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

Monday, 4 February 2008

Flapjack 100

After a week of training on my indoor trainer due to inclement weather, I rode this 102km/64 mile event yesterday. This event is one of the many "Audax" events organised by various cycling clubs nationwide, and infact worldwide. They vary from 50km to over 1000km in length and they are good rides for building endurance. They always seem to be hilly and are well organised, using mainly minor roads. The idea is to ride from checkpoint to checkpoint within a designated time.

This particular event started in Chippenham and went out past RAF Lynham, taking in some of Gloucestershire's beautiful villages, returning past the famous Westonbirt arboretum and Castle Coombe. This ride is a bit shorter than what I am used to at the moment but was convenient as so local.

Before I started this ride, I didn't really understand why it was called the Flapjack 100. However, all became clear as copious quantities of flapjack was available at each checkpoint, and very nice it was too! Have to admit I found the route fairly easy and a good sign that my fitness is coming on leaps and bounds. Even the hills felt good, including a couple of 1 in 6s. I have a 208km/130 mile event entered for next weekend.

Matt did a solid 100 miler yesterday, and being up in Scotland, I can imagine it was fairly hilly! I hear that he even overtook a motorbike at some point, so God knows what speed he was doing!!!The fact that we are both capable of riding this sort of distance with 5 months to go till our Tour ride is very encouraging. The key now is to increase the frequency of these rides, because we will be riding day-in, day-out in France.

1 comment:

Matt Ulyatt said...

He'd just pulled out at a junction and was up to 30mph. I was on a roll with the wind behind and downhill though and was doing a steady 33mph (in a 30 limit)!

And all this after 104 miles!