Rider Interview - Jair Hoogland

Rider Interview - Jair Hoogland

An interview with Jair Hoogland.

We chatted to Jair about life in general, his passion for cycling and his season. 

If a stranger asked you to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?

I’m Jair Hoogland, I like to be out on my bike and am always in for adventure. 

What does bikepacking mean to you?

A better question is what does riding bikes mean to me. Well, a lot. After starting riding my road bike, I became addicted. I like to explore new roads and areas. Due to that, I started riding further and further. At a certain point I discovered bikepacking, which gave me the opportunity to go even further and do multiple days without the need of making a round out of my ride but going from A to B and explore even more.

What kind of bikepacking do you like best?

At the moment I’m focussed on bike packing races, but I also like to just take my bike and go to some destination. 

The cool thing about racing is that I’d push myself a bit harder, I sleep less and try to keep moving. It’s even more adventure than just riding into the unknown. Due to this, you encounter situations you wouldn’t be in normally. Late night check-ins into hotels for instance can become very funny / weird interactions with people. 

On the other hand, I also like to make a beautiful route and ride it in a relaxed way, so I can enjoy where I’m at. Mostly when I make routes like this, I like to do this with a theme. For instance, I’m planning the ride along the front line of world war one. As well, I like riding along the borders of countries and provinces.

How do you train for races and events?

I ride mostly 5 or 6 days a week. I’m part of a training group that trains for Gran Fondo’s and I train with them twice a week. Mostly these days I do the higher intensity training. All the other days, I just ride and relax. Other than that, I try to do a long ride very month. I like to cycle often and try to find a balance between intensive training, long rides (which I actually like the most) and relaxed rides. I think it’s important to have a good variation and do different things.

How do you handle your time management?

Time is limited, but as I’m self-employed I’ve got the advantage that I can plan my own holidays as well as spare time. Sometimes I can cycle during daytime and work in the evening. I ride all my miles outside, but with the flexibility I sometimes have I can plan to have exactly that single beautiful day in the week as day off, ideally.

How do you plan your races?

Today there are plenty of races. There are new ones yearly, so there’s a wide variety to choose from. For me, I only want to do self supported bike pack races where drafting is not allowed. That takes out quite some. Then the adventure part is an important thing to me. I rather go to unknown places. Preferable where I don’t know the language. I really liked riding Eastern Europe on the Transcontinental Race. It was the hardest part, but also where the adventure was biggest. On my bucket list are Race Around Rwanda and B-Hard Ultra Race. 

I only have a road bike, but I think doing races that aren’t on tarmac gives me an even bigger list. Future plans….

What does your preparation look like?

Training is one part of the preparation, another part is knowing your bike and gear. I always make plans to go out and test this before a race. There’s always some upgrade to make on the setup. Then last but not least is knowing your route. Try to get to know the area you’ll be riding in, for how far this is possible from behind your desk. This helps on decision-making in the field.

How did your 2022 season go?

In 2022, I only did Transcontinental Race. A full year was planned towards this event. I hoped to end up in the top 20, but came in 30th. Result wise, not what I hoped for, but in the end that’s just a number. Being out there was great, I enjoyed it a lot, and that’s the main reason for going into this adventure. I’ve seen so many great places, made friends with other riders, and look back on it with a lot of joy.

What are your plans for the this year?

I signed up for three races:
•    The Unknown Race
•    Mittelgebirge Classique
•    Three Peaks Bike Race

Besides that, I’ll probably do a couple nice long rides as well. I’m always making plans, too many to do them all. Then I’m always open for crazy ideas.

What's your super power?

Especially while being on my bike, it’s hard to get me in a bad mood. Even after days of riding, being tired and the lack of sleep, it’s hard to get me grumpy. 

Thank you for your time and your exciting answers Jair. It was nice getting to know you better. Good luck for your 2023 season. 

If you want to join Jair on his next adventures, follow him on Instagram