Some light reading

The people from the Marrakech-Atlas Etape send out an information pamphlet and I seem to feature on pages 4 and 5 no less! Riding a silly bike obviously equates to guaranteed personality…

MarrakechAtlasEtapeIntroduction2015

You can help support my efforts to raise money for Education for All here – https://www.justgiving.com/tuffcall/

 

Advertisements

Torygraph best cycling sportives of 2015

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/11309043/The-six-best-cycling-sportives-of-2015.html

It appears Chris and I are almost the zeitgeists as it includes our two favourites (in fact the only two we do):

Marrakech Atlas Etape

2015 sees only the third running of the Atlas Etape, an all-day ride in the 40° heat of Morocco.

The route takes riders from arid plains on the outskirts of Marrakech to the ski resort of Oukaimeden in the Atlas Mountains. At 140km, it sounds like a relative walk in the park, but consider this: although it’s an out-and-back route, the first 70km are all uphill, gaining 2,129 metres of ascent, in some serious humidity.

Once you reach the mountain-top, you turn round and go hell for leather back to Marrakech.

Get on board before everyone’s doing it; the 2015 edition of the ride takes place on April 26.

Dunwich Dynamo

A ride with plenty of atmosphere, but bring your best lights – it’s a night-time event.

The Dynamo started as a clandestine club run to the coast, but now sees several thousand cyclists undertake the 120-mile ride from Hackney in London to the lost town of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast. Eerie, spectacular and life-affirming, you’ll not find many events like this one.

Just to add to the slightly esoteric feel of the Dynamo, the annual ride takes place on the Saturday nearest to July’s full moon – this year that’s the evening of Saturday, July 4

A numbers game…

  • 200 riders
  • 34 degrees heat
  • 1 very large climb – 140k / 2624m
  • 3 ‘fat dads’ who cycled down from England (!) – Of whom, Douglas jnr was the winner on the day
  • 1 Brompton
  • 6.8 miles – Strava underestimating  the distance I covered hmmm
  • 12,932 Nike Fuel Points of cycling

So the new blood this year were mainly younger and whippet thin. Particularly from a distance – which was the main view I had of them as they disappeared over the horizon.

Of the rest, shall we say determined amateurs, we struggled up via litres of water, liberal application of sun cream and ever increasing amount of cramp. The heat turned it in to a massive feat of endurance, broken briefly by the break-neck descent and then the 30k run in to Marrakech on melting tarmac into a hot, dry headwind.

Very, very hard – harder than in the cold, but all worthwhile once an ice-cold beer at the finish started to numb the pain.

Extremely well organised in the charming, understated way that made in so enjoyable last year and bought Chris and I back for more.

Great to meet Linda of Riad Linda, our host during our brief stay and the one reader of this blog! – a pleasure to share a drink at the finish.

Respect to Mike, Chris, Gareth and all the rest of the Education for All team for making it all happen.

Thanks to Argan Xtreme Sports for the Pepsi and Marlboro red in my hour of need!

And, finally, a massive thank you for all the support – we have raised enough money to support three girls for a year at the EFA houses.

Right, I need some sleep

x

Chris smiling:

 

No sleep till bedtime

At Riad Linda, alarm set for 6.00 and then it is up and on the bikes.

It is baking here and the heat may be more of a challenge than last year’s freezing conditions… We shall find out tomorrow.

Currently raised 90% of our target which is excellent – and with the promises I shall be chasing down on my return we should hit the total.

I can’t thank you enough for the support!

Good night x

Eight weeks out

Okay – that’s it, I have sent the company-wide sponsorship mail – let the world know I am doing this and commited to getting healthy – that was the easy bit!

All R/GA:

For those who missed my inaugural Toastmasters talk yesterday, between all the ‘effing and blinding’ and giving HR enough material to extradite me from the building, I touched on uppers and downers!

The big high in this case being the Oukaimeden in the High Atlas – a casual 10,000’ of climbing on my little Brompton! The downer being the return journey which is terrifying – last year the clown bike topped 50mph!

Starting in Marrakech, you climb through the High Atlas Mountains to the ski resort of Oukaïmeden (Ouka) at 2624m, an altitude gain of some 2129m in aid of Education for All. To give you an idea The Ouka Monster is bigger in altitude gain than any of the classic climbs in the Tour de France:

Oukaïmeden 2129m
▲ Galibier 1924m
Mont Ventoux 1622m
▲ Tourmalet 1404m
▲ Alpe d’Huez 1071m

I am about to go through the pain of spending the next 8 weeks getting fit, not smoking, not drinking beer and not eating junk food to do this. In return I want to rob you all deaf, dumb and blind in the name of a fantastic cause (I cover all my expenses and all monies go to the charity)

Thanks in advance,

Tuffs x

PS.

A while back I sent out a rallying call to everyone I know to see if they wanted to join us – other than the odd person being recommended by others, so far, the response is ‘minimal’ but it is not too late to join! http://www.marrakech-atlas-etape.com/register/ – We are flying Saturday 26 April – riding Sunday 27 April – returning Monday 28 if you have the urge.

And for something completely different which may need the addition of an AK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26437881