Category Archives: Biking

Spot the difference?

Spot the difference?

Starting off to Les Gets 2009
Ride 2013
Ride 2013






I thought it would be interesting to compare my two rides to Les Gets. The first ride was in August 2009 where I rode the 767 miles and in the saddle for 72.6 hours over the 10 days it took.  This time in August 2013 I travelled 774 miles with 76 hours in the saddle but over 13 days.

The biggest differences are:  I’m now 6% older,  4% lighter but  now carrying the tent and additional Danube guides etc in the two panniers making the bike weigh a total of 44 kg , in 2009 it was probably about 25kg .

So although my average moving speed has only dropped from 10.6mph to 10.1mph (5%) the actual ground covered each day has gone from 76.7 miles to 59.5 miles a 22% reduction 🙁

For the rest of the journey from here to Zurich and then down the Danube to The Black Sea I’m very tempted to dump the tent etc and revert back to the saddle bag.  However we will see….

Here are the tables, click to enlarge:

2009 bike ride stats
2009 Ride
2013 ride
2013 ride

Cambridge to Les Gets 2013 route


Using the Adze programme I stitched together all the GPS trails for my ride to Les Gets.  Each day is given a different colour. There are a total of 25,471 points over the 761 miles (about 53 yards apart)

Clicking on the map will download a file that you can open in Google Earth taking  you through the route in minute detail.

Here is an example taken from Google Earth when I was in Gray, debating whether to stay or carry on.


Day 13 – Final day into Les Gets

I finally made it to my apartment in Les Gets 13 days after leaving Cambridge &  with 76 hours perched on my Brooks B17 saddle. Total distance covered this time 774 miles (1237km) which means when moving I was averaging about 10mph.

The day was very tough for me, as the profile shows:



I’m not going to get any speed prizes though. For the Route des Gets climb I came 295th out of 295 on Strava 🙁

WTF A Brompton overtook me!The most humiliating part of the day was when a guy on a Brompton steamed past on me on the climb out of Morez. I was going to ask him how many pedals he broke doing a 200 metre climb – but he was gone..

The most amazing part of the day is that there were NO trucks at all on the N5 mountain pass. Have they been banned? or don’t they like all the roadworks. Whatever the reason it’s a great benefit to we cyclists, the biggest danger was the cars lugging their wide camping trailers.

Here is the Strava for the day:

Strava_Ride___Le_Pont_de_la_Chaux_to_Les_Gets 2


The days pics are here.

And here is an overview of my spreadsheet:


Day 11 Marnay to Hotel des Lacs

I think I’m going to need a pilot’s checklist before setting out each morning! Today I forgot to turn the Strava app on until I cycled over 6 miles 🙁 plus the cadence meter obviously was knocked out of alignment too, as Strava didn’t record my cadence.

elegant benchA pleasant day for biking although it’s getting really quite cold in the mornings. The Hills soon warmed me up though.  I loved the ultra smart cycleway that abruptly ended at the start of the Jura department. I admired the totally over the top Saline Royale gateway. Plus the rather gorgeous looking public benches in Ranchot. In Mouchard there was a lovely wooden telephone kiosk . I enjoyed a lovely lunch in Arbois. Then the climbing started…..

I gave up when the Hotel des Lacs  hoved into view. The N5road was getting on my nerves plus the 1600 feet of almost continuous climbing  was taking it’s toll.

The Strava data is here (shortened by 6.2 miles):



The pictures are here

Tomorrow will be the worst in many ways as it will mainly be up & down lots of BIG hills on very busy roads 🙁