david Macfarlane

Share my page

I'm taking on an epic cycling challenge: Le Loop.

Le Loop follows the official route of the Tour de France, one week ahead of the professionals and finishes 21 stages later in Paris, some 3,400kms later.

In 2023 I will be tackling the Grand Loop which is ALL 21 stages of the tour de France route. Every participant commits to raising a minimum amount for the William Wates Memorial Trust (WWMT). The fundraised money is entirely separate from the participation fee - donations do not pay for my Tour which is a separate cost paid by me 

All monies raised go directly to the William Wates Memorial Trust whose mission is to help the most disadvantaged young people keep away from a life of crime and violence and fulfil their potential. This is achieved by giving grants to charities that engage young people through the medium of sports, arts and education.

It's been a tough couple of years for charities and particularly for young people. This is my chance to give something back and help support young people who aren't lucky enough to enjoy the advantages in life that most of us take for granted.

Le Loop is no small undertaking. Riding even ONE stage of the Tour de France route is going to hurt! Please reward my pain by giving generously.



My Achievements

My Updates

Why we Ride

Friday 21st Jul

As important to me as the challenge of Riding the tour, was the challenge of fundraising in support of the William Wates memorial trust and with your support you guys have knocked it out the park


I have been overwhelmed with the support and generosity you have shown, and I can assure you that the money will be put to good use by the charity to encourage young people experiencing severe disadvantage to keep away from anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, enabling them to fulfil their potential.


We were luck enough to meet 2 of the young people that the charity support on the tour. For both they had never been on a Plane, never been out the country so it was a big trip and both spoke eloquently about the change to their life the charities involved had made.


We were also joined on the tour by the charity chairman Andrew Wates who asked me to pass on his thanks for your support. I also managed to get a sneaky pic with Andrew !


Finally, I will now be applying for £500 of match funding from Wates Family Enterprise Trust (WFET) and with this the final total raised will I,m sure hit £9,000 which makes it all worth while


Many Many thanks to you all




Friday 21st Jul
I have added some photos of the last stages in the gallery below FYI 

The stages leading to Paris

Friday 21st Jul

The last week of the tour started with the time trial stage. This was a 22km stage which for the pros is a chance to gain some time on the leaders. For me it meant a short-day riding and some welcome additional rest time. Time trials are usually on flat roads but this year they even managed to include the Cote du Domancy climb into this stage


Next day was Stage 17 and the highest stage of the tour finishing in Courchevel, a popular ski resort. Just as we were having our evening briefing the night before and being warned about the incoming weather the whole of France went into a red Alert weather warning!!


This stage had the most climbing of any and my Garmin again came up with a new record for climbing in 1 ride with 4,367m of climbing completed. Fortunately, the weather held off for most of the day but the final 10k of climbing it came – Thunder, lightning, and torrential rain – I arrived at the hotel late, very wet, cold, exhausted, hungry but 1 day closer to Paris


Confusingly stage 18 was officially noted as hilly, but it only had 1600m of climbing – half the amount of the stage 1 hilly stage. It turned out to be a nice stage with no dramatic climbing and encircling a lake but at 185km and after the day before still took its toll.


The next day was a flat stage with 2200m of climbing (yes, I can’t work it out either ??) and was on Bastille Day so as we rode through the little villages there were at varying stages of celebrating the Holiday. It also meant there were local rider on the road who were all very friendly. Now all that stood between me, and Paris was the Ballon d ’Alsace an 11km climb of 5.2% avg and 4 or 5 other mountain climbs 110km more and I would be on the coach to Paris.


After the final mountain day ride was completed, we boarded the coach for Paris around 6.00pm – a hour stops for dinner halfway and we eventually arrived at the Paris velodrome hotel at 2.00am – the good news for us was the Paris stage didn’t start until 9.00am


The final day had arrived, and the mood had changed – our feed stops had upgraded to farm shop cafés and the 1st was after 20km of riding – next stop was at Versailles and another farm shop café in the Palace grounds


From here we rode to our final climb at around 66km – this was a 1.5km climb at around 10% – 11% and made every muscle in your body suffer, but it would be the final suffering – From here it was downhill into Paris and meeting our families again.


The skyline opened with the top of the Eiffel tower, and it was then that I knew I had made it


Vive le Tour!!


