Bike Tours For Triathletes
Five Sticker Rides is based out of Strasbourg in the east of France. Our bike tours in the Northern Vosges Mountains take triathlon training back to nature and simplicity. We pack light, carry all equipment in rear panniers and the camping format keeps camaraderie high and costs low. Enjoy steady riding days, lake swims, trail runs and the opportunity to toe the line at a local event.
FSR Tours Are Free
I've often thought about organising bike tours for profit but with two children and two jobs it's not currently an option. However, I'm eager to use my knowledge of local roads and the French triathlon scene to allow others to enjoy a unique touring and racing experience.
I’m Ross and Five Sticker Rides combines my 4 hobbies: triathlon, bike touring, camping and off-road running. I’ve been a runner since the early 80s and a triathlete since ‘89. I first moved to France in 1996 to race for Groupe Triathlon Vesoul 70 and then returned in 1999 and joined Rouen Triathlon.
After 4 years in Beirut and 2 in Bangkok we settled in Strasbourg in 2006. I’m now a member of ASPTT Strasbourg Triathlon. I trained as a P.E. teacher but now teach Year 6 at the European School of Strasbourg. Before our sons were born Gwen and I spent most holidays Tandem Touring.
The Anti-Training Camp
FSR tours are designed to be a an adventure rather than a performance based training camp. We aim to combine the relaxed style of bike touring with some steady triathlon training in nature. Take your time to stop for coffee, read, write, sleep or take photos. All campers also dig in and share the various tour tasks. Making and striking camp. Fetching and preparing breakfast. Watching the bikes in camp or staying on shore to keep an eye on swimmers.
Experience Racing In France
We get you to the uncrowded triathlons that are still organised by clubs and small towns. Expect the entry fee to be low, the T-Shirt to be ugly and to receive a bag of local farm produce rather than a medal or branded backpack.
Camping On Tour
A triathlon race weekend can often be a hermetic experience; from house to car to hotel. On an FSR tour we camp every night. The appeal of bike touring is also the challenge of aligning the equipment, technique and mindset to deal with all weather conditions. I choose campsites carefully. Mainly lakeside locations with access to running trails and not far from a village or town.
First Self Supported Bike Tour?
Don’t worry! We’ll start out slowly on the first day and help you with loading your bike, on the road mechanics and basic camp craft.
Nearly Car Free Riding
We prioritize riding on France's extensive network of dedicated bike paths, hard packed forest tracks and quiet back-roads to make our tours as traffic-free as possible.
Improve Your French
If you have any energy left at the end of the day I’ll run a French conversation session. Start preparing with these online resources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/
An FSR tour should enjoyed rather than endured and we aim to cater for all standards of rider. Overnight stops are planned to keep average riding distances to around 80km per day with a longest day of up to 120km. Climbs in the Northern Vosges are not too long. Expect one or two climbs of 3 - 6 km per day with lots of flat and rolling sections in between.
Eating On Tour
Strasbourg and the surrounding area has a great local food movement. Producers only markets, farm shops and vegetable distribution associations. Rather than gels and sugary snacks we fuel our tour by picking up fresh, local lunch and breakfast material.
Breakfasts will be taken in camp or at a café in town. Lunch will be between 12:00 and 14:00. Restaurants will be convenient on some days. Otherwise we’ll buy fresh produce at a market or farm en route. I'll collect money from everybody on Day 1 to buy communal breakfast and lunch goods.
At night we book ahead to enjoy local specialities in a chilled out restaurant with a terrace or a beer garden. However, we also know that's important for you to have the freedom to explore and break away from the pack if you want to.
Get up with the sun or sleep as late as you need to. We’ll make coffee and tea and then swim before breakfast. Sessions are planned to incorporate all speeds and technical abilities.
A party can be dispatched to a bakery while the rest of us take down the tents and prepare a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, salad, yoghurt and fruit. Over breakfast I’ll brief everybody concerning the bike route.
We aim to be on the road by 08:00 and the plan is to ride together as much as possible or break into small groups if necessary. Use your map if you'd rather get from A to B alone. We can set meeting points throughout the day or keep in contact by phone.
Runs are planned for every afternoon on forest trails or lake-side loops. Run for as little or long as you like. Courses will be easy to follow to allow all runners to stride out and enjoy.
Finish the day with strength and mobility work, barefoot jogging, touch rugby or take a dip in the lake to cool off the quads. Evening meals are planned for 20:00.
Safety On Tour
Getting all riders back in one piece is our number one priority. I'll issue everybody with an Emergency Numbers Card containing numbers of the emergency services in France as well as the number of our base in Strasbourg. Make sure that you exchange mobile numbers with other tour participants.
We stress responsible descending and negotiating of junctions on the bike. Always stop at red lights. In general drivers in France respect cyclists. Share the road and keep your cool. Never swim alone. Pair up while open water swimming. When not running with the group tell a guide in which direction you're heading and what time you're likely to be back.