Cycling is a world of brands, from the names of the bikes people ride to the names on the clothes that they wear and the accessories that they carry.

How refreshing was it to find a bike box named after itself and the bloke who makes them. The love of my life is safely packed into my “bikeboxalan” (that is its name!) and is currently being loaded onto the plane for my departure to the UK.

I found it strangely more emotional giving my bike over to the baggage handler than saying goodbye to Robyn. I have justified this by saying that I know Robyn will be OK, we have been separated before, the bike and I haven’t.

Having grown very fond of my bike I think she deserves a name. I know of other blokes who have had their bikes named by their wives, as they felt that the object of their husbands  affair needed to be named and shamed. Robyn has yet again demonstrated why she is the right women for me as she has been encouraging me to give it a name (I still don’t know if she is chuckling away behind my back at these indulgences , or if she really has bought into the whole lunacy)

So with more thought and conjecture than naming either of my daughters I have decided to call her “Dame Edna”. I needed something that was suitably Australian, and apart from the obvious, Sheila or Matilda, the only other option was to call her Kylie. The thought of throwing my leg over Kylie at 5am was a little too much for me to handle, I don’t encounter any problems thinking about the name Edna.

So  my Cervelo R3 has been christened Dame Edna, the boarding pass has been signed and I wish her well for the flight and a loving reunion at Heathrow.

I am going to attempt to blog a little more regularly during my trip so you can keep upto date with the progress I am making. You can  check out the TDF website at


This calendar year I have cycled 6,379km  (most of them around Sydney), spent 254 hours on my bike and climbed 75,000 vertical meters.

I have been spending on average 42 hours per month pedaling, or the equivalent of one full working day per week.

All of this and I still don’t know If I feel ready for the 1,000km that lay ahead of me through The Alps.

As my departure date is getting closer there is not a lot more I can do. The Tour de Force  kicked off this weekend and I will join it in 14 days.

The first pictures from Corsica look warm and sunny, my ride today was in the cold and the wet. I hope this is not an omen of things to come.

So a few more rides (weather permitting) and I will be heading off to the UK on Thursday. I have a week of catching up with friends and family, a few rides planed and then it is on to France.

In the past I have been accused of talking a “good game” but rarely getting out onto the pitch. Well there is no backing away now.

Could I have done more training, probably, could I have held off on the red wine a little more to assist in my ascent of the bloody big mountains, absolutely.

Could I have spent more money buying equipment and cycling paraphernalia, no way. When you add it all up I think it may actually have been cheaper to have gone with the more traditional mid-life crises of buying the sports car!

I just keep reminding myself that the ride is for a good cause, nobody made me do it and to enjoy every km, hour and vertical meter that I ride.

Go on, make a donation at  to a very worthwhile cause The  William Wates Memorial Trust