Monday 10th Jul
Hi all
I have e added some pics in the gallery below fyi

Le loop Terminology

Monday 10th Jul

I have been struck by the number of different ways riding uphill has been described whilst I have been on le loop .. These include 

  • The main climb of the day 
  • The climb before the main climb 
  • A lumpy section 
  • A couple of bumps 
  • A bit of a bump 
  • A bump 
  • A section of ascending 
  • Slightly sloping upwards 

And my personal favourite 

  • A section of false flat !

Le loop update from rest day 2

Monday 10th Jul

Hi Rest day 2 has come as a welcome break after completing another 6 stages of the tour. The second section had a sense of foreboding about it from the start consisting of a hilly stage , a flat stage , another hilly stage followed by 3 mountain stages !

I have come to learn that a hilly stage is very similar to a mountain stage just without a show piece mountain in the stage. There is still lots of climbing so much so that after stage 10 hilly stage my garmin came up with a new record for ascending in 1 ride. 

Stage 11 was a flat stage which saw us leave the Massif Central mountain area and head over towards the alps. The next day after an early start (5.30am) and a coach transfer we completed our journey to the alps on stage 12 with  another hilly stage , over 3000m of climbing and 172km of riding finishing in Belleville.

The next 3 days were mountain stages in the alps and to kick things off we were starting with the iconic GRAND COLOMBIER which first featured in the tour in 2012 and since become a favourite of the tour. 

Stage 14 and the weather was heating up with riders garmins registering temperatures of 41 degrees!  Stage. 14 and 15 were long days in the saddle making sure you kept hydrated , eating , and digging in on the hills. 

The other thing I have come to learn is the the average gradient published for a mountain is meaningless . An average 7% will have sections form 3% to 12 %. As you progress up the mountain they have km markers which tell you the average for the next km , and again these need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Many a time the sign would say 7%, but the tarmac in front of me was clearly 12 %. On the mountains in particular you just have to ride the tarmac in front of you. 

And on the subject of tarmac I must say the roads are brilliant with many being newly laid tarmac. On every ride we come across trams of roadworks / landscapers preparing the roads and verges for the pro,s 

Next stop Paris !!


Monday 3rd Jul
Hi all 
I have posted some pics in the gallery section of this page FYI

Le loop stage 1 -9

Monday 3rd Jul

Hi all 

Well I made it to rest day but if I’m honest I’m not entirely sure how. 

I started the tour in Bilbao with the first stage described as hilly and on paper it looked a manageable but challenging 1st stage .. it turned out to be a killer .. 32degrees and it seemed to be constantly up hill ..with a final climb at circa 13 % at the end. After this first day I really questioned what I had let my self in for and if I would make it. Fortunately I heard some other riders saying the stage had been harder than doing an Ironman !! This stage remains one of the hardest days I’ve had on a bike ever 

Into day 2 and the longest stage of the tour and I was starting to get into the routine of riding late , dinner ,bed , up at 5.30 for a coach transfer at 6.30 before the next days riding 

Day 3 and we had made it to France where we will remain for he rest of the tour.  The first mountains stages were in the Pyrenees with several classic tour climbs being ridden inc the tourmalet at a summit of 2115m .. there were several climbs over 1000m.

Following the climbs there was a flat stage which again on paper should have been ok but after to days climbing I struggled and was running on very low. 

The next couple of days I got a bit of rhythm and was counting down the km,s to rest day. Rest day afforded time for a slow breakfast a laundrette visit and a leisurely lunch as I prepare for the next stages of he tour. 

Friday 23rd Jun
Friday 23rd Jun

A message to my sponsors

Friday 23rd Jun

I as I commence my travel to Spain I cannot leave without expressing my gratitude to each and everyone of you who have sponsored me and supported me in what has been a long held ambition of mine to ride the tour de France route. I’m slightly pinching myself that it’s actually happening. 

As important as my ambition is the incredible work that the William Wates Memorial trust carry out and the sponsorship will be a massive boost to their fundraising . At the time of writing the funds raised stand at an amazing £7,200 Once I have completed the ride I will also get £500 match funding from  Wates Family Enterprise Trust ( WFET)  and I expect the final total will exceed £8,000

So before I even turn a pedal in anger it looks like the 2023 tour de France will be a great success. 

