Friday, July 11, 2014 – 8:00am – Tours

For many days we regularly watched the weather, and we knew that the weekend would not be very sunny. But we couldn’t begin to imagine the weather that we would have to endure! I took the train to Evian, the starting point of the crossing of the Alps. I had to cross Paris, a journey made easier thanks to Peli and the iM2500 with in-line wheels and telescoping handle. So I piggybacked my Peli 1520 and I immersed myself in the subway!

Saturday, July 12, 2014 – 12:00 – Evian Les Bains

Once Thierry and Simon’s bikes were assembled and prepared, they took to the road with 676km of mountain road stretched out in front of them! I got in the car with all my media equipment and we set off. My goal was to quickly get myself in front of or behind the riders as well as to take the lead in order to photograph them in the vastness of the Alps. The first few kilometres were under a few clouds, until the sky quickly darkened. The two riders then cycled continuously in the rain. Whenever I was set to take a photo, I was grateful to my Peli case for being completely waterproof! As soon as I captured my video clip or picture, I could store my equipment in a dry case!

The first night was horrible. Rain, fog, cold… Not one sign that we were in the middle of the summer. The guys were terribly cold.

Julien Boulanger 2

Sunday, July 13, 2014 – 2:00am – Col de la Madeleine

On the top of the Col de la Madeleine, we found a refuge where we could light a fire and warm up the whole team. The descent was again in the fog and rain. We couldn’t see more than 5m in front of us. The daybreak was greeted with pleasure, and with momentary relief from the rain. Sunday was the day of alternating rain and sunshine.

Monday, July 14, 2014 – 1:30am

The second night was pretty similar to the first: rainy and cold. Unfortunately after kilometre 434, the crossing had to be called off. The riders had burned too many calories fighting against the cold, fatigue and pain.

The 434km travelled on fixed gear is a world first, and the Thierry and Simon’s determination has led them to their preparations for a 2nd attempt!

Julien Boulanger

Chilkoot Born to Ride 2014