Day 01 Leeds - Harrogate. My TdF has started !!!

Aye - Up Yorkshire !! 

It's Started !!!!!!

So, Finally after over 8 months of gruelling training......... involving many curries, plenty of pies, and probably far too much beer....... (and there's no hiding it.... one HECK of a lot of cycling!!!) .....  

I have started my Tour de Force!   

23 days of either heaven or hell? I'm hoping for good weather, strong legs, outstanding views and a plentiful supply of French food/beer. But first I need to overcome the Yorkshire Dales, some Yorkshire Puds, and ....Yorkshire Beer. So far, so heaven!

So on Friday set off up the M1 and it took 7 hrs to do a 3 hour journey. PLus we got lost driving around the centre of Leeds on its crazy one way system.... so were a bit late. Ooops

At the hotel we had an intro and briefing, fantastic chicken and pasta meal.....and bed by 10pm. I had slept Tueday night on a train, Weds night on a plane, and finally Thursday night in my own bed (but was too excited to sleep)...... so I slept very well on Friday.

5am awake, full English breakfast at 6am (couldn't resist!), muesli, croissants, the lot! Glorious. Another briefing during breaky and on the bikes at 7:30 am for the start.....It was raining, and it was very cold. So full arm warmers, long legs, waterproof top etc.

Day 01   Sat 28/06/14     Leeds - Harrogate  191km (officially!)

Distance km  207 Elevation m  2,778
Ave speed km/hr  22.9 Max Speed km/hr  60.8
Moving Time  9:01 Total Time  11:37
Ave Heart Rate  132 Max Heart Rate  177
Ave Cadence  72    
Calories burned 4268 Temp Range  8-13


Oh my goodness...... How am I going to manage to do this for 22 more days!!!

This stage was supposed to be 191km but what they omitted to tell us is that there was a 15km neutralised section from the start going out of Leeds.... so we also had to ride this..... Hence the 207km total today (no we didn't get lost!)

So what was supposed to be a relatively easy (easy? 200km???) turned into a bit of a marathon as my mate was...errrr.... rather sikly. Suffering from what we now think was long 24 hr bug he was "empty" as everything he'd eaten had passed right through, so no energy, very weak. Not ideal condition to start a 200km ride. So we really rode steadily..... very slowly, and made it in the end. Riding slowly means more pressure on the seat of your pants though, so sore bum. As you can see from the table (which I will print every day so you can see what I've done) we were riding for 9 hrs but on the go for 11.5 hrs (this includes eating, stopping at traffic lights etc.... ie moving and stopped time)

Peleton? What Peleton. There wasn't much peleton riding, most people were off on their own or in small 3 or 4 groups.... strange. We were on our own most of the way as we were quite slow. Some good ascents though... Buttertubs was lovely. I tended to ride up these and wait at the top, so actually I felt quite fresh at the end, albeit with a rather sore bum. Gel seat was used for first 40km, and from 120-160km.

We are forced to stop every 40km where there is a feed stop and one of our two day bags so we can take out gloves or different waterproofs etc. More on that later..... in another blog.

It was cold, VERY cold. And wet. But Ok, nothing too bad. Rain was light drizzle so didn't get soaked.

Yorkshire has gone mad by the way. Yellow bikes everywhere, painted and put to the side of the road. Signs everywhere. Cycles carved in to the grass with lawnmowers, one guy making a HUGE stone carving..... flags everywhere, and even one wall covered in little knitted yellow, green, white, polka dot jerseys..... awesome. Well done Yorkshire, you made us very welcome! Oh, and thanks to the council for spending 6 million on resurfacing the roads!!

And finally. I didn't post this last night, too tired and not enough time. Its going to be a struggle to do it every day, just too much to do and not enough time..... Finishing at 7pm, briefing, dinner, wash yourself, wash you clothes (v important to rinse shorts out etc), check over the bike, prepare kit for tomorrow, oh... and bed... cos we're up at 5 or 5:30 most mornings. I am afraid Blog is low priority compared to everything else. Sorry.

More tomorrow. 

Great start to the ride.






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