With thanks 



2023 Tour de France Inspiration

Friday 23rd Jun

As I look for some inspiration before the start of the tour out of hundreds of quotes, lots of helpful advice and riding tip , there have been 2 that stand out. 

The first is the most famous quote from Franklin. D Roosevelt

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself” – I shall use this to remind myself that at the end of the day they are just mountains even if they are big ones. I shall have a healthy respect for them particularly after my last blog on the descents. 

The second a little less famous goes to the reason why we do these things and comes from the inciteful Taylor Swift

Life isn't how to survive the storm, it's about how to dance in the rain.”

As I embark on my chosen adventure I encourage you to take some time out and consider the particular dance that you may like to do at some point in the future

Bilbao , Rain , and Descending

Wednesday 21st Jun

For those that don’t know it’s the modern tradition that the Tour de France Commences in another country and this year our grand depart will be from Bilbao on Saturday 23rd June 2023. This Basque region of Spain Is known for super keen cycling fans, rainy mountain weather and some steep technical descents which command respect.

Having checked the weather out it looks like Bilbao is not going to be rainy mountains and we are in for some glorious sunshine and 29 degrees for our 1st ride although the forecast seems to change each time I check!!

As I set off full of enthusiasm and an element of bravado, we have been subject to a timely reminder of some of the dangers of the tour. Many of you will have heard of the tragic loss of 26-year-old Gino Mader after a high-speed crash on a decent caused him to fall into a ravine.

Whilst I enjoy descending this has focussed the mind and the priority will be to ride safe. Professional riders will frequently surpass 100km while descending off high mountain climbs. I shall be making sure I descend within my bike handling capabilities

RIP Gino Mader   - so so sad  

Final Weigh -In ⚖️

Wednesday 21st Jun
Target - 68kg

Final Weigh-in 67.8

Result !!

Tour de France Highlights

Monday 19th Jun

As I commence my packing for the trip, I thought I would just share a few facts about the 2023 tour for those that might be interested. I have avoided doing this to date as when you see them all written down it does make you wonder …

2023 Tour de France by numbers:

  • 3,404 total kilometres

  • Total climbing / elevation gain 56,467 metres

  • 8 flat stages – (they are not flat !!)

  • 4 hilly stages

  • 8 mountain stages, 4 summit finishes

  • 1 individual time-trial

  • Longest stage: 209km (Stage 2- Vitoria-Gasteiz to San Sebastian)

·       The race will visit all five of France's mountain massifs. They are, in the order they occur, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Jura, the Alps and the Vosges. 

·       There are three new climbs: the Côte de Vivero (Basque Country), the Col de la Croix Rosier (Massif Central) and the Col du Feu (Alps).

·       The longest climb is the col de la Loze at 28.5km . It is also the roof of the tour at 2304m, just short of twice Ben Nevis

·       There are 21 stages, 2 rest days, the first after 9 days

·       The longest stage is on day 2


The professional event starts on 1st July 2023 and will be on ITV4 and Eurosport and is well worth a watch.


Bernard Hinault – The legendary French professional cyclist who shares the record for most Overall TDF wins with 5 when asked about amateur riders taking on the tour quoted -


An amateur should think long and hard before attempting one of these stages, 2 would probably necessitate a visit to a Doctor, 3 would require a psychiatrist – anymore and you should be checking that person has written a will.


It’s going to be a long 23 days …

Flat roads

Monday 19th Jun
Rode to Cambridge on Sunday to drop my bike off and thought for reference i would post my definition of a flat road and i'm sure the TDF version of flat will be a little different 

Birthday Present

Monday 19th Jun
Excellent Birthday present buying skills being displayed my Mrs Macfarlane clearly propelling me in to the category " all the Gear and No Idea " 

Final Bike Prep

Friday 16th Jun

As we speak, I have just picked up my bike from my trusty local bike shop after getting it prepared for the tour. With it being a relatively new bike, I initially thought this prep would not involve much beyond a once over check. Then I thought about it – The tour will see me cover 3400km – in my training I have covered just over 2500km- this combined milage is sufficient to wear out the maintainable part of the bike

So -the bike now has a new chain and a pair of new summer tyres – I’ll spare you the details but sourcing the right tyres and getting delivery in time has been a big issue so I’m glad I was prepared. It also has new handle bar tape which is a joy for any cyclist  

This weekend  I deliver my bike to a central location in Cambridge to be transported by the Le loop team to Bilbo. The next time I see it will be on the start line – it’s getting real !


