Thursday, July 17, 2014

Are we nearly there yet? Fear and packing for the 2014 Etape du Tour

There's nothing left to do but pack.

My last minute crash diet is more or less over (and I cheated on it a lot). I've ridden more miles and climbed more metres this year than last. Had a bike fit and fitted new wheels since the last Etape. I'm also 2kg heavier, making the weight-saving new wheels somewhat pointless.

There's no time to ride except to check out the bike in Pau. Beetroot loading starts tomorrow.

The flight leaves on Friday morning - so the last big big question is what to bring?

The bike has been cleaned, greased and packed in its travel box - along with frame pump.

I've selected shorts, shirt, gloves and socks for the day. I've added water-resistant gilet, arm and leg warmers. I think a full waterproof/softshell will be too much (although the weather at the top of the Tourmalet doesn't look great...

Chamois cream, along with shoes (cleats in pretty good nick) and pedals. Sun glasses and helmet too.

A spare tube and tool in my saddle bag, along with a spare chain link. Another spare tube, levers, ibuprophen and CO2 for my jersey back pocket.

All that goes into my hand luggage - along with the Garmin and heart rate monitor - so if my bike goes missing - again - all I need on the day is to hire a one. Maybe take the CO2 out.

Lots of gels (two caffeine). And bottles. And bottle mix. Some casual clothes might be handy. And a pedal wrench. That's pretty darn important.

The convocation and the medical certificate are vital too. Oh! Chargers for my phone and Garmin. And French plug adapters.

And then...

And then...

What have I forgotten!


  1. Sun lotion, Skis or Snowboard?

  2. Not quite the weather for any of those - but sun cream and after sun are going on the list now.

  3. Hi James

    I'd definitely recommend taking a jacket just in case (read my friend's blog of the 2008 Etape which followed pretty much the same route: )

    Also - you can't take CO2 cannisters on the plane, so just buy one in the sign-in village.

    Other than that, all you need is a 'suitcase of courage' and a jerseyful of Rule #5 (oh, and if you're sticking around to watch the tour, your mankini)

    Best of luck mate - I'm in no way jealous!