Le Tour Trial: Week 11

Reporter Jonathan Brown with David Stainthorpe, owner of Cyclesense in Tadcaster. Picture by Tony Johnson
Reporter Jonathan Brown with David Stainthorpe, owner of Cyclesense in Tadcaster. Picture by Tony Johnson
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Tour de France reporter Jonathan Brown has decided to saddle up and ride the 190km stage one route from Leeds to Harrogate in a single day in June.

The challenge has been set in a bid to raise money for the charities behind Wheatfields and St Gemma’s hospices in Leeds, which support people with life-limiting illnesses.

With the help of training-pro.co.uk coach Tom Barras and cycling firms Wheelbase and Cyclesense, the 25-year-old has agreed to an eight hour weekly training plan and is writing a weekly training column.

To donate to the St Gemma’s collection visit www.justgiving.com/letourtrial or for Wheatfields see www.justgiving.com/letourtrial.

WEEK 11: I’ve spent more time in pain on a bicycle in the last two weeks than ever before.

My last three rides have taken me a combined 125miles, and along the way I’ve done everything from buy Rice Krispies Squares in a state of exhausted desperation to scream inside while riding a stretch of the A59 being passed by lorry after lorry.

I definitely feel that I’m on the way to being ready for my cycling judgement day next month but as an outsider looking into the world of amateur riding, I’ve developed a few bug bares.

Why don’t some people wear helmets? If you’re dressed head to toe in unflattering Lycra and sweating profusely, what is so uncool and embarrassing about wearing potentially life-saving headgear. I don’t understand.

It’s like dressing head to toe as an astronaut and then deciding the headgear is not necessary because you don’t like the look of it – what’s the point?

I might well be getting more comfortable on the bike, but understanding the helmet phobia is beyond me.

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