The Etape du Tour organizers have come up with a start system that, although making a great deal of sense, could be a major hassle for me.

They start you based on previous results in the Etape, or other recognized races, I think. There’s probably an age calculation in there too, but I’m not sure. Anyway, what this means for me this year is that, because I hadn’t had any actual results at the time of registration, I get the honor of starting my Etape career in the back of beyond – bib number 8124, to be precise. There are going to be 10,000 riders, so, if my training has taken me as far as I think, there’ll be a good amount of traffic to get through.

If any of my good readers see this number (hopefully passing you!), say hi. If you are passing me, I’m going to be very depressed.

14 thoughts on “8124

  1. Hey Gerry. Start closer to the front. 8000+ people is a lot of traffic to navigate through. Better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. If you start too far forward, it’s easier to slip back to riders that cycle your pace than to weave up through the pack and risk clipping someone’s wheel.

  2. I’m 3588 – but maybe they start from the back? Or all the odd numbers first?
    Let’s see what the setup is – maybe we can both start from my area…

    • Aussie Tim is one thousand something, so I’m pretty sure they are starting the fastest first. But yeah, let’s see what security is like. It’ll be bloody early, so maybe I can slip by!

  3. OK … time to bring out the heavy guns….u need a fire truck siren…..everyone will pull over to the right as you pass with your lights on and horn a blazin…..just a nice polite wave as a thank you …. you should be up tp the front in no time…..caution,effort, strength, and patience will work best for you …… go get ’em young man……good luck

  4. Hi Gerry,

    many thanks for your blog. I travelled over for Act 1 from Perth, Australia and frequently before and during swore I would never do it again. Maybe there is some scientific reason as to why the finish line changed my mind…Looking forward to next year, might even try the Gran Fondo Campagnolo.

    Your blog is also great for showing friends and family, amazingly some people who know nothing about cycling know about the tour and some even thought I was in it. A bit mischevious but I don’t mind them thinking that for a moment or two..

    Thanks Gerry.Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Tony,

      Incredible the distances people travel to take part in the Etape. I will keep counting my blessings while I live in France! Let me know how your decision-making goes for the Gran Fondo. I’m also thinking about doing one in Italy next year.

      Yeah, my wife’s mom probably thinks her son-in-law rode in the Tour de France as well. I don’t want to break her heart by telling her the truth.

      By the way, I have a little history with your hometown. I stayed there for a couple months way back in ’95, then the winter in Pemberton, working on a vineyard. Shoko and also did a ride from Perth to Albany a few years ago. Here’s the blog article, if you’re interested.


      I loved my time there and probably would still be there if Australian Immigration had thought better of me (they’re smarter than you think!).


  5. Hi Gerry,
    thats epic, and you survived the wildlife as well. I learnt (from experience…) that midgies are one of the worst forms of life. The little buggers urinate on you causing a skin infection..I work in port Hedland where they all come on holiday in summer, not nice. Apparently you cover yourself in vegemite, they hate the Vitamin B. I’d just rather stay inside. Anyway good read, thanks.

    Have had some great winter breaks in Pemberton, last time was when my kids were little and I was throwing rocks in the bushes and telling them it was the bunyips (mythical aussie creature). They still think it was real. Another bit of harmless mischief.


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