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Prepping for the Tour de France

Posted by on June 28, 2013

The Tour de France starts tomorrow, and I’m getting prepared for my own trip to ride up the Tour.

If you read back to the beginning of this blog, you’ll see that my goal for all my weight loss is to ride up one of the Cols or Cotes of the Tour de France. In December, I reached out to our friend Ellie the travel angent. I spent much of a long evening writing about the backstory to her.

Unfortunately, I have this innate ability to short circuit gifts that my wife is planning for me. I tell her the next morning that I sent Ellie an email, and she then tells me that she’s already contacted the travel company to get more information; she was going to book the trip for me as a Christmas present!

Over the next month or two we got the trip booked, originally going to be a cycling trip thru the Alps, but when someone backed out, I changed to a trip that includes being in France for Bastille Day.

Over that time I continued my weight loss, and tried my best to add more real climbing to prepare. At present I’ve plateaued at 183-186 pounds, depending on how dehydrated I am. I was hoping to get to 175, but I’m more than happy with 100 pounds lost. I’ve only been able to get a couple of climbs in (Mount Weather and Thunder Ridge), and have a ride planned tomorrow to ride up near Camp David near Catoctin Ridge. I’ve started using the home trainer and Trainerroad to train during bad weather days, and the Sufferfest video workouts are ROUGH.

I’m about as prepared as I’m going to get, as I am not a professional cyclist, and I don’t get paid to ride a bike; I’ve got to provide for my family and be daddy and husband, and real life gets in the way. I started a new job at the beginning of the month, which required me going to Ottawa for my first week, so that was a week off the bike of recovery and Poutine. This past week I’ve had a bit of a injury with my right hand and have been off the road (but on the indoor trainer) for 9 days. It’s still not fully healed, but I can still bike with it being 60%.

So the trip is this:

  1. Get to Marseille
  2. Get setup on the rental bike
  3. Ride to Mont Ventoux and watch the Tour on the roadside on Bastille Day (French Independence Day)
  4. On the last rest day for the Tour, ride UP Mont Ventoux from Bedoin to Malaucene.
  5. Ride along stage 16 up to Gap
  6. On the last Time Trial stage, ride the Col du Sarenne, Col du Lauteret up to Col du Galibier
  7. On an historic stage, ride up Alpe d’Huez and watch the Tour climb it twice!
  8. Ride ahead of the tour up the Col du Glandon, and watch it as it passes us.
  9. Ride up Mont Revard, and ride across the finish line up the Col du Semnoz.
  10. And lastly (if that all weren’t enough), ride in the Randonnee of Le Tour along the Champs Elysee and around the Arc de Triomphe!

I’m staying in Orange, Alpe d’Huez, Les Deux Alpes, and in Paris, and riding a whole bunch. That’s something like 7500 meters of climbing in 12 days. So that’s the only thing that’s got me worried. The sheer amount of climbing. I’ve been comtemplating compression socks/shorts for recovery, and am packing some protein bars to go with me, since I need to get some post-ride muscle repair in.

Next post will be about the gear I’m going to try to take along. Follow me on Twitter @thepeted, or just read about my trip on this blog.

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