The organisers want all the 500 entrants to form themselves into teams of between three and nine members (yeah, you got that bit right...) and to come up with a team name as well, so of course me and Andy decided to stick together and we invited other Haute Route entrants to join our newly-minted 'Team Lanterne Rouge' with three guiding principles in mind:
1) trying hard
2) socialising a bit, and
3) not troubling the podium
Much to our surprise there are actually five other like-minded souls out there, so Team Lanterne Rouge a.k.a. The Magnificent Seven is a go: welcome aboard to AndyF, Martin, David, Mark and Matt! As far as I know we are 71.4% Carling, 14.28% Fosters and 14.28% Guinness.
The only downside is that I've been volunteered to get the first round in Geneva, which ain't renowned for it's budget shopping...
In other news, last Sunday saw me wheeze around bits of North Yorkshire for a laugh in search of the slowest century since Chris Tavare retired.
|Almost perfected the 'Richard Nixon victory hunch'. Was sweating almost as much too...|
Don't be fooled by the Pavlov reaction to the sight of a camera: it was f**king miserable out there, hah-hah-hah! Still glad I did it. The realisation that the serious stuff is only 40-odd days away has dawned so there will be more of the same this weekend and every other for the forseeable. About time...
Sponsorship is slow and difficult to come by but I've had a couple of donations from folk who have first-hand experience of the life-changing, no, life-saving work that Leukaemia And Lymphoma Research are responsible for: this just reinforces what a fantastic cause they are. If you agree then click on the link, please.
For every £500 raised, I will cough-up £100: go on and cause me some financial heartache!
Still, it's not all training (what do you mean 'all'? Any would be a start...) as I have managed to fit in a couple of shows into my packed training schedule, ahem. Top of the list would be an up-and-comer called Springsteen: do look out for him. I saw him a couple of weeks back at The Etihad on that Friday when it dumped crazy amounts of rain and was blowing a hooley just for good measure.
In the event our man delivers what was perhaps one of his top three U.K. shows: the band were just astounding at times. For no good reason I had a go at filming what turned out to be the last song in the 3hr 20 min show: it is worth a watch if only to see the flying trumpeter just about the one minute-mark. Gladly Curt didn't need the North West Air Ambulance (ouch, that was subtle) but we can all help to keep them responding...
Although I hate banging on about it, here are the stats again:
- We climb 120,000 feet over the 11 days. That is more than the 2012 Tour de France will climb in 21 days!
- In 11 days we cycle over 330 uphill miles at an average 8% gradient: that's the same distance as London to Glasgow!
- To put some perspective on all this, Mount Everest stands at 29000 feet. On day 3 we climb 15000 feet.
Right, that'll have to do for now...