As the departure date comes closer, here’s a quick checklist for you all. Don’t leave home without these things ticked:

  1. Pre alps training. Burpees: burp By now you should be able to do 100 of these before breakfast. Here is a simple test: Get your bike, remove saddle and replace with nettles. Now stand on your bike while clipped in, preferably naked. You should be able to maintain this pose for a minimum of 8 hours. Ask kids to bring food periodically.  No selfies.
  2. Your bike
    1. Tires. Go large or go home. Aim for at least a 4.0. Use a small metal file to make space on the frame if necessary.  Zip-tie extra spokes to hub for added support.
    2. Brakes. brakeAs above. Consider adding another set of calipers. This will require some welding. Strap extra brake levers together with aforementioned zip-ties. Remember kids – vented and drilled.
  3. Riding position. When in the Alps its easy to want to look at the scenery. Like sheer cliff edges. Or cows, or bees. What you should do: Don’t look. Simples.
  4. Lube up. The harsh summer sun at high altitude is a killer. Protect yourself, and others by liberally smearing yourself with Deep Heat. Go for the commercial size tin. Avoid sensitive areas.
  5. Gorilla tape. Be one with the bike. Clip in and get a friend to help strap feet to pedals. Carry a sharp pair of scissors in pocket in case of quick exit requirements. Don’t run with scissors.
  6. Air compressor. 4.0 or bigger tires should be running approximately 1540psi atair 10,000 milliamps.  Industrial air compressors are readily available from Asia. Consider employing the services of a Sherpa (experienced riders go for two). Don’t forget to tip well.
  7. Clothing. Don’t be fooled by expensive body armour! Doctors hate this one simple trick! Get a used wetsuit – should not smell of urine – Get in, and finish with a light breathable sumo suit. Available at all reputable novelty shops.
  8. First aid kit. It’s not a wound, it’s an experience oyster. Clip back in, Lucy.
  9. Cash. Budget well. Remember, according to the British Cycling association, Mountain biking costs approximately £5 per mile. You cant afford this lifestyle anyway.
  10. Always carry your mobile. Try and set as many KOM’s as you can on the uplifts. If you own a blackberry, carry spare change for the telegrams. Stop.