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You don't need fancy kit to ride TdF, says man who completed it on RALEIGH CHOPPER

1970s children's bike made it round the Tour route - and even Team Sky were impressed...

The man who rode the full route of the Tour de France on a 1970s Raleigh Chopper has said that he did the charity ride in part to prove that you don’t need the highest tech equipment to complete the gruelling challenge.

Dave Sims, a 36 year old personal trainer, rode the children’s bike for 117 hours this month, a 15.9kg Mark 3 Raleigh Chopper with a single chain ring, two pointless tennis balls and 38 reflective spokey dokeys. He has however modified it to give himself a choice of eight gears, rather than the standard three.

"One of my main things is what's more important, the rider or the bike?" Sims told the Daily Mail.

"I'm a huge believer in the engine. I couldn't win the Tour de France on a kids' bike, but I wanted to show people that if you do the right things you can do amazing things on a cheap bike."

Man riding Tour route on Raleigh Chopper receives support from Chris Froome and Team Sky

He said that the experience was agonising, however, and took its toll physically.

He said: “It was just pure exhaustion and fatigue, my body just said that's enough. I was feeling pretty lousy on Sunday, my camp site was on actually the course and I couldn't get out of bed to watch it.

“I finished the last stage in Paris and all the excitement and adrenaline wore off I guess, it's certainly taken it's toll on me. I'm just under 11 stone now and I'm usually 12, so I feel pretty lean.

“I was hoping to raise £5,000 for Help for Heroes but it's on £6,500 now and still going up every day." [at time of writing it is now over £7,500]

"I met Dave Brailsford and he had a go, and some of the riders did as well," Sims said. "It was quite amazing seeing them on the Chopper, it was all a bit surreal."

He now aims to return to the Alps later this year with his Chopper, to ride the Tour's Alpe d'Huez mountain stage nine and a half times, the equivalent of cycling up Everest.

As we reported last month, shortly after Sims finished stage 18, he received a video message from Froome, who said: “Just wanted to wish you luck in reaching Paris. Team Chop has done a fantastic job up until now. I’m pretty impressed you made it this far, but you’ve still got to get up Alpe d’Huez. Hope to see you in Paris.”

Sims was riding two days ahead of the race and therefore had first-hand experience of what’s to come for Froome and the other riders. Expressed via Twitter, his view of stage 19 was simply: “Ouch.”

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Edinburgh Festi... | 8 years ago

OK, lets see if he can do the Transcontinental on a Chopper next year, or is that too harsh?

harrybav | 8 years ago

That's a feat! Mind you, mark3 IS fancy kit compared to the Mark2 the other guy did Ventoux on in 2004!

barbarus | 8 years ago

What a wetty, 8 gears on a chopper! What is the world coming to?

gazza_d | 8 years ago

No special gear, apart from legs of steel

DrJDog | 8 years ago

One stage was hard enough for me!

ElFugitivo | 8 years ago

Incredible achievement! I remember riding with you for an hour on the Tourmalet in Etape 2014 befor the weather closed in. You weren't worried about going up the hills - just the descents with the dodgy brakes on the chopper!

Fantastic guy and a fantastic achievement. Well worth supporting the charity too!

nowasps | 8 years ago

Outstanding achievement.

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