The Climb

Wednesday 14th Jun

For those of you who read my blog on naked cycling you will be aware that I don’t ride with headphones so there is no musical accompaniment to my ride. However, to try and get some inspiration on the long climbs such as on stage 6 in the Pyrenees on the Col de Tourmalet with its 17.7 km climb at 7.3% to a peak of 2115m I may well belt out a song or two.  My go to song which I think you will agree sums up the experience is the classic from Miley Cyrus – words below.

For those of you that have ever heard my singing I think we can safely say that there is no musical   accompaniment to my Ride !!

I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I, I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments, that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, 'cause

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb



Stage 17 – Rendezvous with Hell – The Roof of the Tour

Thursday 8th Jun

An article on one of the stages of the tour I’m intending to ride with the heading Rendezvous with Hell certainly captures your attention! Stage 17 is in the Alps finishing in Courchevel which the skiers out there may be familiar. The stage is a 186km with 2 cat 1 climbs , a cat 2 climb and the final HC ( unclassified climb) the Col de la Loze – a 28.1km climb finishing at a height of 2304m.

I have ridded in the Pyrenees before taking on the col du Tourmalet a colossus of many tour so felt I had some experience but the more I read about the Col de la Loze fills me with trepidation - I have put some of the quotes below

The Cle de la Loze was originally a dirt track used for the maintenance of ski lifts until in 2019 when it was transformed into a surfaced road and in 2020 made its first appearance in the tour and already struck a chord as legend of the tour. This is to cycling , Wembley to Football, The Grand national to horseracing, Henley to Rowing, St Andrews to Golf  and Wimbledon Centre course to Tennis . On stage 17 I will be very much aware I am following in the footsteps of the great – I hope it doesn’t break me!!

“it’s a horror without equal, a pass with an unprecedented profile, a kind of open -air Hell “Bernard Hinault

“I’ve rarely suffered so much on a mountain pass “Primoz Roglic

“At moments I wondered what I was doing there” – Bryan Coquard

“you have to switch to survival mode and stand on the pedals as hard as you can to keep moving” Valentin Madouas   

It's Getting Very Real

Tuesday 6th Jun
It's June , my souvenir Tour de France magazine has arrived  and it's 18 days to the start !

In search of Rhythm in Yorkshire

Wednesday 31st May

It’s May, It’s Monday, so it’s another bank holiday and an opportunity to fit in a ride. This bank holiday saw me take a trip up to Yorkshire to try out some hills. The event was a Velo 29 Ride Yorkshire starting in Thirsk and incorporating 2,421m of climbing along the 170km route. The climbs were a mix of relatively short steep killer climbs, long steady climbs, and some excellent downhill sections which were a blast, and there were a lot of them

To put the climbing into context Ben Nevis peak stands at 1345m, and along the 170km route of this ride we climbed nearly 2 Ben Nevis’s. The ride was well organised and proved to be a good training event for Le loop and a chance to get my rhythm right on the hills.

There are 2 basic techniques of attacking the hills – option one is to select the highest gear you can and grind it out with powerful pedal strokes, and option 2 is to spin your way up the hill. As I only have limited power available, I am very much a spinner, but you still need to get it right. Too low a gear and you look like a circus act and burn up all your energy and progress is slow. Too high a gear and you veer into grinding it out territory. In the middle is the technique you are seeking where the pedals are turning in one constant circular motion generating kinetic energy taking you up the climb without sapping all your energy.

There were a number of climbs where I managed to achieve this which is important as when on the tour many of the climbs are over 10km so you need to find a rhythm, but there were also the short sharp climbs  where it was simply a case of grinding it out !!

Naked Riding

Thursday 25th May

Don’t worry this is not what the title might at first suggest and I’m not about to offend large numbers of the rural French population. The concept has transitioned from running and is about the liberation from phones, headphones, and tech whilst running / riding

For a lot of runners, the thought of doing a run and not having it recorded on Strava with all its analysis seems alien. Doing the run free of tech and for the mindfulness alone is often not why they set out. Runs are done to be recorded and not just to feel the wind in your ears. To run without measurement would mean having to self asses if you were faster or slower than last time.

