Alps charity riders' naked ambition!
Published 17 Jun 2011 08:30 5 Comments
VISITORS to the French Alps could be forgiven if they report seeing seven crazy, middle-aged Scots cycling by in their birthday suits.
It's no small feat but luckily for the Dunfermline men involved - considering it's a bit chilly on the highest road in Europe - it only looks like they're pedalling in the buff.
The seven friends, Sean Doran (46), Paul Makin (47), Sandy Fraser (49), Olivier Camy (39), John Weir (49), Stephen Small (50) and Douglas McPhail (56), have specially-made cycling suits and the near-naked challenge is to try to raise £10,000 for the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign.
Sean laughed, "They are quite unique suits and they are pretty thin but they are proper cycling suits, with padding in all the right places.
"We've not worn them much in Scotland because it's been cold when we've been in training, although Paul did get whistled at when he cycled through Kelty wearing his suit!"
The Dunfermline group will be joined by 10 of their French friends and colleagues on the charity cycle but face a stiff challenge with a 500 kilometre route, including a 6000-METRE climb, from Lyon to Nice to negotiate.
The route takes them on the Col de la Bonette, a mountain pass between France and Italy that Sean said was "the highest paved road in Europe" at around 2700m above sea level.
He said, "It started out as a group of guys that would go cycling at the weekend and it's gone from there.
"We went round the coast two years ago, last year we did Oban to Ullapool over a couple of days and we recently went over the highest road in Scotland (at Applecross) so we wondered what we could do this year.
"The biggest part will be the climb, it's the highest paved road in Europe and the French lads have said it should be free from snow by now!"
Sean and the team clocked up 100 miles-plus ona recent weekend in preparation for the cycle and he smiled, "My wife thinks it's a mid-life crisis!
"But I'm quite a big guy, I was on tablets for high blood pressure before I took up cycling and I'm not on them any more. It's very enjoyable.
"We're all really looking forward to it although it's going to be tough and the air will be thinner the higher we climb.
"My nickname is 'The Sweep' as I normally bring up the rear but it's not a race and it's all for a good cause."
The group will get in the saddle on Saturday and aim to complete the task within a week.
If you'd like to donate, go to www.justgiving.com/MAMIL-Col-de-la-Bonette.
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