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, 12 May 2008

South Glos 110km

Since the Dic Penderyn a couple of weekends back I got out last week with Dad and did a very scenic and hilly route through Somerset which added another 75 miles to my total. A testing route for both of us and I was pleased at how well I was going on the hills. Unfortunately Dad had a nasty crash with 10 miles to go. He hit a rock in an otherwise empty rode and went over the handlebars injuring his shoulder. Unable to cycle home, a phone call to Mum had him rescued. An unfortunate end to an otherwise lovely ride.

Some intense turbo training and some time putting my Eddy Merckx racing bike back together in readiness for Saturday's 110km event, which started in Alveston, Bristol. This was my first time on this bike for 10 years and I had converted it from a double-chainring bike to a triple to give me more gears for the French mountains. I thought this ride was a good starter to test this bike out. With the ride to and from home, it ended up being 98 miles. I met up with Chris to do this gorgeous undulating route on the hottest day of the year (25C). We averaged over 17mph and took in some fabulous Gloucestershire scenery. The main problem I had was that even with the seat bolt tightened up to maximum, the saddle kept annoyingly slipping down. This meant regular adjustments which on a hot day is really frustrating!

Matt had devised a mammoth route for Sunday so I had better start getting in some regular big rides again now I've got the bike up and running. I am hoping that with some ingenious advice from my brother James regarding the use of a sliced up Coke can wedged down between the saddle pin and seat tube , I will have solved the saddle issue! Next weekend I have entered a hilly 160km event in the Cotswolds on Saturday and then a 200km event on Sunday called the Stonehenge 200 which is an event organised by my old cycling club back in Surrey. I have ridden this several times in the past and it will be interesting to see how my ride this time compares after all this training.

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