Tuesday, July 2, 2013

AAAAaaaarrrghhhHHH! - Don't panic! Etape 4 days away! Don't Panic!

Look, I know I've trained. I also know I've not trained as much as I could have. But I've trained, OK.

I could even take not finishing because I didn't train enough. Collapsing from exhaustion half way up Revard. Why not. That's on me.


But what about the rest?

What if I leave my "convocation" on the plane. What if my cleats snap. What if I skid and break my collar bone on my Saturday bike test ride?

How's your pre-Etape panic doing? Mine's off the chart.

I've made a list. Then added more and more and more as new things that scare me crop up. I have three separate insurance policies. I'm convinced I've missed something. EHIC?

Do I need that as well as the three insurance cards? Is it in date? Do I have time for a new one if it's not? WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS SOONER!!!!

I mean, if my bike gets lost by British Airways I'll find a way to find another. I'll handle that. Definitely. But if my water bottle springs a leak? Can I get a new one on route. Will heat exhaustion claim me because of a leak?

After eight months of one thing being tattooed into my schedule it's frighteningly close. And there's just SO MUCH that could go wrong.

It'll probably be fine. Definitely, probably be fine. I'm fine. But, seriously, what have I forgotten? There's bound to be something. I just really hope it's not important enough to stop me. It won't be, right?

Look. Help me out here. What have I forgotten? Everything's already crossed and I'm touching everything that I can see made of wood. Does it need to be living wood? Is there a tree near here?

Oh. Dear. God. The weather!



  1. Back on topic :)

    Re: etape cut off times.

    So I did recalculate the etape cut-off times based on the itinerary Km's, broomwagon# end times and map profile to get the avg. broomwagon# cut off times.
    Noticed that your cut-off time at Côte de Puget is wrong, its 9.19. Also in my calculations I did not include the time for stops (water and food stops, 5xmins each, and 10mins for the 1st stop) assuming that you may stop, and therefore not loosing time and therefore my avg. speeds are a bit higher or just different. Leaving out a single stop will get you 5mins on top of these times allowing a speed slower than what I calculated.

    #there will be no broomwagon pick up(unless its a mechanical failure on the road), but instead 6x pick up points on the map.

    Start: 08:30
    10km (19mins) - flat - 31.6kmh - 08:49
    5.5km (30mins) at 5.8% Côte de Puget - 11kmh - 09:19
    3.4km (8mins) sort of downhill - 22.5kmh - 9.27
    3.6km (17mins) at 6.2% Col de Leschaux - 12.7kmh - 09:54 (1st water stop - 10mins not included)
    16.5km (47mins) rolling downhill overall - 21kmh - 10:52 (1st food stop - 5mins not in)
    7km (27mins) (6 at 4% Côte de Aillons-le-Vieux) - 15.5kph - 11:19* (13.5kmh - 31mins)
    4km (16mins) - 15kph - 11:40* (20kmh - 12 mins)
    3.5km (20mins) at 6.5% Col des Prés - 10.5kmh- 12:00 (2nd water stop - 5 mins not in)
    11.5km (34mins) descent (technical) - 20.3kmh - 12:34 (3rd water - 5mins not in)
    16km (1h36mins) at 5.4% Col du Mont-Revard - 10kmh - 14:20 (2nd foor stop -5mins not in)
    13km (28mins) descent (fast) - 27.9kmh - 14:48
    18.5km (63mins) basically flat (slightly downhill+slightly up) - 17.6kmh - 16:01 (1x water and last food - 10mins not in)
    15.5km (2mins under 2h) till the top of Semnoz - 7.9kmh - 18:04 (Last water - 5mins not in)
    from that 11.5km (1h 37mins) at 8.3% Montée finale du Semnoz - 7.1kmh - 18:04

    * cut off times at this point doesn't make sense, as they give more time for a flat 3km and less time for the next 3km where the climb starts. In real it could be 13.5kmh up and 20kmh for the flat part.

    Take a look at it. Hope that I did not made any mistakes and that these times are much closer to the real-time broomwagon.



  2. Hi James

    I know the feeling - am sure I'm gonna leave a wheelbag resting up against the garden gate as I drive off.

    See you Sunday - feel free to say hello if you see me in the pen - I'll be in a Wales jersey with a blue helmet

  3. Forget about the broomwagon times, just ride your ride and enjoy it, this is what we are going to do

    As for the first 10 ks, it isn't flat, it is undulating. My advice, on Saturday when your bike is built, take a ride down to Saint Jorioz so that you can get a feel, it could take away the nerves.

    Just to worry you, don't forget your medical certificate !!!

  4. Hey James, why don't you write a list of all the things you are taking for the Etape including documents, then the blog readers can see if anything's missing. Obviously that way you will end up with a suitcase the size of the Eiffel Tower to take to France - but you won't have forgotten anything!

  5. Change down, man. Find your neutral space. You got a rush. It'll pass. Be seated :)
    M x

  6. Here is my list (excluding non cycling stuff), hopefully covers it all...

    Insurance Docs
    Document Folder - convocation / medical cert / boarding passes etc..
    Chargers + Euro USB Plugs
    Pedals + Quick Releases
    Inner Tubes
    Water Bottles
    Saddle Bag
    Pump / CO2
    Gels / Bars / Drink Mix / Sweets etc...
    Bike Tools + Pedal Wrench
    Cycling Shoes
    Socks - Cycle x 2
    Shoe Covers
    Knee Warmers
    Bib Shorts + Tights
    Gloves - regular + waterproof
    Arm warmers
    Soft Shell Jacket
    Waterproof Jacket
    Cycling Jerseys

    I might need a bigger bike box!


    1. Domestique, to carry all of your stuff !!!

    2. Safety pins for your jersey dossard no.
      Scissors to cut off those annoying little bits of plastic for the guidon no.
      Chamois cream (it's a long day!)
      Pack of tissues (in case there's no bog roll)

      Ho ho, why are half my suggestions about butts?
      Mel x

      ps - I would love a domestique - where can i get one please ?

  7. I'd drop the knee warmers, tights and most of the jackets if I were you and don't forget the factor 50.

  8. I've made the mistake of trusting forecasts before, might lose one jacket though


  9. Minus 3 with snow up the Cormet de Roselend 8 days ago - you never know in the Alpes!!

  10. I forgot "pedal wrench" (or in my case 8mm Allan key). This led to a problem when it came to packing my bike...

  11. Oh yes, Allan key definitely! My fave tool....(actually my only tool)...
    Are you already packed? Have you set off? Are you still scared?

  12. Went up the Revard and Semnoz on Tuesday, it reached about 30'C. Which was hot. On both climbs the hardest part is the bottom 6km so just dig in and if you get to half way then you can get to the top.

    There is a nice loop around Lake Annecy to check your bike out and you can buy most things from the expo if you have forgotten anything. Just remember your Dossard and medical certificate, everything else can be bought.