Mike rides the FireFlies Tour
Mike rides on the 17th annual FireFlies Tour in aid of Bloodwise cancer research.
Weds 21st June – Day 8: Col de Vence and down to Cannes 84km, 1563 meters height gain
Final day. One last push up the Col de Vence, before tracking down to the coast in full sunshine. We rode as a team into Cannes, down la Croisette to the sound of whistles, cheering and a massive cow bell (nice one Rani!). It’s been an INCREDIBLE journey. The FireFlies 17th Tour – 1000 km, 27,000 meters climbing, 8 x 12hour days in the saddle – done! HUGE thanks to my fellow riders, everyone who helped support, organise and donate along the way. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but easily one of the best, mainly down to the spirit and camaraderie of the FireFlies crew. #Biglove #ForThoseWhoSufferWeRide x x x x x
Tues 20th June – Day 7: Col de la Bonette 150km 3174 meters height gain
So today there was only one climb but as it is the highest pass in Europe, it’s the biggest climb possible. The Col de la Bonette is so called because the road that snakes around the top of the mountain resembles a Witches Hat. Italy used to lay claim to the highest pass in Europe, until the canny French dumped some rubble on top of this mountain and tarmaced it!
Monday 19th June – Day 6: Col de Montgenvre, Col d’Izoard, Col de Vars 136km 4137 meters height gain
Last night we crossed into Italy, staying in Oulx, a beautiful small village with narrow cobbled streets.
Two more classic climbs, the lunar looking Izoard and the baking hot Vars, meant we rolled in after another 11 hours on the bike. Despite the heat (it was 35C again) and nearly being taking out by a marmot at the top of Col de Vars – today was AWESOME!
Sunday 18th June – Day 5: Col du Lauteret, Col du Galibier, Col de Telegraph, Mont Cenis 170km 4627 meters height gain
Today was another brutal 13 hour ride. Stunning scenery and snow up the Galibier, an incredible decent off the Telegraph and then a misty climb to Mont Cenis before descending into Italy. Bravo!
Saturday 17th June – Day 4: Rest Day
A rest day in La Grave. Thank goodness. A day to recover, stretch, climb to 3200m in a cable car and do some washing!
Thanks to Ross Hallard @ Trim for the pic.
Friday 16th June – Day 3: Col de la Madeleine, Col du Glandon 150km 5266 meters height gain
13 hours in the saddle. Today was monumentally tough. 2 x huge climbs, the Madeleine and the Glandon were tackled back to back in unrelenting 35C heat. It was today that the cameraderie and encouragement from fellow FireFlies and the support crew made the difference between crumpling in a heap on the floor and getting to the end. Massive thanks to everyone for their support today – I couldn’t have made it without you.
You can watch a 2 minute version of the entire day here. The yellow dot shows the speed we travelled at – slow up the wiggly switchback climbs and super fast on the descents.
Thursday 15th June – Day 2: Col des Aravis, Col des Saises, Cormet de Roseland 132km 3900 meters height gain
A beautiful day climbing 3 x mountains with blue skies overhead.
Thanks to Alicia Bamford at Queen of the Mountains for the pic.
The lake in the shadow of Cormet de Roseland was stunning and even tempted a couple of FireFlies to take a lunchtime dip.
Wednesday 14th June – Day 1: Col du Corbier, Col de Joux Plane, Col de la Colombiere
An excited FireFlies swarm left Lake Geneva this morning, climbing up into the foothills and readying themselves for 3 big climbs of the day. A small deviation was needed to get around a rockfall but we were soon back on track.