• Thankyou

    Ten days on from this year’s event, it’s time to thank you all for the amazing support. Already we’ve reached our fundraising target of £5,000, which is great news. 134 of you donated, and that’s hugely impressive. To the family and friends of everyone who took part: thankyou. And to those who merely read about us on the internet: thankyou. It’s usually hard to drum up support from people with little or no real-world connection to the people undertaking the challenge, but you’ve been outstanding.

    And what a challenge it was. None of us were really sure how it would go. As it turned out, we all completed the Club des Cinglés awards that we signed up for, but not one of us was both willing and able to go beyond that. The idea of trying to do as many ascents as possible was a gamble from the start, but Ventoux is a curious beast and not a small endeavour: had we been attempting a dozen or so ascents of something a third of the size we may have pushed ourselves to breaking point, but when the night falls and the wind rises and fatigue kicks in, “just one more” is a sizeable and potentially risky step.

    approaching-the-summit

    For more photos, see our Flickr group. (At the time of writing, there are more to come.)

    Don’t forget that you can still order T-shirts: for climbing lovers, climbing haters, and people who don’t care about climbing, but only until the end of July. Over £5 from each T-shirt goes to Amnesty UK.

    Finally, thank you not just to those who donated to Amnesty, but those who spread the word, and those who donated prizes to the draw. It’s all been a huge help. And, as ever, a special thankyou to The Ride Journal whose support is always unsurpassed.

    And so the curtain falls on this year’s event. Le Jour de France has now raised over £21,000 so far, and you are the reason for that.

  • Merch!

    It went like this: Someone on Twitter looked at the team page, and jokingly said that I should put the quote about the massive pile of climbing on a T-shirt. And I said heh, yeah (right). But then someone else said they’d buy it. And someone else did, too.

    I said well, that’s great, but no-one offers a service where I can just upload a design and people can order T-shirts with part of the money going direct to a charity. But then the first person pointed out that someone does: TBoom.

    I thought I’d call everyone’s bluff, and did a quick pencil scribble. A few minutes later, through the magic of a cameraphone, that scribble was in Inkscape with the quote behind it, and the first draft was waved under people’s noses. And their bluff was called. And now not only are they all morally obliged to buy a T-shirt even if they don’t like the colour, but you’ve got the opportunity to buy one too.

    There are three designs to choose from.

    You can buy the grey Le Jour de France logo shirt here, and there are two variants of the blue Massive Pile of Climbing shirt: the “and that’s the way I like it” version here and the “and I don’t really like climbing” version here. All are available in unisex (£15) and “lady fit” (£16), and the blue shirts are also available in kids’ sizes (£13). Don’t ask why the grey one isn’t: I don’t know.

    Over £5 from each shirt goes directly to Amnesty UK. Hell, if we only sell one then that’s £5 for a great cause. (We get nothing, of course.)

    I’ve not used TBoom before so I can’t personally vouch for the quality. If and when I order some myself, I’ll let you know.

    They’re only available until 31 July, so you’ll need to order by the end of the month.

    Here’s the Massive Pile of Climbing “and that’s the way I like it” design in more detail.

    massive-pile-of-climbing-love-it-blue

     

  • The Team

    Here’s this year’s team: a total of seven riders, including three newcomers and four with ten previous Le Jour de France rides under their collective belts.

    While everyone’s going to be trying to complete as many ascents as possible, they’re all aiming for one of the Club des Cinglés de Mont Ventoux awards along the way: the three-climb Cinglé, the four-climb Galérien (the only one to include the gravelled Route Forestière) or the slightly insane six-climb Bicinglette.

    Carl

    carl

    A first time on Le Jour de France for Carl, but he’s going in at the deep end and aiming for the Bicinglette.

    It’s been a while since I did any even vaguely silly endurance events, so hopefully this will put it right… I’ve never been particularly fast at anything, but found that I have a stubbornness and optimism that allows me to cheap jerseys successfully suffer through long endurance events and convince myself that I’ve enjoyed them. I used to race a few adventure races and ultra-distance triathlons/duathlons, but recently road racing and struggling with baby twins has been more than enough to satisfy my need for exercise and sleepless nights. Hopefully I’ve still got the ability to suffer with a smile, otherwise its going to be a very, very long day!

    Dave

    dave

    Dave’s also a Le Jour de France rookie, but he comes armed with a pedigree that means he too is aiming for the Bicinglette.

