I’ve put together the list of everything I think we need for “Les 4” to participate and came up with a total budget of a little over €8,000. You may check the full details in this spreadsheet, but here are the main things to consider.


The critical piece is to get “Les 4” to Lyon where La Dalmaisienne starts. This is especially challenging for Christine and Jacques-Alexandre who live in North America. Alexis needs to come from Paris and Grégory from Geneva. We need a budget of €2,500 to €3,000 for that, that is over a third of the budget.


Even though Papi had to make do with a poor bicycle, we need a good road bike for this. Frankly I’d love to ride a carbon fiber bicycle like the one I enjoy riding so much in California, but that would not be reasonable. So we should go for a decent aluminium road bike, such as the Spego 110 1.4 (for men) or the Capricia 28 (for women).

From there, it’s all about safety (first) and lightness.


In my experience commuting every day by bicycle, drivers simply don’t see you unless you literally beam flashing lights at them and scream loud. That’s why we need both front and rear lights with flashing LEDs, as well as a loud bell.

Kudos to Spurcycle for their amazing bell [I was a happy backer of their Kickstarter campaign].

Obviously, a helmet is required, but no need to get fancy there.

At a minimum we need a spare tube for each of us, a pump (those CO2 pumps are fast and light, although I never tried them yet…), and an emergency kit for possible bruises…

We’ll need snacks and lots of water!… but we don’t need to carry a reservoir on our back, we will be able to refill our bottles at villages every few miles.


Once safety is covered, it’s all about being comfortable, efficient, and light. After a good bike, the next most important thing is the pedals. Good Shimano pedals really make a huge difference. Of course we then need special shoes, but here we don’t need to get the really expensive ones that save a few grams… Those Shimano shoes look pretty good and affordable.

Given that the journey is going to be pretty long and mostly flat or slightly climbing, I’m tempted by areo bars, but not sure what to expect from cheap ones…


Next comes the clothing, and here we really need to have the right stuff if we want to enjoy a pleasant journey rather than suffering like hell…

I’d like to make some custom designed high quality jerseys [under investigation].

We need really good shorts with strong protection for our big old fat butts [no offense]…

It will be very hot in the day, so we need to start early, when it might still be chilly. Leg and arm warmers are really good to get started and easy to pack when you no longer need them. A windshield jacket is light, easy to pack, keeps you warm and not only protects from the wind but also from early morning moisture.


We want to keep light and avoid carrying backpacks. I think we should be fine with just a frame bag and a saddle bag. That might even be more than necessary…

Just for fun

On top of that I’d love us to bring a Go Pro camera, and even one of those new Zano drones coming out…


This all sounds good, but how are we gonna pay for this? I’m thinking Kickstarter… [more on this soon]

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