L' Etape du Tour is a stage of the Tour De France open to the general public. This year around 10,000 people from all over the world will take part. L' Etape du Tour features roads closed to traffic,free food and water stops. Medical and some mechanical backup is provided
Every year various mad clients of Cycle Care take part in what is known to be a tough challenge. Talk in the shop over the next few months is all about gearing, gels, clothing, and chaffing. We have a wealth of knowledge about taking part in this event. If this is your first time riding or your tenth time, please feel free to come and talk to us about any concerns you may have, especially with bike set up. We offer a discount to riders taking part and wish you all a great 2013 ride.
My fund raising generated huge support and I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed. As the ride progressed, the obligation that I owed to you, my sponsors – to ride all the way to Paris - became a powerful motivator. You really did help me more than you can ever know. Thank you. I would also like to thank everyone for your messages of support, before, during and after the event. As I started each day, various texts and e-mails would arrive and they would spur me on – the variety was wonderful: video clips, jokes, relevant quotes and lots of good luck wishes.
* The stats: well, our man Wiggo took just 87 hrs 34 mins 47 secs to reach the finish line in Paris. I took a little longer, reaching the Champs Elysees in 164 hrs 53 secs. So, I lost by 77 hrs 26mins 6 secs! I averaged 23.8 kmh, against Brad’s 39.9! My heart rate averaged 115 and peaked at 188. My fastest daily average speed was 32 kmh (Stage 19) and my slowest was 16.1 kmh (Stage 11, Etape Act 1). My fastest descent was at the end of Stage 7, when I hit 89.1 kmh! The longest day was 228.6 km and it took me 9hrs 19 mins. I climbed 60 categorised mountains with 50,000 metres of cumulative ascent. That’s the same as riding into space, or up Everest six times.
* My best days were probably Stages 1, 8, 10 and 16 (Etape Act 2). Three of these involved bad weather: I would ride harder and faster in the cold and wet. My worst days were Stages 2, 11 (Etape Act 1), 13 and 15. It’s not chance that these generally followed days where I’d tried really hard to go fast, or attack a certain climb, thereby working harder than was prudent. I’d pay the price the next day, with weak legs and general lethargy. My single worst day was probably Stage 15, but it was primarily a mental battle. The single most memorable day was probably Stage 5, simply because so much happened in one day and the final hail storm and flooding added a surreal twist. I finished the day sitting in the bottom of a shower, fully clothed! See http://www.walkerhamill.com/tourdeforce/diarypost.aspx?content=1737
* I stayed in 19 hotels, endured 14 coach transfers between one day’s finish and the next day’s start points and rode through three countries (Belgium, Switzerland and France). I survived on an average of 5 – 6 hrs of sleep a night. At the end of Stage 2, riding into Tournai, I actually fell asleep on the bike! Twice! Fortunately it was only momentary and I woke up before falling off. I started to drink more coffee after that.
* The really big shock for me was the way that time ‘off the bike’ became so pressurised. By the time you’d showered, eaten dinner and been briefed on the next day’s route, it was almost invariably 10.00 pm or later. The list of things still to do could easily run to a couple of hours (call home, blog, stretch, fix a mechanical issue, do some washing, sort out tomorrow’s kit, pack bags for an early start, get a massage), but in reality, you needed to go to sleep as soon as possible so that you could recover. Life very quickly distilled down to the barest essentials: wake up, eat breakfast, ride all day, find hotel, unpack, shower, eat, repack, stretch, blog, sleep.
* I ate ridiculous amounts of food. We had four feed stops each day, in between which I’d snack on gels and bars. Breakfast and dinner was an opportunity to eat until bursting, but within half an hour or so I’d feel hungry again! By half way through the ride I’d lost 2 kg.
* I think my overall success can be attributed to three things: I prepared really diligently and never missed a training ride; I tested my kit to death beforehand and I was supported by a wonderful team of people and significant others, both before and during the ride.
* The ‘power of team’ was a revelation. There were 24 riders attempting the whole Tour and we were called ‘Lifers’. I was lucky and never had an “I can’t do this” moment, but I had plenty of hours each day when I’d have happily been anywhere but on my bike. Within days of starting, the strength of feeling and support for each other was amazing and slightly bemusing. We barely knew each other, but the intensity of the experience and the shared hardship created rapid and significant bonds. When my bad days arrived (see above), it was the people around me, with their humour, conversation and mere presence, who gave me the strength to finish the day.
