Last year I made a list of things I wanted to do in the year I turned 40 and now I am on to the big one. I have assembled the fattest peloton in cycling history and together we are going to tackle one of the most iconic climbs in the Tour de France – Alpe D’Huez. This may not mean much to anyone who isn’t a fan of cycling so I will attempt to put in context.
Height – The climb we will be attempting to cycle has 21 hairpins, an average gradient of 8.1% (very steep) and ascends a total of 1,150 metres. That is the equivalent to cycling up Mount Snowdon, getting to the top and finding you’ve got another 65 metres to climb. I am training for this ride in the Chiltern Hills, highest point 267 metres.
Weight – Most cyclists are skinny and as you all know, I am not. In fact I am confident that I weigh as much as Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome combined. I was considered asking someone to calculate how many watts of energy it would take to get me up the mountain but they would probably think I was taking the piss.
Experience – I have never attempted anything remotely like this before, have tendency to blow up when things get tough and I am nearly 40. I am being accompanied by three men who despite being my friends are idiots (they wouldn’t deny this). Not an ideal combination.
Why are we doing this? The primary reason is because we love the challenge but the secondary reason is because we want to raise some money for charity. Since George contracted Meningitis at birth I have been a supporter of the Meningitis Trust and the work they do to help families affected by this disease. George made a full recovery from his illness but for others the effects can last a lifetime. We hope you can support us and babies like George by making a small donation via our Justgiving page.