Haute Route 2018

Haute Route 2018

In 6 weeks I and a couple of friends are heading over to do the 3 day Haute Route Alpe D’Huez  race, in France. July 13th to 15th, 2018. Join us as we get prepared to take on a once in a lifetime adventure.


In 6 weeks I and a couple of friends are heading over to do the 3 day Haute Route Alpe D’Huez  race, in France. July 13th to 15th, 2018. We’ll write some blogs about the preparation. As I write this my palms are sweating. I haven’t trained for racing in many years and this is a beast. We will being doing some of the iconic Tour de France climbs—9000 metres of vertical in 3 days—and average about 6 or 7 hours per day on my bike, for the first two days. Mostly up hill. I am not ready. I’m not even ready to start getting ready. But I’m excited.  I even got my first road bike in many years. Here is my new Giant Defy, leaning against a golf course fence. I’d definitely rather not be golfing.

Greg's New Ride

This adventure started on May 17th. I was chatting with a friend, Mike Trehearne, from Canmore. He owns a guiding company, Cloud Nine Guides, and his company is running guiding expeditions in Chamonix France in July of this year, and they have a big place rented. He was signed up to do the race. The invitation was there, and when I learned that another Saskatoon friend was doing it, Howard Hemingson, I had a terrible fear of missing out raise up in my heart. So I jumped in.


I’ve been watching on the Tour de France for years and yearning to be standing roadside drinking red wine and eating soft cheese and baguette with a million dear friends from all around the world. We will do this a few days after the Haute Route. We will be staying in a chateau that Mike’s company has rented for July, and the only downside is that I imagined that Howard probably snores.


Regarding the event, the math is just plain bad. From my decision, I had 7 weeks to train for a 3 day race that features 9000 metres of climbing. Fortunately, we at the Bike Doctor, started running an indoor training studio last winter, and Sarah had coerced me into putting in a dozen or so sessions. Therein lies a sliver of hope, and I’ll take it. But I need miles and hills. All the while riding a tightrope of not over-training or getting injured.


The first stage is 70k with 3000 metres of climbing; the second is 149k with 4600 metres of climbing (my palms are sweating) and the final stage is a 16k uphill time trial, which will take 90 or so minutes, but which by now sounds like a walk in the park after the other stages.


Some of the other serious issues to consider are: team jerseys, and the details of trash talk should I begin to use on my partners, to raise their morale.


We will blog this odyssey in segments in the lead up to the race and who knows, maybe it will inspire some people to do something special on a bike. Something way more than they thought they could. My goals are 1, to finish, and 2, to try to enjoy the experience. If I don’t finish I’ll run support for my team and have just as much fun. No failures. I will do everything I can to finish, though. It would feel great to be there at the line with my team. It will take everything I have though, I’m sure. I’m taking it so seriously I hired a coach to give me some workouts, and here we are doing some testing.

Greg's FTP

Keep checking in at Bikedoctor.ca for my partners’ blogs--hear their sides of the story and get inspired for madness.


  1. Greg McKee Greg McKee

    I just saw your comment Bob. I do think there should be a large contingent of Saskatoon people come over here one year, maybe next year and you should be sure to be in it!!!

  2. Bob Holtsman Bob Holtsman

    Greg, remember when you commented that you would like to have me photograph your life and adventures? I just so happen to be available July 13-15, and maybe a few days either side. You have my contact info. ;-)

Leave a comment
* Your email address will not be published
* Required fields
By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies. These cookies help us understand how customers arrive at and use our site and help us make improvements. Hide this message More on cookies »