* The experience was more intense than I would ever have expected. The combination of extreme daily exercise, lack of sleep and the constant risk of failure all served to heighten my senses: I became more emotional, and more compassionate, but at the same time, far less tolerant of anything that interfered with our schedule, progress and well being. A psychologist would have found the whole thing fascinating! I kept smiling the whole way through and I think that helped!
* The threat of failure genuinely haunted me until we emerged from the Alps, about half way through. At that stage I began to feel quietly confident and even dared to say so in one of my blog entries. However, I then had a mental melt down on Stage 15 and realised that physically, I was deeply tired and the only thing keeping me going was my head.
* I noticed that my body lost the ability to heal minor cuts and grazes. I split my lip on Stage 3, but it didn’t heal at all. I had a couple of cuts on my leg that just didn’t get better. Three days after getting home, they just went away. It was as though my body could only focus on the essential overnight recovery and anything minor would just have to wait.
* Arriving in Paris was something of an anti-climax relative to some of the epic days in the Alps and the Pyrenees, until we crested a rise near Versailles and got our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. At that point, I genuinely got goose bumps and I think I grinned for the next 24 hours, solid! I slept a lot in the first few weeks after I got home and it took me about three weeks to start feeling normal and six weeks to completely recover. I started riding my bike again seven days after returning from Paris.
Thank you again. Guy.
PS. The Tour de Force is now an annual event. You can either ride the whole Tour (as a ‘Lifer’), or some part of it (as a ‘Dipper’). If you’re tempted, see www.tourdeforce.org for more details.
To celebrate their participation in this year's Tour De France, Vacansoleil have teamed up with their pro bike sponsor, Bianchi, and are offering the chance to win free holidays and a VIP day for 2 people with the Vacansoleil-DCM professional team with every Bianchi bike bought up until September 15th - see in-store for details.
Just wanted to express my sincere thanks for all the care and attention you have given me when I was purchasing my new Felt Z6 bike. The whole buying experience has been a complete joy and made so much easier by your total attention to detail. As I was recommended by a friend to use your shop/ service I will also recommend you to any of my friends who may be considering buying a new bike.
What I also liked was when I asked if the gear set could be changed to another manufactures it was not a case of “no we can’t” but “I’m sure we can “. When I collected my bike I so pleased with the bike and the work you had carried out to make my bike to the specification I wanted and make it a special build, certainly 5 Star service. On collection you again spent time with me to ensure I fully understood how to use clip in pedals which is a new feature for me after many years of riding with normal pedals, again “attention to detail” was given. Also ensuring everything was set / adjusted to my liking.
So now I’ve had the bike for nearly a week, the first day I spent nearly 50 minutes riding on our driveway just getting use to the pedals which I have now mastered, The ride quality is just fantastic, gear shifting is smooth and positive, very pleased I went for my chosen gear set.
As you know working for BMW we expect our dealers to deliver a 5 Star Service for sales and service, you clearly have achieved 100% on both on sales and service.
Gentleman it was a pleasure to deal with you.
A very satisfied customer.
Bianchi officially unveils the new Vacansoleil-DCM's
Oltre model for 2012 season. Designed for extreme racing conditions,
Oltre is one of the best racing machines Bianchi has ever made. X-Tex
carbon technology and Bianchi optimized aerodynamic shape give it an incredibly
efficient power transmission and stiffness to weight ratio.
Characterized by a very solid outlook and aerodynamic shape, Vacansoleil-DCM’s Oltre enhances Bianchi’s traditional “celeste” color by matching it with blue and white touches – recalling the official outfit of the World Tour team. The Bianchi’s Eagle on the lower part of the down-tube, shaped with elegant dark celeste lines, provides a unique mix of tradition and aggressiveness.
Bianchi’s technical suppliers for 2012 Vacansoleil-DCM team’s Oltre are: FSA, Vision, Fast Forward, Vredestein, Selle San Marco, Elite, KMC, Look, CycleOps Power Tap and Lizard skins.
