Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tour De France BikePacking Gear List

On the 24th of August, Tom and I will set out on our 4500 kilometre ride inspired by the 1955 Tour de France route.

Below is what we'll be taking.

Luggage -

Rich - Alpkit Big Papa, Stingray Frame Bag, Medium Fuel Pod.

Tom - Alpkit Stingray Frame Bag, Koala Seat pack.

Sleeping -

Force Ten Helium 2 tent.

Rich - Enlightened Equipment down quilt, Sea to Summit mat.

Tom - Adult Pied Elephant down bag. Klymit mat.

Clothes - All Rapha - Merino base layers, Lightweight/Aero Tops, Bib shorts, Arm Warmers, Leg Warmers, Gilets. Magic Rock Caps.

Extra clothes - Primaloft jackets, Waterproof tops, Merino beanies, undies, socks.

Tools etc. Pump, 3 tubes, puncture repair kit, tyre lever, multitool, chain breaker, spare links, pliers, cable ties.

Personal care - Factor 30 suncream, Assos chamois cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, tea tree cream, wipes.

Electrics - Rich - Garmin Oregon GPS, SP PD-8 dynamo. Igaro AC power into 5V USB power convertor. Anker PowerCore 20100 battery, leads. Fujifilm X30 camera, spare lithiums for the SPOT.
Both - USE Exposure Toro front lights with Exposure RedEye Rear Lights

Water - Both 2 bottles. 

Luxury item, a roll on deodorant.

SPOT Tracker - Click for our location.

Oh, and Tom's Stingray frame bag is empty, he'll be carrying our food.

Some close up photos below.

Monday, July 3, 2017

What's next? Summer Plans

"What's next?" A question that we're often asked. It's a question that I've got usually got an answer to, though the answer often changes.

We'd penciled in a European end to end for this summer. It ticked many boxes. Though when I started to research a route it became clear that we'd have to avoid the mountains to make good time over the 5000+km. Not ideal.

Whilst watching Le Tour on the television with my daughter the other day, a seed was sown that changed our plans. Why not ride the "Tour de France" then we can come out and see you?

I looked at this years route and like most modern tour routes there's a lot of transfers between the end of a stage and the start of the next. As we are planning on riding unsupported, we'd need to find a tour route where riders actually rode the whole route. Oh, and can we have some hills including Mont Ventoux?

I spend an afternoon doing some research and settled on using the 1955 tour route as a template for our trip.

Starting at Le Havre, the route heads clockwise dipping into Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, then round France. Climbs include - Aravis, Télégraphe, Galibier, Vars, Cayolle, Vasson, La Turbie, Mont Ventoux, Aspin, Peyresourde, Tourmalet, Aubisque.

As usual the route ends in Paris, some 4476 km later.

We're not going to follow the exact route, preferring quieter roads when possible, so we may do a few km more.

In 1955 (the first year that there were British riders) the Tour was ridden in 22 days with 2 rest days. We'll be aiming for something similar. There will be no broom wagon, and we'll be carrying all our camping kit.

Thanks Skye for the inspiration, and for drawing the map. See you in Paris!