Rider Profile: Ross Thomson (Full Tour)
Having completed two of our tours Ross is a veteran TdAer. The Silk Route will be his longest tour with us and most likely one of the most challenging. I caught up with Ross recently to get his thoughts on the tour.
Hey Ross, just to be thorough, tell us your full name, age, occupation and anything you'd like to tell us about yourself:
Ross Thomson, 61, retired forester, currently employed as a cyclist in training for a cross Asian bike tour.
I bet there are quite of few people who are envious of your current ‘job’, why did you choose the Silk Route bike tour for your next adventure?
I've biked across Canada and Europe, this will complete the round the world journey.
Nice. We’ve got a round the world adventure in the works coming soon, its still a bit of a secret so I’ll tell you more about it when we’re on tour.
What makes you a little nervous about this trip?
Cycling at high elevations, cycling up long steep hills, cycling through burning hot deserts, eating different/strange foods for 4 months.
What do you look forward to the most?
"Cycling at high elevations, cycling up long steep hills, cycling through burning hot deserts, eating different/strange foods for 4 months.
Also, seeing different people and cultures. "
I hear you, the Silk Route certainly has its share of extreme condition, I have a love hate relationship with them myself. This tour has set the bar for what the term “hot” means for me. I imagine the Pamir Highway will set a few benchmarks.
What kind of bike are you bringing?
Aren't they supplied??? Okay, a titanium cyclo-cross, disc brakes, Shimano mountain bike drive train, no campy gear (that's for you Paul!) – note: Ross historically rides a bike with a Campy drivetrain, something that has caused him, and our tour mechanics more that a few headaches….
How have you been training? Do you feel prepared?
Training has been going slowly as the weather has been cold, damp, and windy. I hate cycling in adverse conditions. I'm not as well prepared as I would like but I'm confident that I will quickly get in "tour shape".
If you could give one piece of advice to someone going on their first tour with us what would it be?
Embrace Everything. The different people, cultures, foods, language, the uniqueness of all that you see, the scenery. Embrace and enjoy any "bonus tours" (we don't get lost).
That is very good advice. As I recall you have done quite a few “bonus miles” over the years with us. Attitude is everything when things go a little astray.
Any final thoughts?
Don't forget to enjoy the diversity of the group. There is a wide range of personalities and yet there is the common bond of tackling an incredible journey together. You just might find a new friend for life.
Thanks for your time Ross, I guess I’ll be seeing you in about two weeks in Shanghai!