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Tour de Cargo Progress

par Gert Lill sur July 20, 2022
As you may know, our custom-made polkadot cargo bike is on a journey through the route of Le Tour de France. Romet is going hard on this journey and we managed to catch up with him for a brief minute, to chat about his progress.

If you want to read more on how it all began, read more about it in this blog post.
Ott riding his Polkadot bike

What has been your route so far? Have you made changes to your planned route? 

The route has been pretty straightforward. Cop to cologne to the alps. 
I haven't planned my route. I just choose a new destination every morning and try to reach it.
Regarding changes in plans. My one goal was to reach the Alps and go up Huez on the same day with the tour. When I was a day away, I realized I had mixed up the dates. The tour would conquer Huez on Stage 12 not July 12 as I thought. So I did some replanning and I managed to see the tour on Stage 11 too. Telegraphe and Calibier combo with a fully loaded cargo bike was exhausting. Of course the crowds, the atmosphere and the heat made me go above my threshold and I nearly burned myself out.

How many hours of sleep do you get? 

As every day is different from the last, there is no one answer. The tent I have with me, isn't very good and I only get a good nights sleep on rare occasions. I'd say on average I get about 5-6 hours of sleep.

How many km and hours per day have you been riding?  

The distance is directly influenced by  elevation gain, wind, heat, my general well being and any issues I have with the bike and gear. I ride by feel because in a marathon like this I cant over do it, but on a good day I'm moving at least 8 hours. All the rides are on Strava, and I'll do a recap on Instagram once I'm home.

How many rest days have you had? What have you been doing then? 

The only real rest days I've had, were in Cologne 5-7 July. There I was contemplating on quitting, because I injured my ankle and the bike wasn't fitting me, so my hands became really numb. Even now my right hand isn't working properly. 
There have been 2 other "rest days". Where I ride half the day, get to an airbnb, have a proper cleanup of myself, my clothes, the bike, try to fix any issues with the bike, go shopping, have a proper dinner. I usually end up going to sleep even later than usual, but those days are so useful to reset everything.
Romet holding his tour de france cargo bike

Have you encountered any surprises - what kind? Any wild animal? Any act of kindness by someone or anything like that.  

There's a lot of wild life all around, but nothing unusual. One morning a deer family almost tackled me when I was going down a hill. Also, I just encountered the most aggressive mosquitoes of my life. 

Little acts of kindness are sprinkled all over the trip. When I was met by the mosquitoes,  I ran to the nearest restaurant and the people there were very helpful and gave me many tips and shared their repellent.  

The other day I was camping near another camper and their fridge had broken, so they had some extra food to share, so we had a nice dinner together.

How does the bike feel? 

I actually really enjoy riding this bike. Especially when it's empty. The cargo box makes it sound like it has deep carbon wheels, so I feel even faster. Haha.  
Fully packed bike has a nice bounce to it and smoothes out many of the road imperfections.  

I love electronic shifting. It just works without issues.
Sadly, my position on the bike isn't great and with long days like these, it gets really difficult. 

My biggest grief are the tires. From day one I've had trouble with them.
Would've been nice to have a couple of other items on it to make this bike a real touring king, like mudguards, dynamo lights and a stretchy cover for the box.

Are you on schedule, will you make it to Paris on time? 

I'm quite off schedule, because of the replanning and heat. Also it looks like I have to go check out the Pyrenees to get enough kilometers. Only time will tell how far I'll get. 

Seems like Romet has put himself up to a huge challenge, but takes it like a champ, and we love to see him pushing the limits. Lets all wish him the best on the second part of this journey and in case you want to see what's going on daily, make sure to follow @letourdecargo and @hagenbikes on Instagram.
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