Saturday, 17 July 2010

Stage 16

Definitely the hardest day I have ever had on a bike, by quite a margin. What was always going to be a very difficult day was made much harder by the weather, see below. The weather slowed all the descents dramatically due to the wet roads and the fact that I was descending in thick fog, the visibility was down to around 10 metres at best. Once again even in these terrible cycling conditions the SKINS cycling clothing performed superbly, I don't think they could have been more severely tested on this trip. I've had everything, searing temperatures, wet, freezing cold, high humidity and they have coped with anything that has come their way.

Amazingly to me I arrived at the end in decent shape and I don't feel done in and tomorrow is a rest day! I'm just now starting to believe that I might make it to the end of this adventure if lady luck continues to take care of me. After the rest day there is one more mountain stage to go and then things, though still very challenging, start to look a little less daunting but there is still a long way to go.

So far I've cycled just under 2000 miles, with one day of rest. It's surprising what you find out about yourself doing something like this, you can actually dig far deeper into your physical and mental reserves than you might think possible, that's one of the many lessons I have learned from this journey.

Well, I'll probably write up a little more about today tomorrow during the rest day but I'm off for some sleep now, thank you for dropping by.

Photographs from Today:

Cute couple in St Marie de Campan.
St Marie de Campan main street, the start of the climb of The Tourmalet.
Summit of The Tourmalet.

Today's Weather:

Unbelievably horrible. Low cloud throughout. This meant ascending into rain and thick fog and then descending in the wet in freezing cold. I have never been so cold on a bike. The ascend – get wet, descend - get frozen cycle was of course repeated for each of the four big climbs of the day.

Ride Time: 13:10hh:mm
Work Done: 5548kJ
Training Stress Score: 397
Intensity Factor: 0.575
Normalised Power: 175W
Variability Index: 1.37
Ride Distance: 123 miles
Elevation Gain: About 16,000 feet
Maximum Power: 523W
Average Power: 128W
Average Heart Rate: 111bpm
Average Speed - True: 9.3mph
Acute Training Load: 263.5
Chronic Training Load: 151.4
Training Stress Balance: -101.4


  1. What a day! Chapeau for making it!

  2. Well Done!!!! Holy moses TSB= -101.4 I can only imagine what that feels like.

    Hang in there almost home!

  3. Unbelievable, I cannot even imagine the pain and discomfort you're experiencing - really magnificent effort.