Morning Tash Appreciators,
Some of you may have caught snippets of the Giro d’Italia, which began in Naples last Saturday. It’s one of the three grand tours (a race which covers an entire country over three weeks) and is arguably tougher in terms of climbing than its more famous brother to the north of the Alps.
Pictures sometimes speak a thousand words and so the difficulty of the race is perhaps best shown by a shot of the Tash-toting winner of the “flat”, 206km (128 mile) stage 5:
That guy had just ridden for 4 hours and 37 minutes which, coincidentally, is about the same time that reasonably strong riders will take to do this Sunday’s Etape Caledonia. For the amateur rouleurs of Scotland, the Etape is a tough test: 130 km and approximately 3,300 vertical feet of climbing.
As seems to have become a custom in recent years, a few Tash appreciators are taking the test on. One poor sod is even doing it for charity (thereby relieving himself of any way out of packing it in if it snows or there’s a gale force wind). In the spirit of charity, TF urges you to throw a couple of Pounds, Euros, Dollars, or whatever your native currency is, the way of his Just Giving page (all proceeds going to Marie Curie):
There have been statements on various social networking websites that TF tshirts would be given to all of those who donate. Alas, a restricted budget means that the tshirts can only be offered to those who make a donation of £100 (or the equivalent in euros, dollars etc) or more.
The guy doing it for charity asked me the other day what he should be taking with him for the ride. He was particularly keen (perhaps a bit too keen, come to think of it) on knowing whether chamois butter (which one may use to prevent “saddle sores”) was worth using. I can answer that question here and, again, a picture is perhaps useful:
When one is attempting a long bike ride, a few things are important: a bike, food, water, spare inner tube etc etc. However, one must always take whatever steps are required to avoid a sore… Graham Gooch:
Have a great weekend folks – spare a thought for the poor lads and ladies attempting the Etape on Sunday (which starts at 6.30 am)!