Setting off on Le Tour - Brest, Brittany

Setting off on Le Tour - Brest, Brittany
Ian (Left) and Matt (Right)

Hello and a very warm welcome to our blog.

We are two amateur cyclists who have decided to follow in the footsteps of our cycling heroes and ride the complete 2008 Tour de France route. This year the most famous cycle race in the world covers 3500km (2200 miles) over 3 weeks in July and takes in some of the highest mountain passes in the Pyrenees and Alps.

We will start two days after the professionals on 7th July in Brest, Brittany and ride the whole thing stage-for-stage, road-for-road, day-for-day as the pros will be. This will result in us arriving in Paris on 29th July, having averaged 100 miles per day. Please click this link to see what lies ahead of us:
Our aim is to complete the whole route and this means that we will not be racing round but riding at a sensible, sustainable pace. As a result, we expect to be in the saddle for 12 hours on some days.

Friends and family will be driving a support vehicle but we will not have the benefit of masseurs, soigneurs, chefs and team doctors that the pros have. And there will be no Testosterone, EPO or illegal blood doping going on in our Tour!

We hope to raise as much money as possible for two very worthwhile charities: Ian is raising money for CLIC Sargent and Matt for MacMillan Cancer Support. Please dig deep and support these charities via our justgiving pages on the right. Alternatively, please email us with your name, contact details and the amount you would like to donate and we will contact you after we complete our tour.

At this time, a friend of Ian's, Robbie Stuart, is fighting Leukaemia and is a supporter of CLIC Sargent's work. A link to his blog can be found here. Best wishes go to Robbie who is currently recovering from a bone marrow transplant.

Please tell you friends about our blog and what we are doing, and please send us words of encouragement and support.
We will update you with our training and we will be keeping a diary on here as we ride the event in July.

Best wishes

Ian and Matt

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Malmesbury Mash 208km

This 130 mile Audax officially started near Cardiff and followed a figure of eight route through Chepstow, across the old Severn bridge to Malmesbury in Wiltshire, heading back via the old Severn bridge, Chepstow and Cardiff. As the route passed close to Bristol I decided to start it here and then follow it all the way round back to where I started. (We shall ignore the fact that I slept through my alarm and woke up at 7.10am, meaning I had no chance of getting to Cardiff for the 7.30am start!). I drove to Iron Acton (North Bristol) and was on the bike at 8.30am. I knew I had little chance of completing the route before sunset but luckily this bike has good lights.

The description of the route was “Only one big hill, a good early season trainer”. I don’t totally agree with this! There was a long drag out of Caerphilly and a few short, sharp climbs near Newport and on the way back from Chepstow to Malmesbury. Near Tytherington I was rapidly running out of water and thankfully came across a snack van parked along the A38, which was closing up for the day, but the lady in charge kindly sold me some Coke and water and this really helped! I was getting quite dehydrated by this point. The route, overall, was stunning and I will be using it again. I stopped to watch a spectacular sunset from the high spot between Hawkesbury Upton and Horton in Gloucestershire.

I got an answer phone message from a reporter from the Bristol Evening Post and, on phoning him back, was told that the paper is keen to publish an article about our Tour ASAP. This is great because the more coverage we can get, the better.

So far our sponsorship is up to £750.00 so thank you to everybody who has donated and please keep passing the word around. Powerbar have kindly offered us 30% off all their energy supplements as way of support.