For some headphones are as essential for a run as a pair of good trainers. Lots of time is spend downloading playlists designed to be paired to the mood, energy levels and even the weather for each run.  It provides motivation during the run that enables the runner to get through it

With cycling, I have always been wary of using headphones from a safety point of view and ride without them so this will not be an issue. The headphones will be left for hotel room use.

During le loop I will have my Garmin to record my ride but that is as far as the tech will go. There is a whole host of tech and analysis that will not be coming with me such as

An Electronic map of the route, measurement of cadence, power output, heartrate, VO2 max, Pulse Ox calories burned, and time to destination, amongst others.  

This will leave me free to enjoy the moment. I’m sure there will be stages where I’ll be questioning my sanity, but I am hoping there will be many more life affirming moments with great views and hot sun.   

Bank Holiday Weekends

Wednesday 10th May

The current round of BHW provide a great opportunity for all to have a break from work and do sometime enjoyable. Now depending on your viewpoint “something enjoyable” can mean very different things. For me it’s an opportunity to ride – some long rides and back-to-back rides on consecutive days or so I hoped - My wife saw the BHW as the opportunity to get all those jobs in the garden that need doing done!

So, in the spirit of compromise last bank holiday out came the pressure washer, the garden shears, the lawn edger and scarifyer. Garden furniture refreshed and paving cleaned, and I still managed to get some riding in.

This left the coast clear for the coronation weekend for more riding. On Sunday I entered the RIDE RUTLAND sportive. This was an 167km ride described as undulating which is always a worrying term! This was a great event well run and with the bonus that the sun came out. On the Monday can fit on another 75km ride in the morning again just before the rain came

So, the bank holiday did end with me completing something enjoyable and am looking forward to planning the same for the last bank holiday before I depart

Peeling back the Layers

Wednesday 12th Apr

Winter riding ( which is any ride before the clocks change!) is a case of putting on all your layers as you head out into the cold. This usually consists of a thin base layer, a thermal base layer, a thick cycling jersey and a waterproof jacket. This accompanied with a neck warmer, winter gloves, and overshoes prepares you the best you can, but you still know that at the end of the ride you will be cold, your extremities will have lost any feeling and your ready for a hot drink.

Eventually come summer, this gives way to the ideal cycling conditions enabling you to ride in a top, shorts and fingerless gloves – Bliss. But between these 2 dates is the period that you peel back the layers and guess the conditions. On a good day setting off early can mean a temperature range between 5 degrees early morning and if your lucky 18, 19 degrees by the end, and rain is never far away.

This brings a whole different level of kit including waterproof Gilets, Insulated Gilets, removable arm warmers and leg warmers, cycling jerseys of varying thickness, and any number of packable rainproof and windproof jackets. This combined with your winter kit means you end up with enough kit to fill  a non -league football club kit room and finding stuff is an artform  

 Get it wrong and you will be colder than any winter ride or overheat more than any summer ride

The new Bike

Friday 31st Mar


Friday 31st Mar

 Having taken delivery of the new bike the test now would be after 10 years of riding my old bike would the new one deliver. The first important thing about a bike to cyclists is …. The colour - and how does it look!  I had no choice with the colour which is Matt black a popular colour with cyclists but one that personally I’m not keen on – so what about the ride

The bike is a BASSO, an Italian brand that still makes hand build carbon frames in Italy and 80% of a bike’s capabilities come from the frame. The other main difference from my old bike is electronic gear shifter, disc brakes, and 28mm thick tyres.

Having ridden the bike for a few outings now I can confirm it is an exceptional bike. The 28mm tyres give a great level of comfort and the electronic gears means I can change gear whilst going up hill without fear of the chain coming off.  I had drafted a load of superlatives about the bike and the ride but have instead decided to let Alcide Basso moto that is on every bike sum it up – Ride Perfected.

Whilst originally when the bike arrived I must admit I was not overly impressed with the colour, once I have ridden the bike it could be any colour under the sun as it’s an outstanding bike to ride


Wednesday 22nd Mar


Wednesday 22nd Mar

 This Sunday at 1.00am in the morning the clocks go back an hour and Sunday marks the start of British Summer time. Whilst I’m not expecting tropical heat or layers of sun cream to be needed next week for cyclists (and many others) the clock changing is a game change.

