Friday, 13 June 2014

Day Three - it's a Monster

There are a large number of climbs in the Alps, as you'd expect, and a few of them strike fear into the heart of many a cyclist. Three of those are Col De Madeleine, Col de Telegrah and Col de Galibiere.

We rode all three today. The stats were eye-watering - 140k with 3,880m of climbing.

The good news was that we got away with some great weather - even at the top of Galibiere it wasn't raining. Awesome descent from the top right into our hotel.

The map and profile look like this -  

It's hard to describe the pure pain I felt as I finished off the climb to Col de Galibiere -it gets much steeper for the last 2k and after about 6 hours in the saddle I was truly knackered.

There's a pic of me at the top and it's not pretty.

More to follow.

Day Two - starting to get serious...

We all knew that Day Two was going to be tough, and it was.

We summited Commet de Roselend on a beautiful day...


and still had some more climbing to do. We've been incredibly lucky with the weather and have some great photos to prove it - they're just not ready yet.

As soon as they are they'll go on here...

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Day One of the Tour

 Day One started with a round of Fireflies photos (which will be posted later) and a general showing off of camera equipment (it is a production-based event after all. The winner of best photo-bling was Barney with his quad-drone mounted camera...

The Fireflies Drone prepares for its maiden flight
Unfortunately it all went a bit wrong and the drone crashed into Lake Geneva on its photo-joutnalistic foray. Here you can see Barney has jumped in to rescue it. 

The Fireflies Drone is rescued from a watery grave

Meanwhile all the bikes were being tweaked and polished ready of the first day. The day was posted as being 126k with 4,000 meters of climbing. 

For the uninitiated - that's a big day.

The Trusty Steed - hand built by Italians!
The first climb of the day was Le Joux Plane - sunny and clear it was all going so well...
The Author on top of the first real climb of the Tour
And then we got to the top of Col de la Colombiere. This is a legendary Tour de France monster and really took its toll. As we reached the summit the clouds came in and it started to rain. A very hairy decent in the wet.

The Author (looking a lot more knackered) on top of the big climb of the day
Col de al Colombiere

The whole gang on top of Colombiere...

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sponsorship options

To get your name/logo onto the official Fireflies Tour jersey is an expensive option.

To get onto the unofficial Phil Edmonds Fireflies Tour shorts is not...

  • Bronze = £50
  • Silver = £100
  • Gold = £500
  • Platinum = £2,000 (own the shorts!)

The simplest and easiest way to sponsor me is through my sponsorship page -

Please give generously.


What is The Fireflies Tour?

A group of riders drawn mainly from the film and advertising industries are gearing up to take part in the 14th annual Fireflies Tour that will see them cycle 1,000 kilometres through the Alps from Geneva to Cannes with the aim of taking the amount they have raised for a cancer charity to beyond the £1,000,000 mark.

I’m one of those riders.

The first Fireflies Tour took place in 2001 when five cyclists rode through the French Alps to raise money for the Catherine Lewis Centre at London’s Hammersmith Hospital, raising an impressive £100,000 between them. Since then, the sponsorship total has risen to £800,000, bringing the magical seven-figure barrier into sight.

The challenge, whose motto is “For those who suffer, we ride,” was dreamt up by Jake Scott, Adrian Moat, Nick Livesey, all directors at Ridley Scott Associates Films. That trio was joined on the inaugural ride by Tim Page, head of TV at Young & Rubicam, and ski instructor, Chris Haworth, who given his knowledge of the mountains, helped develop the route.

The end of the ride was timed to coincide with the Cannes Lions Film Festival, which is focused on young, up-and-coming directors and crew and the film advertising industry, as it has done each year since.
The following year, nine cyclists took part, and each year since then, the numbers have swelled to the point that when this year’s ride gets under way on 8th June 2014, there will be no fewer than 60 people setting off on the full itinerary, which takes in some of the classic Alpine climbs made famous by the Tour de France, and on the way we’ll be joined by a further 90 cyclists taking in parts of the route.

Each rider commits to raising £2,000 sponsorship for Leuka, a charity based at Hammersmith hospital that facilitates research into leukaemia.

So, why the Fireflies Tour? Well, there’s a story behind the name, and it’s a pretty evocative one too. “One night on the second year we had to descend the final mountain, Col de Turini in the dark,” explain the organisers.

“The moon was hidden and none of us had lights. As we entered the forest it became virtually impossible to see. Suddenly thousands upon thousands of Fireflies appeared, hovering above the road, as if to guide us through the darkness. It was the most magical thing you've ever seen. As we came upon the first town light they vanished and we were safe.”

That alone would make for an interesting backstory, but there’s more: “What's incredible is the gene that allows fireflies to glow is helping researchers track the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs. Much like it helped us descend the mountain.”