Frame: Bianchi HoC “OLTRE” (Carbon monocoque; headset 1,5”-1 /8”. X-Tex technology, UTSS - Ultra Thin Seat Stay, internal cable routing, BB30 System)
Fork: Bianchi OLTRE HoC full carbon 1,5”>1 1/8”
Seatpost: Bianchi OLTRE full carbon aero
Crankset: FSA K-FORCE Light BB30 Carbon 53/39
BB set: FSA BB30
Brakes: FSA K-FORCE
Headset: FSA ORBIT 1 1/8" - 1.5"
Stem: FSA OS-99 CSI alu/carbon
Handlebar: FSA K-FORCE carbon
Saddle: Selle San Marco Concor
Ribbon: Lizard skins
Wheels: Fast Forward
Tires: Vredestein Fortezza Pro Tricomp
Sprocket: Shimano Dura Ace
Chain: KMC L Gold
Bottle: Elite Corsa Team
Bottlecage: Elite Custom
Computer – Power Meter: Cycleops Power Tap
Vacansoleil-DCM's riders will start to dig deep on pedals in Montecatini Terme (Italy) from December 10th to 20th, seat of the first official meeting. From January 10th to 20th the Dutch World Tour team will move to Spain, in Benidorm, for the second training camp ahead of the first seasonal appointments.
The Garmin Edge 200 uses GPS to track your time, distance, speed and route. Easy to use and no setup required. Use it for everyday rides, training, commuting & touring.
Once your ride is done simply upload to "Garmin Connect" to see your route on a map in more detail. In stock now only, £139.99.
Felt Z6 - Click Here For Further Details
Also, full Carbon with new Shimano 105 groupsets from an amazing price of only £1649!
Felt F5 - Click Here For Further Details
Or, if you prefer an Alloy frame then how about a 105 equipped bike at an unbelievable £899!
Felt Z85 - Click Here For Further Details
Congratulations to Team Chunky Whippets who all finished the gruelling Etape Du Tour (Stage 19 of the Tour Du France) raising vital funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Here at CycleCare, we look after lots of the team, as we have a reputation of being racers and endurance riders ourselves, with a firm understanding of the demands of what a team or individual requires, to be mad enough to do such events.
Close to their target of £100,000 the team have raised over the last 10 years just under £84,000.
To find out more about the Chunky Whippets and to donate please go to £100K Charity Challenge
Featuring High Inertia Technology (HIT), designed with a large weighted flywheel that mimics the inertia of a rolling bicycle.It spins freely when you are not pedalling yet delivers progressive wind resistance similar to real life conditions.
The Revolution fits all road bikes and works seamlessly with a mountain bike or cross bike. Simply remove the rear wheel, attach the rear dropouts to the spindle and go. No more tyre slippage & wear, front wheel blocks or unstable platforms."
Drop in and test one out to see why this is a great way to keep in shape safely and efficiently when there is not enough time to get out on the road.
"A perfect opportunity to upgrade/dress up your tired old hack bike or even your shiny best race bike. Full carbon road bike forks with a choice of either 40 or 45mm rake and also conventional profile or flat Aero section. Usual RRP £329.99 but on account of the miserable weather and post Xmas blues an incredibly laughable £149.
Phone 01494 447908 for the very latest availability !
Go and ride the new extension to the XC course. It not only improves the 'lower section' but also adds another 1/2 mile to an already fantastic loop.
Check It Out At - Aston Hill
Saracen Tufftrax Alloy Bike - Sizes 14", 16", 18", 20", 22" - RRP £250
Cycle Care Special Deal - only £199
Endura Stealth Lite Waterproof bibtights/tights.
These have been thoroughly tested by us here at Cycle Care over the past few weeks and all we can say is they are simply awesome - the only way to truly stay dry & warm !!!
In both bibtight (£134.99) and normal waisted (£109.99) versions. IN STOCK NOW.
And for those of you who require an EVEN warmer version they do EXTREME versions too.
Are you planning on taking your bike away with you soon? If so we can now hire you a proper padded bike-bag. A good bike-bag costs around £100, so for occasional use you may prefer to hire one. For as little as £25 a week you can protect your bike from anything a long journey might throw at it.
There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and finding your beloved bike is scratched or bent so badly you can't ride it. Please e-mail us if you want to book a bike-bag: contact page
At Cycle Care we are firm believers in supporting local Cycling Clubs, Gymnasiums & Health / Fitness Centres.
To help encourage the wonderful activity of cycling within your lifestyle, we would like to offer you an incentive of 10% discount off purchases you make (* not bikes) with proof of membership. This includes all accessories & also clothing, helmets, sunglasses, heart rate monitors, hydration drinks & triathlon equipment as well as any bike servicing / maintenance requirements you have (* not labour).
We are easy to find, have our own free car park & our priority is to provide you with the very best level of customer service at prices you want to pay.
Our enthusiastic & knowledgeable team are always happy to help. Feel free to pop in or contact us on 01494 447908. Alternatively email us at:contact page