We love to showcase our riders to show just how varied they can be and to let them share what they’ve learned with new riders. They come from all walks of life, with wildy varying levels of cycling experience.
First up for this year we have Tom Bukowski. He may have only taken up cycling 4 years ago, but he rides hard and fast. Tom’s a good example of a strong and fit rider who approached his training in a serious and informed way. As a result he was in great shape when he arrived on tour and was able to tackle the very tough ‘First Half’ in 2019, through really hot temperatures, without unnecessary suffering.
NAME: Tom Bukowski
LOCATION: Exeter, Devon
EXPERIENCE: I only started cycling 4 years ago as a means of getting to the gym, however the bug bit hard and I’m obsessed. I started training, riding my bike pretty hard and far, but with no real purpose other than a couple of 100km sportives and a 1 week trip to Mallorca.
Then between Christmas & New Year 2018/19 I came across the ‘Le Loop’ website. Being an ‘all or nothing’ kind of person I tried to sign up for the Grand Loop but it was long since sold out. The next toughest challenge with availability was the First Half and I signed up without hesitation. The single best thing I’ve ever done. Let training commence, there ensued 6 months of 5-6 days per week on the bike ( between 400 – 500 km’s) and a weekly strength and conditioning session.
HE SAYS: First off do The Tour of Wessex if you can, it will set you up fantastically well physically, also if you don’t know anyone riding Le Loop (like I didn’t) it will give you a chance to meet fellow Loopers. I ended up riding with Ian at The tour of Wessex, we then rode most of the km’s of my Loop together.
The main piece of advice I would give is train hard enough to enable you to have no regrets once you are on tour.
My biggest take away from Le Loop was the camaraderie (which is definitely aided by the only cycling rule on Le Loop (ed. which is that the first 40km of each day is ‘neutralised’ … no one leaves the first feed stop until the last rider is in)). This was best group of people I’ve had the privilege of sharing life with.
WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
Within 5 days of being home from Le Loop, I had ordered some bike packing bags and set off to ride from Lands End to Lowestoft (England’s most Westerly to Easterly points) camping and unsupported., I rode about 850km in 4.5 days. I definitely missed the arrows and more importantly Ian’s coffee.
Le Loop has inspired me to set some lofty cycling goals/plans for 2021. I can’t say what as yet, but I can say it will involve about 4000km. (Ed. Hmmm … I wonder …)
2020/21 will involve a massive training load to get ready. That and the small matter of some work to pay for it all 😉
Finally I want to say a massive thank you to the WHOLE of the Le Loop Team and everyone whom I had the honour of riding with you’re all LEGENDS.
Just Ride It!
Ed. Tom posted regularly on tour from his Insta account. Check it out @tom_bukowski