    I’ve ridden bicycles for hours on end. I’ve ridden bicycles up really big hills. I’ve ridden in 30 degree heat and I’ve ridden in sub-zero temperatures while getting blasted by supersonic winds. I’ve never combined all of these things into oakley outlet one ride before, though. (Cue looming shot of Ventoux…) I’m hoping Cheap Jordans Sale all the climbing I’ve done in the past will help in tackling the steep slopes of the mountain. I’m hoping all the pre-dawn starts and post-sunset finishes of the past will stand me in good stead for being out there well before the madding lycra crowds fill the roads and long after the last tourist has retired to their wine. I’m hoping, but it’s no forgone conclusion. This mountain’s reputation is fearsome and the figures involved in attaining the Bicinglette can bring a twinge to even the most hardened of thighs. Everest in a day. Nearly 200 miles. And if I do that, if I manage it, carry on and do some more. Yikes.

    Dean

    dean2

    Dean has ridden Le Jour de France once before, in 2011 (perhaps portentously, he was pretty handy on the uphill bits). He’s going for the Galérien.

    I’ve ridden up Mont Ventoux once before and it was hell. Despite being clear and beautiful at the foot of the mountain, above Chalet Reynard there was zero visibility, sideways rain and vicious winds. I passed a rider lying on the road in a vain attempt to shelter from the conditions by hiding behind his bike. Shivering on the descent almost had me shaking myself onto the tarmac and a good third of the warm-me-up hot chocolate was uncontrollably thrown out of its cup. I’m under no illusions that this will be tough. I have a few demons to lay to rest under those bleached rocks.

    James

    james1

    Like Dean, James rode the 2011 Le Jour de France, and is back oakley womens sunglasses for more this year, also aiming for the Galérien.

    Having never seen in person—let-alone ridden up—Ventoux, I am entirely relying on an “ignorance is bliss” approach to this challenge. I’ve been riding for years and know fairly well the effects that long distance, height gain and heat have on my body and, without being graphic, it’s generally unpleasant. As such, I’m quite often the first person to suggest that stopping hele for a cold beer or taking a shorter route would be the most sensible option. After passing over the past three Le Jour de France events as they just looked far too hard, I’ve decided it’s about time to give some more suffering a go and experience first hand just how difficult riding up Le Géant really is. Hopefully I’ll be spurred on to hurt myself a lot more for a very good cause.

    Mike

    mike

    This year will be Mike’s third Le Jour de France on the trot, making him the second daftest person here. He’s aiming for the Galérien.

    I’ve done a number of fairly stupid things on bicycles. 24 hour MTB races, a singlespeed century, 24 hour track bike relays, some mad thing in Wales that involved 120 miles and sleeping in a sack… And so on. Le Jour de France usually manages to take the entire packet of biscuits, though. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything remotely as hard as the 300 miler in 2013. 30 hours of chamois time is not something I’m in a hurry to repeat. Fortunately, 2015 has a time limit – we have to be pretty much done by midnight. Unfortunately, it involves a lot of climbing. I’ve signed up for the Galérien, which is the three road ascents of Ventoux plus an off-road climb. Surprisingly few people have done this, and I fully expect to discover why. As has become traditional, I’m hopelessly ill-prepared, having spent all year training to be a teacher rather than riding my bike up mountains (or even hills). So I’ll be relying on taking it steady, but bloody-mindedly. It’s always worked in the past…

    Nigel

    nigel

    This is Nigel’s first Le Jour de France ride, although he rode out with us on the first stretch of the 2014 event. His target is the Galérien.

    The crushing weight of peer pressure… I was only going to register for the Cinglé but I now feel obliged. A diet of Ex-Lax and cabbage soup awaits.

    Stewart (aka Bez)

    bez1

    Bez organises the event every year and is the only person dumb enough to have done them all. He’s the only one aiming for the (relatively) low-hanging fruit of the Cinglé.

    I don’t know why I’m doing this. It’s just a massive pile of climbing. I don’t really like climbing. I have no idea what was going on NFL Jerseys Cheap in my head when I thought, “yeah, let’s do a massive pile of climbing”. I don’t think I was even drunk at the time. This was supposed to be my 40th birthday treat and it’s just a massive pile of climbing. What sort of a birthday treat is that? A bloody stupid one.

  • Win Stuff

    We’ve got some great news. Schwag is back! Pledge (and donate) at least £5 and you’ll get a code to enter the prize draw. And we’ve got some great prizes, nine in total; keep reading to find out what they are…

    Your prize draw code will appear below if you’re logged in. Can’t see one yet? All you need to do is make a pledge; for further details, read on.

    You’ll need to log in or register and make a pledge before you can get a prize draw code.

    How it works

    1. Make a pledge of at least 15p per ascent or £5 as a fixed pledge.
    2. Come back here and pick up your raffle ticket.
    3. When you make your donation (minimum £5) via JustGiving, be sure to enter your prize draw code in the comment.