 It opens up so many more opportunities to get the bike out of the garage and onto the road. A post work ride of say an hour and half can be completed without having to prepare for a ride home in the dark. And after a week or two it’s easy to find that you have a stepped increase in the time spent riding, or in cycling training terms – Training load. And this is the top of the inverted pyramid of things to do to improve perform and fitness as detailed in the uploaded image  

The clocks changing will enable the transition from the Gym to the road although for fair weather cyclists like me I’m sure April showers will mean plenty of visits to the gym for a few months yet. 


Thursday 9th Mar

It was a normal Tuesday morning and I was on a Teams call – my phone flashed up with a call – Bristow’s Cycles-  I made my excuses on Teams and took the call – there was the possibility of a suitable bike – the frame geometry had been checked and was a good match to my bike but he needed to check a couple of measurements so asked if I could call in and take my current  bike.

Checks done we found that on one measurement based on the published data had only 5mm of tolerance which is not enough for adjustment. The plan was to phone the distributer and assuming that they had the bike built take and actual measurement for checking –

 An agonising 24 hrs later the result of this was an actual tolerance of 15mm which is amble.  Deposit paid, and I have a bike on order with the biggest cog having 34 teeth, so I will now officially have no excuses for not making it up the hills! – I await delivery with anticipation  

The Crazy Bike Market

Friday 24th Feb

After another visit to my bike shop, we have concluded the best solution for this ride is a new bike. But that is where the problem starts – my bike shop doesn’t have any bikes.  The bike industry is suffering supply issues in the same way as the car industry with long waits for new bikes.

 There is another local shop that will do a bike fit for you and select a frame and build a bespoke bike – after an initial consultation I realised that I would not be walking out with any change from £8k with this option so did not proceed. Next, I looked at Canyon an online brand who make some quality products at more reasonable price point or so I thought – whilst the entry price is £2,700 by the time I add the right spec to get me up the hills the bill is nearer £5k – and it’s not available until April 2023 at the earliest! – The one that is available is you’ve guessed it £8k. My local bike shop is going to continue the search for something suitable that won’t break the bank – here’s hoping 

January Weight watcher

Friday 3rd Feb
So here it is .. my last reading from the month long WW I have been doing with work. Not quite down to the 70kg target I set myself but nearly 5kg gone. Unfortunately for WW real life kicked in with a weekend trip to the Lakes and too much enjoyment of the good local food on offer!


Wednesday 1st Feb

As I work on my fitness my thoughts have turned to my equipment. I have concluded I am going to need some mechanical assistance with the mountain stages of the tour. My bike is an Italian frame bike with Italian gears from Campagnolo which is an excellent bike and rides very well on the roads near me which are generally Flat.

 The issue is the biggest gear is a 25 teeth cog. The more teeth on a cog the easier it is to pedal. From my rides last year in the lake district and Yorkshire I have worked out that anything above about a 17%, 18% gradient and I won’t make it up.

The solutions are either get fitter (easier said than done) or get more cogs with more teeth – as a minimum a 32 teeth cog.  Having visited my bike shop it turns out this is also easier said than done. More cogs would mean a new derailer, which would mean new levers, which would mean changing the breaks etc, etc which all means £££££.

The other alternative is a shiny new bike which also means £££££ - perhaps the fitness option is where my focus should be – back to the Gym it is  

2023 Training commences 173 days to go

Wednesday 11th Jan

Happy new year to you all. My new year has started with a realisation that 173 days may seem like a lot but I’m sure it will go in a flash.  I have decided to break down the remaining months as I prepare for the ride into what I hope will be bite size chucks

January will be basic fitness training , long runs  and weight loss – I have joined a weight watchers group with Wates for January which has a weigh in each Friday which should help with the motivation – this combined with Dry January makes an interesting start to the year !!

