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A digestible guide to the dots worth watching
NEED TO KNOW
SILK ROAD WRAP-UP 

Everyone knew to expect the unexpected at the first Silk Road Mountain Race this year, and that’s held true after tough storms, challenging resupply situations and a surfeit of hike-a-bike decimated half of the field. It’s been a race like no other. Early favourite Jay Petervary brought it home in first place, with Jenny Tough the only woman left in the race.

Get up to speed
RACE TO THE ROCK PREVIEW

While every race proclaims itself to be the toughest, Race To The Rock is one of the few with a legitimate claim to that title. This year’s third edition kicks off this Saturday, and covers just shy of 3,600km of historical track en route to the iconic Uluru. Just nine riders have signed up so far -- read Josh Ibbett’s preview for what to expect. 

Why it’s no cakewalk

 
DEEP READ
A BIKEPACKER SEES WAY MORE THAN MARCO POLO EVER DID

Perhaps it’s indicative of a shrinking world, but it’s true that most bikepackers get to experience the world more thoroughly -- and more positively -- than ‘explorers’ of past eras. Case in point: Marco Polo. In this compelling piece for Outside, writer Kate Harris leaves her life in academia for the vast plains and windswept plateaus of Tibet and Central Asia that the Venetian explorer famously shirked.

Putting things in context 
GET LOST
TRAWLING THE BIKEPACKING CYBERSPHERE, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO
If Taiwan didn’t feature on your bucket list, it will now // How to stay competitive in a tough market // It’s time to stop taking those mid-ride selfies // Your hypothetical top speed: 600km/h // Surviving and thriving at CP4 // Men race longer, but women race harder // If you’re not watching the TCR’s official videos, you’re missing out // Insights into some of the challenges of this year’s Silk Road Mountain Race
GET INVOLVED
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON DOTWATCHER.CC

As the name suggests, Dotwatching inherently involves copious amounts of time staring at a screen and hitting refresh like a crazy person. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to be a solo activity. We love to speculate, opine, and discuss the progress of races with fellow dotwatchers -- we guessed that we wouldn’t be alone either, so we’ve added a chat function to the DotWatcher.cc page so we can start sharing the dotwatching experience.

Have your say
THREE TO FOLLOW
We’re a sucker for some standout art on our feed, and French artist and rider Concrete Road’s gorgeous anime-style illustrations document his rides in style.
@concrete.road
The post-TCR hangover is real, and few can attest more than back-to-back winner James Hayden. If you’re looking for real race insight, his informative posts are gold.  
@jamesmarkhayden
Having spent the best part of 2018 painstakingly mapping the route for the third Race To The Rock, it stands to reason that founder Jesse Carlsson’s updates and thoughtful captions are a gimme for dotwatchers.
@jessecarlsson
COMING SOON
We find ourselves knee-deep in the Outback.
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Dotwatcher · 1st Floor · 5-7 Buck St · London, NW1 8NJ · United Kingdom

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