Today he intends to ride the first mountain stage of the 1910 Tour de France in the French Pyrenees in a single day from Bagnères de Luchon to Bayonne – through five passes, with nearly 7,000m of climbing and a distance of over 300 kilometres. All this with one gear only, and no brakes.
You can follow it right here within 2 hours when Patrick gets on his bike. The current position will be displayed using GPS tracking and a news feed will provide ongoing reports on what happens.
21 July 1910 is a day of heroes. The eighth staging of the Tour de France took it through the high mountain ranges for the first time. No cyclist had ever attempted anything like this. The passes consisted of dirt tracks. The athletes rode in fear not only of the punishing effort, but also of bears and wolves. The bicycles used back in 1910 were surprisingly similar to the modern two-wheeler upon which Seabase will attempt his feat of endurance. Seabase will go on his feat of endurance with just a single gear. Lapize and other riders in the early 20th century had two: one for climbs and one for the rest. There were no gears in the modern sense – the only way of “changing gear” was by stopping, getting off and swapping the rear wheel for different one fitted with a larger cog.
«You murderers!», is what lead cyclist Octave Lapize apparently hurled at the officials as he passed them on the Col d’Aubisque. Only one cyclist succeeded in conquering all of the passes on his bike – yet he did not take the victory. Octave Lapize (FRA) – later to become the overall winner – and Pierino Albini (ITA) had it out with each other in the final sprint, after 14 hours and 10 minutes in the saddle. The last ones reached the finish line after midnight, over 21 hours after the start. The murderers’ stage has been an integral part of the Tour de France for ten years. To this day, Luchon-Bayonne has been the ultimate acid test for cyclists.