Tour de Lab September 1st

Portlander competing in self-supported bike race across Europe

Posted by on July 29th, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Nathan Jones in Riverview Cemetery earlier this week.
(Photo: Nathan Jones)

Portlander Nathan Jones, who some of you might recall as the energy and spirit behind the weekly Thursday Night Ride, is about to tackle a ride of a completely different magnitude: An 18,0 00 journey around the world.

It’s the World Cycle Race and Jones is currently in Belgium where the riders are about to start. To help fund his four-month journey Jones has set up a GoFundMe campaign where he’s already raised nearly $4,000 from 58 people.

Here’s more from Jones about the task that lies ahead:

“This will take me across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, India, and the Malay Peninsula.

This will involve me pedaling on average for 18 hours a day. I will not have a support vehicle, the only support I will have will be the random trail angels, and those who are fortunate enough to be watching while I ride through. There will be other forms of support though, mostly family, friends, and great people I have yet to meet but are fascinated by the thrill of global bike racing.

This sort of racing is often referred to as self supported, and to a large part that remains very true. I will be all out on my own, with little more than my wits for months while I endlessly pour every ounce of my willpower into moving a bike aound the planet. That self support stops though in the form of the hundreds if not thousands of people willing to help support this crazy endeavor of mine. That can be anywhere from just watching my progress and relaying it to friends, to meeting me on route and buying a hotel, helping schedule with last minute flights, or helping to box up a bike.

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There are endless, countless ways folks can support me without giving any cash. Just looking on in admiration and being inspired to dream bigger dreams is hugely appreciated. Life is really, terribly, tragically short, and my motto these days is “If I can’t aim for the moon, then I’ll aim for around the planet.” I appreciate being able to inspire folks and all the support that I receive in the process, I can’t thank people enough who are happy to see me fullfil my dreams and I hope to return the favor.”

The rules of the race are simple: Riders must pedal around the world by going either east or west without doubling back. There are two checkpoints they must visit and their progress is tracked via GPS.

Jones is no stranger to enduracing riding — whether he’s doing it himself or sharing his passion with others. In addition to his role with the Thursday Night Right (or “TNR” as regulars call it), Jones is also behind the Trans Am Bike Race and his latest project, the Steens Mazama 1000 just wrapped up last week.

To stay inspired by his journey and cheer him on as he goes, follow along via Facebook and Instagram.

Go Nathan! Good luck out there.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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11 Comments
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    Todd Boulanger July 29, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Good luck with this personal mission, but OMG…

    …talk about taking the fun out of cycling…to be in the saddle for 18 hours a day and more importantly missing deeper interactions with the communities this event passes through.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      yes it doesn’t sound like fun to you Todd. i can feel that… But I can also see how this would be fun for Nathan. Heck, I love this type of thing too. the personal challenge, the thrill of the accomplishment and the statement it makes about the limitless power of humans and their wonderful machines.

      and I like slower stuff. it’s all good.

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      Paul Cole July 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Sounds like a blast to me! I try to keep all interactions as superficial as possible.

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        Todd Boulanger July 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        I guess I missed that benefit. 😉

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      BB July 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Somehow it seems like latching on to some aspect of a great thing like this and declaring it somehow unworthy because of that aspect goes way further towards taking the fun out of cycling than “missing deeper interactions with communities”. Keep it weird, portland..

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        Ted Timmons (Contributor) July 31, 2016 at 10:18 am

        Agree. Different strokes. Sometimes I fly cross-country and go cycling. Sure, it’d be better to ride cross-country. But it’s a different experience.

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      Jeff August 4, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Todd: It doesn’t sound like you would like the Tour de France either. The cyclists zoom through cities, towns, hamlets and boroughs without stopping for directions or even a bite to eat!

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    47hasbegun July 30, 2016 at 4:49 am

    That sounds like it’d be a a fun experience as long as competition isn’t the primary goal. RAAM, for example, would also be more fun as a spirited ride than a full-on race.

    If I were doing this, I’d definitely use something like a 50/40/28 triple rather than a compact double crank, though. There are some crazy-steep roads out in the world!

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    longgone July 31, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Why can’t people just wish the man well on his endeavor? Geez.

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    Dave August 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Two things: One is, everyone enjoys a different kind of cycling. Two, I’d be very interested to pick this guy’s bike apart afterward and see how many original parts remained and what condition they were in. This may be an extreme version of the French technical trials of the 1920’s to the 1950s which developed a whole lot of bike technologies that most of us use today.
    Hope he has a fantastic, unforgettable ride!

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