Etape du Tour – (cr)Act 2

Hullo faithful friends,

now that i’m able to lift a finger to the keyboard without fear of collapsing, i can convey some sincere thanks for your support and generosity over the last week.

we’ve managed to raise almost £1,000 for Plan and their work in Kwapa, Uganda, in a very short time.  i’ve been incredibly touched by your show of collective munificence, so thank you again.

the ride itself was epic: nearly ten hours in (or around) the saddle, four and half of those climbing, and almost the same amount of time under rain.  the descents were slick, exhilarating and, once the fingers began to fail from the cold, more than a little worrying.  but what an amazing feeling, plummteting out of the clouds alongside a select group of lycra-clad nut-cases (proving there’s still some truth in the old proverb about shit and hills).

i managed to place respectably (1476 out of 4696 starters) from a position fairly far back in the pack (i was a little too honest when answering the questions about previous experience).  When i commented to Tash that next time i would do whatever it took to start near the front, i was met with a gaze of such withering intensity that i quickly realized i’m not likely to be hitting anyone up for funds again, any time soon.

so, there’s some further evidence, if you can be arsed, in the shape of:



you’ll be pleased to know, none of these show me in a particularly flattering light.

with thanks and salutations.



p.s. tomorrow (Wednesday’s) stage of the Tour will follow our exact route — Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon.  it would be nice to see the views on telly that were hidden by clouds on the day, but, if i’m honest,  i’d probably rather the pro’s got served a heaping plate of rain and suffering.  is that so wrong?

On 8 Jul 2012, at 11:13, jay johnston wrote:

Dear All,


after turning over the question of the dreaded fund raising email in my mind for some time, i’ve decided that i’m going to make a nuisance of myself after all.


Next Saturday, I’m due to haul myself over four French mountains as part of the Etape du Tour.   if folly has a name, it’s 200 km’s of riding through the Pyrenees over the course of a single day, with going-on-for 5000 m’s of climbing.


It seems silly not to parlay that kind of suffering into something beneficial.   also, given the training, diets, early mornings and long stints of boozelessness, it has become clear that i’m unlikely to attempt something this brainless again any time soon.


Jake, Noah and I have been raising money for Elvin Etyang, his family and wider community in Kwapa district, Uganda.  Elvin is eight and lives in a mud and thatch house with his parents and sister.  He fetches water for the family from a borehole,  and attends primary school at another village 45 minutes away from home.  The nearest health centre is over two hours away.   through Plan your donation would help fund health and education facillities, livestock programmes and water projects in and around Elvin’s  village.  Although we haven’t set ourselves a fundraising target, we believe that every little bit helps.


So, if you can spare even a small donation, pls visit our Just Giving page:


otherwise, i will let you know if i manage to survive the Pyrenean adventure, and perhaps afterwards, a photo or two will manifest itself by way of proof.


thanks for listening.


jay, jake and noah.