With Ed away on his jollies these past two weeks it’s been left to me to steer the good ship Milltag. It’s been pretty hectic with plenty of custom orders arriving in time for the Summer(?!) but a real pleasure to get to know some of our customers, what a lovely bunch you all are. Anyway, the captain is back on Monday with tales from the exotic East just as I leave these rainy shores for that notorious hotspot, the French Pyrenees.
On Monday I start the Raid Pyrenean, a 720km jaunt along the entire length of the Pyrenees, starting near Biarritz on the Atlantic Coast and finishing on the port of Cerbere on the Med. Along the way we climb all the big beasts of the Pyrenees; the Aspin, Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Aubisque, plus most of the small (at 1000m) ones as well. The Raid is officially validated by the French Cyclotouring federation and this particular version, the ‘Touriste’ allows a maximum of 100 hours for the ride, with control towns to pass through and stamps to collect just like a UK Audax. The time allowance may seem generous, it allows for a decent sleep and feed each evening, but with 3500+ meters of climbing each day I think i’ll need it. We’ll be supported by the team from Marmot Tours, another little luxury after the previous years Audaxing. By the sounds of things we’ll need a full set of winter clothing for the high passes and descents, they’ve only just cleared the snow off the top of the Tourmalet. I’ll be modeling the full array of Milltag product; shirts (a different one for each day of course), jacket and even our ace new caps from Walz, plus making a film as a companion to last year’s ‘Towards the Ocean‘. You’ll see it here first.
I’d like to have done more training, who doesn’t at this time of year – I saw Wiggo nail the time trial last night in France, what a legend, he’s done 100,000m of climbing in training this season alone and is the clear favourite for the Tour now. I’ll never be able to ride a bike like him but as he goes up the Tourmalet in July, in yellow and with overall victory in sight, I’ll be able to share just a little of the pain, and, lets hope, the jubilation to follow. Onwards then, forever onwards.