The REAL Tour de France

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Yes, but do we know what's really in those jam butties.

Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
S of Kendal
Hat's off indeed.

But I wonder if he really is the only British guy doing it. Geoff Thomas and his mates are only a few days behind. And there's usually several hundred of various nationalities who do it each year around that time.

Four years ago I met an Africaans guy doing it unsupported with full camping gear. He also rode the transfers instead of having the rest days. His bike could best be described as 'agricultural' but he got each day done. He also spoke no English or French and could only really make himself understood to the Dutch or Flems he met along the way.

But like the 'signs guys' getting to know this Englishman, this Africaaner became quite well known, especially as he was riding on race day itself. He was pulled over on the Col de Galibier by the motorbike Gendarmes, who took his panniers off him and just rode off, much to his confusion. When he got to the top, there they were waiting for him beside the road.

On the long final transfer up to Paris he was spotted during the night by one of the 'caravan vehicles', still peddling away furiously trying to make it for the final day. They gave him a lift and he finished with a lap of the Champ Elysee.

I wish I could have talked to him more but our only common language was a bit of funigalore, which unsurprisingly contains very few cycle touring terms.


New Member
Thats very interesting stuff Tim , I'm sure I read about this guy somewhere else , probably in somebody elses account of riding the TdF route .


Cycling the entire tour, at the same time as the Tour itself, and with full camping kit, would probably be best described as "challenging", by itself. If you're also cycling the transfers....:thumbsup:

This year you would be a bit stuck, the transfer between Stage 1 and Stage 2 would be difficult to do with a bike alone, and the transfer prior to Paris is over 250 miles, so that would be "interesting" to do overnight!
Great stuff. And he only took up cycling a year ago . . . !

Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
S of Kendal
(snip)..... and the transfer prior to Paris is over 250 miles, so that would be "interesting" to do overnight!

The final transfer is usually fairly major, which is why I guess he was grateful he got a lift!

But for those planning a similar jaunt, it's worth remembering that the day before is usually the time trial loop. So if you get up early you can have those 30 odd miles out of the way before a late-ish breakfast, which still gives you just under 24 hours to do the 250 miles to Paris in time for the last stage.

And if you're in training for PBP, that's par for the course.
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