The Tour de France 2008
John Pryor undertook a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for A.D.D.E.R. earlier this year, the following is his own account of the experience.
"Each year I join 3 friends to attempt one of the hardest stages of the Tour de France cycle race. The route of the tour varies each year and this year we enjoyed the challenge of one of the longest climbs - the Tourmalet. Climbs are rated from the early days of the motor car, category 4 means that cars could summit the climb in 4th gear, category 3 in 3rd gear, etc. HC means Hors Categorie and in the early days of the motor car this meant that cars could not manage the climb! This year we endured 2 HC climbs.As usual, enthusiasm was high for the start in Pau where nearly 7,000 amateur cyclists were ready to start. There was a fine rain over the race area, which began at around 5.30 a.m. and called for special precautions. It took nearly half an hour for everyone to cross the starting line. There were many punctures as grit stuck to tyres and a few crashes as people lost grip on the slippery roads, although thankfully none on the steep descents.
"With the persistent rain throughout the day and average temperatures of about 15 degrees C, I found the conditions better than in previous years when the thermometer had reached 40 degrees C. I was pleased with my performance: I finished 3,280 with a time of 8 hours 7 minutes, so about half way through the field and I look forward to aiming to improve my standing next year. The most significant point of the route was climbing the Tourmalet, which is the biggest summit of the Pyrenees and the finish Hautacan climb".
I think you will all agree John was very brave to take on this challenge and very kind to help raise money for A.D.D.E.R. at the same time. Thank you John for a great effort, you have raised a great deal of funds. If you would like to make a donation please go to www.justgiving.com/etapedutour-adder