Planning the Tour La France

It is Thursday again, so I have to put up a Throw Back Thursday blog post. I don’t want to end it there because it is almost that time for the Tour De France. This year I have my designs on my own ride… Tour La France.

First the TBT post…

cf-lgI’m Back was published in early July 2007. It tells the story of my first ever century ride. Like many of my rides, it was solo. That week was also a time for me to post a review on my first ever Garmin in Riding with the Edge. It was the Garmin Edge 305.

That’s where I’ve been. Now for where I’m going…

Each month Strava presents challenges for users to aim for. There are typically challenges for climbing, distance, and sometimes time. Then there are those “Adventures” they throw in now and again… like the one below.

The next time you set out for a long ride, check out the country road you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t made time for, have a friend show you a whole new area, or just ride until you get yourself lost.

Whatever you do, go on an adventure and try something new. Record your ride – which must be at least three hours long – and snap a few photos along the way. If you love to write, send us the story of your adventure . We’ll feature our favorite adventure tales on the Strava Blog and send the lucky author a pack full of Strava gear.

With July underway, I figured I’d better get busy on my challenges! It would be nice to knock a couple of them out at the same time. I’d need to ride 80 miles to get the Gran Fondo 130 badge. The Adventure Challenge needs to be over three hours. Those two I could combine, but the Alpe d’hues Climbing Challenge doesn’t start until later in the month.

Adventure-cycling-2-v1Actually, the biggest challenge would be finding “the country road you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t made time for.” Knocking off an 80 mile route wouldn’t be that hard. I could ride up to East Flat Rock and back and be done with it. The problem is I’ve done that plenty of times.

So I turned to another Strava feature. I’d try out their Route Builder. It is a beta feature that I had tried before and did not like. The route tracing tool was clunky and it kept trying to take me ways I didn’t want.

However, that was sometime ago. I figured I would give it another try and aim down toward Anderson. While I have ridden that direction before, I could probably count them on one hand. This is more uncharted territory for me.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 8.33.47 AMAs I looked at the map, I noticed a tiny “town” called La France. I chuckled. That would be a good route to ride during July. I’d call it my Tour La France.

The initial problem was that a direct shot there and back would not equal 80 miles. I started playing with the mapping tool by grabbing waypoints and moving them to other sections of road I found interesting. This time the tool was working.

By playing around and expanding the “loop” from Greenville to La France, I was able to equal 80 miles. While I doubt it will take me the 5.5 hours that the software says I’ll need, I’m certain I’ll get in the 3 hours required for the Adventure Challenge.

Yes, I’ll be taking some photos and video. I’ll obviously write about it as well. I’m not expecting to  win “a pack full of Strava gear.”

Anyone interested in coming along? It would be a self-supported ride and I’d probably average 16 – 18 mph. I can be flexible on the actual day — except for Sunday.

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About Jonathan Pait

Jonathan started riding mountain bikes in the early 1990s. After discovering the ride can start at the end of his driveway, he moved to the road in 2006. Little did he know that first pedal stroke would lead him on an adventure that has become much larger than the bicycle.