Later this month I will participate in the 8th edition of Climbing for life, an annual event to raise money for charity by running / cycling uphill.
I’ll climb two “Cols” of the 1st category in the Vosges region in France.
Friday August 30th: Ballon D’ Alsace: 11 km with average grade 5.8%
Saturday August 31 st : Planche de Belles Filles : 7 km with average grade 8.7%
You may know both these cols from the 6th stage of the Tour de France 2019 which finished on La Planche.
I’m riding with a group of some 35 unicyclists, participating under the name “Vosges Unicycling 2019 against muco” .
Muco is short for Mucoviscidose, the Dutch word for Cystic Fibrosis.
CF is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestines.
Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections.
There is no known cure for CF, the money raised by the event goes to muco.be for care and research for those affected by CF.
This unicycling initiative was started by Stefan Vanaudenhoven, of http://unicycling.be
Stefan is a true multi sport athlete (iron mans, channel rowing, unicycling) who has already unicycled at Climbing for life several times.
Note: Most of the group members did not have any prior unicycling experience when they signed up.
They spend 7 months preparing for this event; from not being able to ride at all to becoming one-wheeled mountain goats.
It is truly amazing to see how these riders have developed themselves since the beginning of the project.
Some people rather quickly turned out to be naturals, making unicycling looking so (too?) easy while some others really struggled.
But now, with less than three weeks, the vast majority of the group can confidently look ahead to a unique experience.
And also the strugglers can rest assured, no man / women will be left behind! We will finish these climbs as a team.
With our participation fee for Climbing for Life we’re already supporting the charity but off course we would like to raise some more money.
If you feel like supporting our initiative; feel free to make a donation.
Donations can be done directly via the secure link:
Alternatively you can contact me for donations, which I will collect and combine into a single donation on the project.
Or just send us your thoughts and positive energy.
More information regarding our project can be found at the below links:
https://www.facebook.com/samenbewegenvooradem/ (in Dutch)
A short feature on Ring TV (in Dutch)
Climbing for life :
The initiative has been supported by Qu-Ax by offering a reduced price for the Luxus 24” unicycles plus an extra set of longer cranks and a free T-shirt to boot.
As I already had a 24” unicycle I just got the T-shirt : )
I’ll be using my 24” Muni with the standard Duro Wildlife Leopard 3.0 tire and 145mm cranks.
The heavy knobby tire will not make things easier but hey, this is not meant to be easy, right?
Lately I’ve been riding a lot of uphill, mostly on-road, in preparation for the event and it is amazing how my stamina has improved.
Plus I shed over 10kg of body weight but most of this is compensated by the heavier unicycle and my habit of carrying a backpack full of stuff.
Image: Part of our group during the 1st Stage of the Tour the France passage in Herne.
We rode part of the Tours track between the Advertisement cars and the Peloton.