Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tour de Laundry

WARNING: Non-beginner cyclists (and some beginners) may find some of these images offensive as they contain references to inferior cycling products
The Tour de Laundry (TDL) is:
- 20 stages, total distance: 1000 kilometres. The 20 stages include: 9 flat stages, 7 mountain stages, 1 medium mountain stage, 2 individual time trials, 1 team time trial

Tour de Couch has set herself a challenge – ride 50kms each night in front of the SBS TWO Tour de France coverage. My goal is a total of 1000km. No big deal you non-beginner cyclists out there scoff. But it is a big deal for me – I haven’t ridden more than 20kms before, especially not consecutively. Yes, my trainer is probably from Big W, but my heart rate gets up to what it’s supposed to and I feel as bad as I do when I’m riding outside.

Of course I want to own an expensive bike one day and join a bunch ride every weekend, but I want to see how much I get into it first other than the odd 8km ride to work I currently do now and then. I don’t want to be one of those poseurs who spend thousands on a bike then lose interest and their beautiful bike sits wearing cobwebs in a place where no bike should be on its own.

Progress so far/How do I feel:
As you can see from the odometer shot above, I’m on track – I’ve covered 200kms after 4 stages. OK, it’s been 5 stages - I might’ve slipped in a 12km prologue last Friday morning. I combined this with the 38kms I rode Saturday night. However, rest assured it’s since been 50kms a night.

I struggled during Stage 3. With lack of sleep, sore bum etc, I was ready to chuck it in, but thought, no, I want to do this, I want to go to this extreme and see if I can make it. Last night, I had a top ride and because I felt a bit fitter I picked up the speed (currently averaging 23-24kms/hr, first was 19-20).

To say I’m feeling a bit tired and crabby is a bit of an understatement. It was probably unwise to stay up late Friday night - with a little added dehydration – and not get enough sleep during the next day. Not sure I’m ever going to peg that sleep back. But I’m looking forward to tomorrow night (Thursday 9.7.09 – Stage 6 of the Tour) - I don’t have anything to do finally between work and the tour coverage. Bring on Napville. I’m also hanging out for the rest days!!

Yes, I said 20 stages, I’m taking an extra rest day on 18 July because I like to have a French dish/red wine/cheese gorge fest during every Tour and won't feel like kicking out my guests.

It wouldn’t be a challenge without….
To make sure I actually do it, I thought about making a personal donation to charity and asking others to as well so I’d be accountable. If you feel so inclined after hearing I make the 1000kms, make a donation to one of the worthy causes below.

Fitting in with the whole Tour de Couch thing – I saw this and thought it was appropriate. - if this site isn’t taking donations after the 24th, you can visit While donations go to their counseling line, I’m shouting out to Lifeline to promote their Gambling Care services.

Clare Holland House Donations can’t be made online unfortunately, but they can be made by cheque to: Clare Holland House, PO Box 175, CANBERRA ACT 2601.

Pop me a line saying you made a donation, but if you don’t let me know, I’ll more than understand.

PS: - why in the laundry? I live in an apartment and the whirring of my cheap trainer at that time would probably cause some issues.

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