Dave Sims To Ride Grueling Tour de France Course On A Kid’s Bike To Raise Money For Charity
MEET DAVE SIMS, A PERSONAL TRAINER FROM ENGLAND. STARTING JULY 2ND, HE’S GOING TO PILOT HIS YELLOW CHOPPER THROUGH THE ENTIRE TOUR DE FRANCE ROUTE TO RAISE MONEY FOIR CHARITY, AND TO BRING A TOUCH OF INNOCENCE BACK TO A SPORT THAT HAS BEEN DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD IN RECENT YEARS.
More than 2,000 miles long and crossing some of the biggest mountains in Europe, the Tour de France is grueling enough on a lightweight racing bike. But this summer, one man plans to ride it on a Raleigh Chopper, a vintage kid’s bike only slightly modified to carry his adult frame.
“The last five or 10 years, it has been tarnished by doping and corruption,” Sims told the Daily News in an interview Friday. “With the Team Chop project, I’d like to bring back a bit of purity to the sport of cycling. It will be pure, unadulterated suffering. Cycling’s all about suffering.”
Now meet the bike Sims will ride – the Chopper, a mass-produced classic first introduced in the 1970s. It weighs more than 35 pounds, features a horn and ape-hanger handlebars, and has tennis balls stuffed between the reinforced spokes. It is about the farthest one can get from the sleek, 15-pound machines the pros use in elite cycling.
For one thing, the Chopper’s tires are wide and soft, inflating to only about half the level of pressure common for a road racing bike. That means a lot more friction on the pavement, and a lot more work for Sims; he won’t be able to coast along without rolling to a stop. He will work for every mile.
“I’m going to be in a lot of dark places every day,” says Sims.
Team Chop consists of Sims and a friend who will follow Sims in a motorhome as Sims attempts to cover the entire grueling route of the Tour de France a few days before the professionals roll through. The motorhome’s driver will also cook, perform massage, and plan the route.
“For some of the stages I’ll be on the bike for 10 to 15 hours, suffering like a dog,” says Sims, who has been training for the event for nearly a year. “I guess it’s a pretty ambitious project.”