The Right Set Up

The bike set up for the #TourmaletChallenge is going to be very important indeed, ok fitness and strength will be the factors that carry me home, but without the right tools for the job then it’s doomed to failure.

I am going to ride the event on my FELT F95 aluminium framed bike – I just love this bike, but it has changed quite a bit since I bought it. The only bit of kit that is “original” is the frameset. It was a fairly low level bike when I got it and I have upgraded most components to become the custom bike that I really enjoy riding. It’s very comfortable and since the RETUL bike fit, I have no issues anymore with back or leg problems.

Felt Road Bike

However, for this trip the bike gets a further upgrade … meet my new friends ….. the compact chainset and the 11-36 cassette which are going to be installed pretty soon – that should give me enough to tackle the long long hills in the Pyrenees this summer.

compact cassette

Clearly my focus is now on the training and my weight and body composition – I am not going to go daft, but the more kg’s I can drop between now and July the better I will feel on the mountains.

The weekend long rides will be back and I am quite looking forward to them having not had to train for a few years now. I will also try and ride as many sportives as I can between now and then, so all suggestions are welcome – at the moment I am signed up for the Cheshire Cat in June – I will use March to get more miles in and so all sportives in April/May are welcome especially the hilly ones.

More news to come on the next post about nutrition and further kit choices !


I have four months to get ready for the biggest cycling challenge of my life.

As part of a 35 man corporate team, I will be riding most of Stage 8 of this years Tour de France – 148km including 2 iconic mountains, the Tourmalet and Peyresourde all with the aim of raising as much as possible for the charity of my choice, but more to come on that.

The stage itself is here:


At the summit of the Tourmalet you are greeted by this view:


but to get there, you have to ride this:

Profile - tourmalet

Fitness wise, I am good in cycling terms, no long term injury issues and I have been riding regularly, not long distances, but 3-4 times a week through winter, so from a base level it’s a good place to start from.

I have a planned regime in the gym to keep strong and I have a planned regime with my physio who has the unenviable task of getting me through to July in one piece and ready to ride.

So this weekend sees the last of the “treats”, the last of the excesses and the start of 4 months of dedication, 4 months of training and hopefully 4 months of pure bike enjoyment.

Keep coming back for more updates, but this promises to be an epic trip !