Rupert Robinson planning the Trans Alba - Kinesis Bikes
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Rupert Robinson planning the Trans Alba

We talk to Kinesis ambassador Rupert Robinson why he decided to do Trans Alba? and what does it take to train for Ultra Endurance events.



I decided to do the Transalba simply because one of my riding mates asked me – Cav O’Hara, said “do you fancy this? It’s over 1000 miles and a shed load of climbing?” Yes! Always love a #smashfest was the answer even before actually looking at the route. Never having done any self-supported races before it was certainly going to be a challenge! The mileage wasn’t scary but once I saw the amount of elevation we are going to have to climb I thought I’d need to do at least some specific training.



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How often/far per week on average?

I ride on average 170 miles a week commuting, 5 days a week, 20 hours a week give or take.



Total commuting miles/elevation/time riding estimate

Approx. 3,900 miles and 155,00 ft of climbing commuting this year so far. This may seem a good chunk of time, however I sold my van late last year to fund and focus on training with the aim of riding the Trans Alba and the commute time on the bike wasn’t that much difference to being in a van!



Club rides/weekend rides, how often and how far typically?

Weekend riding is spent racing TT, of which I would ride to the TT, race and then ride home. When I am not racing I would look to get a long ride in with Cav. This would range from 80-160 miles on average.



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Your training in Mallorca

I spent from the 4th of February to the 2nd of March in Mallorca where I had some dry weather training ahead of the TT season and this race. Whilst not a massive amount of miles, I did manage to ride every day, which included short and long rides with groups, solo or with my wife Sarah. I recorded 1068 miles with and elevation of 69,000ft.



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Training ride to Cornwall

As we gathered more of our gear together we decided to do a trial run over to Exeter and back to see how we faired over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The bikes would be fully loaded and we would carry what we thought we’d need ahead of the race. I booked a room at the Exeter Premier Inn and planned a route that would be similar to what I thought we would be climbing and riding each day in Scotland. I meet Cav in Ditchling and then we’d headed West together towards Portsmouth through the New Forest National Park, the West Downs, Blackdown Hills and towards Exeter.

We covered off 184 miles in 11 and a half hours of riding and just over 9,000 ft of climbing. We had a total of 3 and half hours stopping time so a 15 hour day all in. We didn’t anticipate how much stopping time we had accumulated so this was the first lesson learnt and something we’d need to focus on moving forward. Sunday’s ride back was along the same route and then have the BH Monday off as recovery. Things didn’t go quite to plan as Cav had an issue with his freehub and we had to catch the train for the last part, even though there was some rail replacement buses, we had to ride between a couple of stations. Sunday we covered 141 miles around 8,000 ft of climbing.



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How many races, how many TTs, any CX races?

During January I was still racing CX until I went to Mallorca and then concentrated on TT’s when back in march. This year I have raced 30 TT’s and 2 CX Races.




How many weekends out of the year do you end up racing?

I race virtually every weekend and once or twice in the week.




Total miles? elevation? and riding time for the year?

To date I have covered over 6,000 miles with 285,000 feet of climbing, which equates to a mere 350 hours on the bike.



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Have you trained tactically according to a schedule or just focussed on quantity and doing the riding you want to do?

For the early part of the year I just rode my bike and was covering off base miles with some TT’s thrown in, however after the long weekend in May I decided to get some help from Felix English Coaching. The last couple of months have been more specific with sessions done during my commute. This has certainly helped and made the commute much more varied and specific.




Have you done any training fully loaded/simulating Alba conditions?

The May weekend mentioned earlier and most recently a one day fine-tuner ride out to Hastings via Box Hill covering off 165 miles - Strava




What’s the longest multi day event you’ve done previously (miles and days)?

Not done any multi day events, however I have ridden consecutive day in training weeks with my club Crawley Wheelers, in France, Mallorca and Belgium as well as completing LEJOG over 10 days.



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Any products that make a real difference when riding ultra endurance events like this?

For me its all about the chamois cream, saddle and short combo to make sure it’s as comfortable as possible. I know my legs are going to ache but if I can’t get it right sat on the bike then I’m in trouble. I have opted for Veloskin Chamois Cream, ISM PN 3.1 Saddle and Rapha Flyweight Bib Shorts.



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• Ritchey WCS handlebars

• Profile Design T2+ aero bars

• Lezyne Mega XL GPS

• Lezyne Super Enhanced GPS




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• Kinesis 4s Pink Frame and Fork

• Reynolds Assault SLG wheelset with Son Deluxe Dynamo Hub

• Challenge Strada Bianca 700x30 tires

• Kinesis Fend Offs m'guards




Rupert's Full Kit List for Trans Alba



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Does training for ultra endurance have an effect on your physical ability to ride CX and TTs?

Doing long distance doesn’t bode well for 21 minute efforts or hour long races but the only thing I have been mindful of is my weight leading up to this race as I wanted to shed a few lbs to make climbing easier and then of course ultimately I could be lighter when racing. The theory behind this seems to have worked but it is hard not to consume your bodyweight in food when riding every day!




Any injuries you’ve had to manage?

No, not really. Longer days in the saddle do put pressure on the contacts points but these just need to be managed correctly and it’s all good.



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Thanks Rupert and good luck with the epic Trans Alba Race (1065 mi + 57500 ft) !!.... We'll be dot watching.



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