    If something goes wrong, like you forget to put your code in your JustGiving comment, then email us
    and we’ll do our best to help you out. As long as we can confidently trace your donation back to your user account on here, we’ll be able to sort it. (If in doubt, tick the “make my email address visible to…” box when you make your donation, because we’ll be able to use that.)

    We’ll draw the winners on (at least, no earlier than) Monday 20 July, so you’ll have a week after the event to make your donation and qualify for the draw. If you win anything you’ll be notified by email, and we’ll also put the list of winning tickets up on this page.

    Good luck!

    The prizes

    bontrager-logo-1

    Thanks to the wonderful folk at Trek UK, one lucky winner will receive not only a pair of Bontrager Velocis road shoes but also a Bontrager Velocis helmet to match. That’s a prize worth well over £300! The winner will get to choose the size and colour of both, including the awesomely loud “electric salmon” shoes.

    bontrager-prize


    roadcc-logo-1

    Road.cc is our favourite road cycling site, and the people who live inside it and make it work are so generous that they came offering prizes before we’d even asked.

    They’ve put together a bumper box of cycling goodies, including:

    • a Bontrager Flare rear light,
    • a Castelli jersey,
    • a pair of Lusso socks,
    • a Buff,
    • a T-shirt,
    • a box of Honey Stinger waffles,
    • a book about coffee (mmm, coffee) and
    • some “Cyclists Stay Awesome” stickers

    We don’t know how much that’s worth but it’s certainly worth winning. One lucky winner gets the whole box!


    <img class="alignnone wp-image-93 size-full" Fake Oakleys src=”http://www.lejourdefrance.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/castelli-cafe-logo.png” alt=”castelli-cafe-logo” width=”1080″ height=”242″ srcset=”http://lejourdefrance.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/castelli-cafe-logo.png 1080w, http://lejourdefrance.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/castelli-cafe-logo-300×67.png 300w, http://lejourdefrance.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/castelli-cafe-logo-1024×229.png 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 1080px) 100vw, 1080px” />

    We knocked on Castelli’s door because they’re great folks who make great kit. Simple as that. They’re offering a heap of spot prizes, including:

    • a Bellissima women’s top (S, RRP £70),
    • a Retro cap (RRP £15),
    • a Performance cap (RRP £20),
    • a Summer Skullcap (RRP £18),
    • a pair of Aero Speed gloves (XL, RRP £35),
    • a pair of T1 triathlon socks (L/XL, RRP £13) and
    • a pair of Free socks (L/XL, RRP £14)

    That’s £185 worth of top Italian wholesale nfl jerseys kit up for grabs! Schwagissimo! Each of these is a separate prize, so you’ve got seven chances to win some Castelli performance.

    The small print

    Prizes are only offered to UK residents. Le Jour de France 2015 participants and their relatives are ineligible for the prize draw. Our supporters have the right to withdraw or change prizes if necessary. No more than one prize will be given per code and no more than one code cheap ray ban sungalsses may be held per person: anyone found trying to obtain multiple codes will have all codes voided.

    Any questions? Just drop us a line.

    The draw

    We’ve now drawn our winning tickets! The following codes were confirmed by the closing date of 5pm Monday 20 July and went into the draw:

    P99D, P111D, P112D, P114D, P116D, P117D, P119D, P121D, P124D, P125D, P126D, P128D, P129D, P130D, P133D, P134D, P135D, P137D, P140D, P142D, ray ban sunglasses sale P143D, P145D, P150D, P178D, P136D, P138D, P139D, P147D, P151D, P154D, P156D, P161D, P162D, P163D, P165D, P166D, P168D, P172D, P174D, P175D, P177D, P179D, P180D, P183D, P184D, P186D, P190D, P196D, P197D, P198D, P199D, P200D, P203D, P211D, P215D, P219D, P212D, P218D, P220D, P222D, P226D, P227D, P228D, P229D, P230D, P231D.

    Each ticket was folded twice, placed into a tin which was shaken, and then drawn without looking. If you are a cheap jerseys conspiracy theorist and want to see the draw in action, here’s a low-res video of it. A high res version is available if anyone from the United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights or The Milk Het Marketing Board needs to apply a more rigorous level of scrutiny.

    The winning tickets are as follows:

    Castelli Cafe prizes:

    • Free socks: P184D
    • T1 socks: P125D
    • Aero Speed gloves: P228D
    • Summer skullcap: P143D
    • Performance cap: P220D
    • Retro cap: P138D
    • Bellissima jersey: P134D

    Road.cc prize:

    • Box of schwag: P218D

    Bontrager prize:

    • Velocis helmet and shoes: P178D

    We’ll be in touch with all the winners by email.