TRAKA 360


360km of the finest gravel in the Girona region exploring the regions of Pla de l’Estany, l’Alt Empordà, el Baix Empordà and la Selva, the Traka is a race made to test both physical and mental abilities of those who dare to conquer it.

As I entered, I didn’t know what to expect from this event and if I would even enjoy it. I’ve done long rides before and finished a few ultra-distance events yet never a distance like this in one go. Therefore, I was curious to see how I would perform and how my body would react. I had no intention to ‘race’ this race or even aim for a target time, just riding my bike would give me enough satisfaction.


 
 

 

As I showed up at the start line at 6 in the morning on Saturday together with 3 other members of the Tactic team, I was excited and a bit nervous. The first thing I learned when we set off was that riding in the early morning is extremely beautiful and rewarding. The first two hours were spent riding a relatively flat section in a group under a slowly rising sun. After which more elevation began to creep in, and the group started to shrink rapidly.

As we came into territory where I hadn’t ridden before, the guys from Klassmark showed their excellence in finding the best gravel routes. At the same time the pace went up as well and I decided to see how long I could stay with the first group without pushing myself too far into the red.

After 120km, we came into a zone with more climbing and I knew it was time to start setting my own pace. I let the first group go and found a good pace. Riding alone never has been a problem for me and I enjoy it. At this point, I made some calculations in my head and I realized I could make it to the finish before dark if I kept a decent pace. It was at this moment I had decided on an actual goal.

 

 
 

 

I’ve always found that when you’re riding long distance events there is no point in thinking too much, it’s simply too risky. You could see that you’re halfway and be euphoric and realise the next moment you still have 180km to go. It’s why the only things displayed on my Wahoo are the map and the time of day.

Since I had a desired finish time by now, I did want to make sure I stayed on schedule. So, I would check the distance every hour and calculate the average speed I would have to ride to finish before 9 (sunset). This calculation gets harder the longer you have been riding, which is only better cause it keeps you occupied when you’re most tired. Most of the time I would spend so much time dividing that by the time it was finished any information would be completely obsolete. You could say that this is rather cumbersome, and you would be right. However, it works for me and that’s what’s important.

So that’s what I did for the next hours, just riding and thinking about as few things as possible. And there wasn’t much to think about either, the guys in front were too far to catch and behind me, there were no riders closing in neither. It was just me and myself for a very long period.

 

 
 

 

I finally managed cross the finish line after 14 hours and 58 minutes, just before sunset. Some people mentioned afterwards I looked relatively fresh when I arrived, I can assure you that I didn’t feel that way. I arrived home and took a shower at which point I had enough energy again to realise it probably would be a good idea to eat something. As I was tired, I decided to order some food only to wake up 2 hours later with a bunch of missed calls from a delivery driver and a cancelled order after I had apparently fallen asleep.

 

 

 

The Gear

When it comes to events like this everything just needs to work, from your little mind tricks to your equipment. That’s the reason I was more than happy to wear Tactic clothes during this ride.I and the other 3 Tactic riders, David Mateu, Jordi Berna and Miquelet Llinas were all given an at the time unreleased jersey which gave us some extra morale. The Cycling Apparel Made in Girona jersey is an excellent choice for long days in the saddle like the Traka 360. Its lightweight materials to keep your body temperature regulated and the slightly more relaxed fit made my day a lot more comfortable.

The bib shorts are arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment on a long ride and one of the hardest ones to get right. With the PURE bib shorts, Tactic seems to have nailed it perfectly. With a bib short it all comes down to comfort, it is probably why the product development went through 33 prototypes before settling on the final version. The chamois is made by Elastic Interface, the leader when it comes to producing chamois.

I had used the bib shorts before on long rides and was confident it would work. However, 15 hours is a long time, and everything would need to be perfect. After my 15 hours on the bike and zero problems, I can confidently say that this bib short delivers on its promises.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
SUSCRIBE