Well, that’s the bike ready

Now I just need to finish getting myself ready. I fitted the computer and got the cassette changed at Sigma Sport, who managed to fit me in and do it all in about 10 minutes.

The bike will probably go in for a final checkover about a month before the event, maybe some new tyres and new bar tape when I get out there. As for me, I’ll get a feeding of silly amounts of pasta and carbohydrates along with enough fluid to fill the Panama canal.

I’ve checked that there is a Decathlon in Gap which may want to stock up on cycling equipment as it’s not unlikely there’ll be a few of us descending on it for last minute emergency purchases, depending on the conditions.

Over on the Cycling Plus forum there’s an interesting thread on Etape jitters – http://www.cyclingplus.co.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=93849 which I have thrown my two pennorth in on. Elsewhere, on Etape or Bust, it seems that a few people are having problems with their doctor’s certificates. I do hope it sorts itself out as I can imagine nothing worse than coming this far and then not able to go.

I’m currently living in fear of injury as I’ve got a bit of a niggle in my left quad which really needs seeing to. It means I’ve been taking it easy this week, although I did do my 16-20km up through Hampstead and Highgate in the middle of the week and didn’t feel too bad. Might pop out later today for a 30 km dash round Richmond Park at a reasonably high intensity if it brightens up.

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  • Brendan

    As someone who has completed two l’etapes (comfortably silver in each) I am increasingly distressed at the scare mongering about L’etape on forums like Cyclingplus. At the end of the day its a long bike ride over a couple of bigg-ish hills in France (hopefully) on a pleasantly warm day. Everyone (including me) signed up because we thought it would be fun. Challenging, yes, but still fun. The way people are carrying on you’d think taking part was a sentence. Apparently British entrants are proportionately more likely to end up in the broom wagon than any other nation. Given the number of overweight, heptagenarian, Gauloises smoking French blokes riding Sean-Kelly-look-alike, glued-together aluminium, early-80’s Vitus frames, I find this surprising but I can only assume its a result of the way in which Brits tend to approach the whole thing. Put it in the little ring (or middle ring for those of you with a triple) and suck wheels shamelessly for as long as humanly possible. Eat loads and drink more, especially if it’s hot. When the road points uphill, remember you’ll be climbing for an hour at a time. But for god’s sake, have fun! Where would you rather be than France in July on your bike? I would recommend to all l’etapists who have not taken part in a sportif before to give one a go BEFOREHAND. Not for training (one ride isn’t going to make a difference) but just so you know what to expect on the start line. Ideally you would do one in France (there’s a whole lot of them in June – e.g., http://www.sportcommunication.com/newsite/accueilmain.php?langue=2 I recommend La Ventoux on 3 June) so you get an idea of how long you will be climbing for.