I suspect February will be more of the same with possibly some short rides if the weather is kind

By March I should be in the saddle and getting some regular rides in and increasing distances , with the plan that during  April and May I will get some hill riding training. This will leave the beginning of June to ease off ready for the 23rd June Grand depart

Here is the picture of my first weight watchers post ( in kgs) which I will update at end of Jan 


Wednesday 14th Dec

After my introduction to incline setting on the treadmill, I reflected on the training that I do at the gym. It became clear that although I was regularly getting to the gym, I would gravitate to the equipment that I liked using, - Treadmill, rower, static bike, and avoided those that I didn’t- anything with weights attached! And there was no real plan other that changing from rowing one day to running machine the next etc

Having seen the green shoots of results in my running from my incline training I decided hep was needed and a proper plan. The gym included 3 wellbeing sessions where I can discuss goals and outcomes I want to achieve together with timescales. With Le loop being 3500km of cycling in June 2023 my goals and timescales were quite specific.

After discussing these with an instructor it was clear that I was missing out on strength training. So, the Instructor has given me a weekly plan that now includes 2 sessions of strength focussed training. Initially I will implement this plan for 2 weeks and have a review. It looks like for the next few weeks at least there will be no avoiding those weights


Monday 28th Nov

AS part of my preparation I have joined a local gym, and noticed they had a 40min Running Club. Intrigued by what this might involve I signed up. I turned up at the appointed time and appeared to be the only one there – turn out it’s not up and running yet and I should not have been able to book – The Instructor who was just finishing a class came over and said don’t worry, we’ll do half hour of hills on the running machine…

So far, my running training on the treadmill has been the Forrest Gump approach – Get on – start running and stop when I’ve had enough. It turns out there is an Incline setting which goes from 0 to 15. The instructor’s suggestion was 1min flat, 2 mins at level 5, level 10 and level 15 and repeat 3 times.

I set off at a steady pace and was comfortable for the 1st   and 2nd levels, level 10 became a challenge, and at level 15 I lost all power of speech to respond to the instructor’s comments. Somehow, I managed to complete the set.

The next day to acclimatise to these newfound Incline settings I did the same levels but this time at a walking pace. The instructor was confident after a few sessions my running would improve. The following Saturday I did my usual parkrun and managed to get my fastest time for this year. So, despite the pain there is some merit in changing my training style from the Forrest Gump approach

the 2023 Route is anounced

Friday 28th Oct

the 2023 Route is anounced

Friday 28th Oct
the 2023 route was announced on Thursday this week and the Guardian comment was  
Mountains and more mountains, but fewer chances for the sprinters characterise the men’s and women’s 2023 Tour de France routes that were announced in the Palais des Congrès on Thursday.

so with me living in the flatlands of Peterborough my training will have to be inventive and include some travel 
Some of the highlight of the route include ascents such as the dreaded Col de Joux Plane and the mighty Col de la Loze, the men’s Tour also includes the Puy de Dôme, the winding road to the volcanic peak last used 35 years ago, overlooking Clermont-Ferrand
Below is a map of the route with some locations the skiers amongst  you might recognise 
onwards with the training !

Great Yorkshire Sportive

Monday 3rd Oct
My training commenced in earnest with my first long ride on 1st October 2022. This was a 170km ride ( 180km for me due to a wrong turn !) The day started well with early morning sunshine and calm conditions as we left York heading towards the coats at Scarborough. As we approached Scarborough area the wind really got up with the tail end of Hurricane Ian making an appearance with the result there were a number of riders that did not finish . After a difficult last 50km eventually made the finish back in York 

Thank you to my Sponsors


Jb Structures Ltd

Best of luck David From all at JB Structures Ltd


Touchstone Consultants

Good luck Dave!


Game Engineering Limited

Good luck with the ride David; hope the training goes well. From all at GAME


Moortown Group Ltd

Best of luck with this epic challenge for a great cause.


Aden Contracting Ltd

Best of Luck David - What a fantastic way to fundraise for such a great charity. From all at Aden Contracting.


Warhurst Bourne

Great Effort Dave, The Best of Luck form all at WB!!!!!!


Ecs Power & Control

Good luck from ECS Power & Control Ltd


Procom Construction Consultants

The very best of luck from all at Procom!


Adrian Corrigan


Rosemary & Mick

Great effort for a great charity x


Stephen Howard

Hope all goes well David - an amazing effort.


John & Claudette

Good luck David. Enjoy the experience for a great charity.


