• 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

     

  • Introducing Le Géant

    Welcome to Le Jour de France 2015! Continuing our tradition of biting off more than we can chew, we seven fools have decided to rip our own legs off on one of cycling’s most notorious mountains, a true bête noir, Mont Ventoux, on Sunday 12 July.

    Unlike previous years where the route has been fixed and our challenge is to complete it—whether inside of 24 hours or simply at all—this year’s event disregards ability and just keeps piling on the misery.

    We’ll be chasing the rewards offered by the Club des Cinglés du Mont Ventoux, but we’ll be going further. If you pledge your support for each ascent we manage, we’ll be compelled to keep slugging our way up le Géant de Provence. Any successful climb that starts before midnight counts towards the team total (currently predicted to be 31 climbs), and you surely need little imagination to contemplate the unattractiveness of facing yet another gruelling 1600m climb when it’s cold and dark and the legs have nothing left.

    You can help drive that misery. You can help destroy our legs. And in so doing, you’ll be helping to fund the incredibly important work of Amnesty.

    Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for updates on the day (and, of course, before and after), and we’ll try to bring you one or two things to read on here as well, including an introduction to the team.

    On behalf of Amnesty, but most certainly not on behalf of our legs, thanks for your support.