One question I keep being asked is who my sponsors are. Some people assume that because I aim to become the fastest female to cycle around the world, I would have loads of sponsors. So far, though, I’ve only managed to secure money from the Glasgow University Chancellor’s Fund, which will cover a significant total of my costs (Yay!). But obviously this alone won’t get me around the whole world. So whilst I’m funded to a certain degree, I’m still most definitely on the lookout for additional sponsors.
It’s hard work looking for sponsors, so the question is: Do I need to do it? The answer is yes! If I stand a chance to beat the current record, I believe I cannot compromise with the kit I use and can’t worry about spending money on food and accommodation.
I’ve already approached a few companies that make the kind of gear that would survive the extreme conditions that it’ll need to, but here’s where you all can help! If you’ve got any recommendations for the following, or for companies that you think might be interested in helping, then please drop me a comment or send me a message!
- What I am looking for is at the moment is a super light tent or bivvy bag (weighing 300g-500g) and light sleeping bag because I know I won’t always be able to stay in accommodation en route and because it will reduce the overall cost of my trip.
- I have my saddle pack sorted (this will hold light but bulky sleeping gear) but am still looking for a frame pack (to keep my tools and spares), handlebar pack (for money, passport and other essentials) and top tube pack (for food). These types of packs are much lighter and more aerodynamic than traditional panniers and have revolutionised lightweight touring!
- Good quality/ fitting cycling clothes, such as a good waterproof jacket, well fitting bib shorts and unpadded long cycling bibs for the colder days. I prefer long unpadded bibs to leg warmers because they don’t create sausage legs, which can lead to chafing. I could also wear them ‘casually’ without the bib shorts.
- Well fitting shoes. I’m thinking of some laced cyclocross shoes here, because laces can be easily replaced and I’d be able to walk about in them, if I have to.
- A bike… I’m getting bike fit soon, so this will help me find the right geometry of bike! 🙂 Currently, I’m thinking a carbon frame with mechanical disc brake; any ideas what to go for?
- Navigation, I’m have an Edge 810, but need a spare one as well as paper maps and maps loaded on my phone. It’s always good to have back ups for navigation! 🙂
- Some really, really bright lights that allow me to ride in the night! I’ll be riding 10 to 12 hours a day and in some countries it will be winter when I pass through, so riding in the dark will be unavoidable and lights are a must.
- A hub dynamo to charge my electronics on the go. If that was to fail, I’m also taking small but powerful portable charging units. There are so many out there – any ideas on which are smallest and lightest?
- Wheels, slightly deep section wheels for an aerodynamic advantage with 32 regular spokes. I want loads of spokes so that the chances of it bucking are smaller and I can true it even with a broken spoke. I’m looking at getting some tubeless tyres to reduce my puncture risk for the first bit of the journey.
- I’m also looking for a light and and relatively aerodynamic helmet. Any recommendations? My current helmet is too heavy and gives me a sore neck/head after 6 hours of wearing it.
So if you guys know people who know people please get in touch with them/me! If you have advice on the gear I’m looking for please get in touch also!
Thanks very much!