Nicholas Drew

Good luck Dave


Gowing And Hunt Ltd

Good luck David, from all at Gowing and Hunt Ltd


Tracey Macfarlane

What a wonderful event to get involved with - Enjoy the training x



Pa Collacott And Company

Good Luck for this amazing challenge


Ryan Liversage

Good luck David, a fantastic achievement


Paul Griffin

Great charity and fantastic effort !! Best of luck




Simon Vernon


Mike Bilko


Damon Cutler


Sig- Dave Carlson

Good luck from SIG


Nick Jones

Good luck!!


Rhona And Peter Brown

Good luck David on your mighty challenge.


Brian & Jill

Well done on completing the tour


Laura Free

Good Luck, what an amazing cause. From all at WJCL


Andy Norman

Bon voyage Macca


Steve Yazdabadi

Good Luck David - impressive target!


Finlay Macfarlane

Good luck tubs!


Claire Webb

David, Best of luck to you! From Claire & The team at Sunbelt Rentals


Maria Coyle

Good luck Dave, we look forward to following your progress!


Andrew Grudzinski

Good luck!


Konstantinos Parsalidis

I'm rather jealous! Good luck with it! Allez, allez, allez!


Philip Bradshaw

Good Luck David!


Brad Henderson


Sarah Pepper

Good Luck!! It sounds like it's going to be amazing!!


Deana Soper

Insane and epic! Wishing you all the very best for this amazing challenge!


Dom Hattee

Excellent effort Macca. Chapeau.


Sarah And Luke Hutson

All the best in this epic challenge Dave! Keep us all updated!


James Nutting


Neha Patel

Good Luck!


Steffan Battle

Well done on an incredible achievement Dave. Great cause.


Julie Pask

What an amazing challenge you excepted and completed. Absolutely brilliant. Well done David.


Josh Burns


Andrew Stevens

Good Luck David!


Shane Forte

INSANE! Good Luck


Kiet Mckenna

Go David!


Jane Moody

You got this David 🚴🏼‍♂️👏🏻 We will be thinking of you Jane and Simon x


Robin Marsden

Wow - total respect, Macca ! Beats riding to and from work everyday. Trip of a lifetime - what a cracker ! Just brilliant.


Phil Shortman

Good Luck mate...


Connor Corrigan

Good luck with Le Loop, I hope the haircut made you a bit more aerodynamic! Allez David!


Holly Macfarlane

Good Luck Dad!


Victoria Whelan

Best of luck with your Epic Challenge!


Carol Cowley


Steve Humble

Good luck Dave


Kevin Bolton

Good luck David!


Alan Slade

Well Done Dave! What a FANTASTIC adventure but more importantly a GREAT achievement together with great memories! WELL DONE! Al


Amy Taylor

What a challenge 👏🏼 good luck!


Jeremy Wagge

Good luck David. I cannot image cycling either the distance or amount of climbing in one day let alone over 21 days.


Brendan Doran

absolute utter madness......but well done and cant wait to follow your 21 days




Kapil Panchal

David, congratulation on your great achievement.


Josh Kinsey

Good luck david!


Alice Macfarlane


Carl Nicholls

Best of luck Dave


Christine Sillis


Brett Marsh




Teddy Reeves

Well done Macca! I wouldn't drive that far let alone bike it


Anna Watkins

What an amazing challenge, I'll look forward to the updates!


Lisa Doran

Good luck Dave! Will be thinking of you. Hope all goes well and you can enjoy the scenery whilst enduring the pain!


Ian Vickers

Flying the flag for Yorkshire & rhubarb.


Martin Ely

Lets hope you don't meet a Sheffield Wednesday fan on those hills!


Jane Mill

Epic challenge, good luck from us both x


Mr Christopher Daws


Olivia Brown

Super Proud x


Stuart Cleworth

Good luck Dave.


Gary Hall


Natalie Sibthorp

Best of luck!


Jamie Judge

Good luck, Dave. I'm tired just reading about the stages...


Glenn Dundon

Good Luck David


Janice Colvin

Congratulations on your amazing achievement.


Steve Metcalfe


Jennifer Reilly


The Wilmots

Go Go David! Awesome achievement!! (Especially for a 60 year old!!)


Jamie Young

Well Done Macca!


Pam Bahra

Good Luck Dave


Daniel Martell

Bonne chance!


Jenny Inwards-cole

Good Luck David. Tough challenge but sure you will enjoy.