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, 5 July 2008

The Big Day Approaches

Well, we've ordered the food and drink from SIS and Powerbar to ensure we can keep going on the bikes, we've pestered people for sponsorship, we've plotted the route and directions, we've bought (some) new kit, we've cleaned the bikes, and we've packed - well, nearly - the car is being hoovered out as I type!

We head off from Hereford at 13:30 to get to Bristol to pick up Ian, then on to Yeovil to say cheerio to my Grandad and Nanny before we plot our route down to Plymouth to catch the Britanny Ferries ferry to Roscoff.

The Tour proper has just left Brest and in 2 days, so will we have! It's all very exciting now and the terror of last week has been overtaken by nervous excitement and a desire to get going. I'm pretty sure Ian is the same.

After over 8 months of training, we're finally ready. It's been a long journey - over 8,000 miles all in for the two of us, so I think we're fully prepared and trained up.

A massive thank you to everybody that has sponsored us - we now have over £3,100 pledged - that's nearly £1 per kilometre so we shall be counting them off as we go. It would be great to reach £1/mile so tell all your friends about the two crazy guys you know and what they're up to this summer!

Anyway - until we next find an internet connection, that's it from me.

Fingers, toes, eyes and legs crossed - and keep an eye on the telly - we shall be trying to get an honourable mention on ITV4!