been the hardest decisions regarding setup?
I will be riding a Mason Bokeh with an Ultegra/Xtr Di2 combo with Zipp 30 Course wheels and a Verve Infocrank powermeter. This setup should be perfect for the gravel sections whilst not losing out too much on the road.
Getting the setup nailed down has certainly taken its time with the two most difficult decisions being gear ratios and tyres choices. In the end I have opted for a Wolftooth 42T chain ring and an XTR 11-40 cassette; this should give me a nice low gear as well as some decent speed on the flat.
Tyre choice is a tricky one and I have been waiting on the weather forecast before making a final decision.
What's in your sleeping kit?
I have made with decision to go with a lightweight tent - a Nordisk Lofoten Ul1. This way when I am resting I will get quality sleep because whilst sleeping in a bivvy can be great, if it's raining I never sleep particularly well unless I'm under a shelter. In addition to this I have a Sea-to-Summit Spark SP1 sleeping bag and a Klymit X-light mat. The whole setup only weighs 1.1kg and packs down pretty small so I think that I'm onto a winner on that front.
How far do you plan to ride each day?
I don't really know to be honest. In a nutshell: as far as I can.
How much sleep will you get?
The joy of the GBduro is that you get to sleep at the checkpoints! Therefore I will be trying to minimise any rest outside of these and then binge when the clock stops.
What attracted you to GBDuro?
I'm a great believer in not having to travel far from home in order to get a decent adventure, too many people miss what we have here in the UK as they are only focusing on exotic places. The GBDuro covers a wide range of Britain's landscapes and I can't wait to see some new parts of the country.
Aside from the location I'm a big fan of the format. I think that a fixed route is better as it means that I don't have to just bomb it down an A road because it's the fastest way from A to B. Additionally, the rest stops should hopefully allow us to get a bit more sleep than we normally would whilst bringing in a new element of tactics. This, and the ability to actually stop and socialise with my fellow competitors really drew me to the event.
I'm a great believer in not having to travel far from home in order to get a decent adventure, too many people miss what we have here in the UK as they are only focusing on exotic places.
Things you're worried about.
Aside from the obvious points of not knowing how my body will perform towards the latter part of the race, I would hate to have to scratch due to something beyond my control such as a catastrophic failure of equipment. My primary goal is to complete the race - anything beyond that is a bonus.
Bits you're most excited about?
I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the other riders and seeing what drew them to the GBDuro, hopefully we should have the chance to share a few beers in the evenings.
Conversely, there is something special about being all alone and seeing the sun come up after having cycled through the night knowing that it's only going to get easier from here on in. So you could say that I'm looking forward to having some time to myself out in the hills with just my thoughts for company.