I’ve taken up Map My Ride’s Le Tour 14 Challenge. Not because I’ll appear anywhere near the top of the leaderboard, or have much hope of winning a prize… but you never know!
When I first started using this app to track how far I was going on my various rides, I knew it might be the beginning of a slippery slope. It is far too easy to get sucked into watching the numbers and not enjoying the ride. But the day I got an email saying I had a Personal Record on the River Road North course, I was hooked.
I’m taking up this Challenge because my hip replacement has given me new life on the bike again. And riding Le Tour 14 is going to get me out on the road most every day. By the time the challenge is over, I’ll be just 3 days short of my six month recovery milestone.
My goal is to ride 10% of the total 3,664 km between the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, England on July 5th and the final sprint on the Champs Élysées in Paris July 27th. So it seems fitting, or perhaps ironic, that my current rank 4,836 is just about 10% of the 44,720 who’ve joined the Challenge.
It would be fun to set up routes to honour the challenges of each stage in some way, but my July schedule imposes different rest days than the Tour Riders, and I’m still not doing many hills, or Côtes, as they are called in the Tour.
I only just noticed that when this photo in The Guardian caught my eye.
We’ve always called the steep hills around Warsaw cols. There’s the Col de Warsaw and Col de Sawmill. Turns out they’re just Côtes. Maybe that will make it seem easier next time!