Preparing for the French Divide

musette team french divide

Hello, my name is David Poujade aka Dondiego deux milles ! I am a social worker as well as a big fan of cycling and music. I live in Saint Salvy, which is 30km from Agen in the beautiful countryside of the ‘Lot and Garonne’.

Me and my musical group are supporters of « Madjou et Compagnie » a charity that helps children suffering from Friedrich’s Ataxia (an autosomal recessive genetic disease). I decided to ride the French Divide in their honor, to give a nod to their daily battle and to help raise funds and awareness.

madjou fait sa french divide

The French Divide is an ultra long distance race from Flanders to the Basque Country: 2275 km long with 33000m of elevation gain. It is self-supported meaning that riders are without any assistance and in total autonomy.

I have been preparing since September 2018. To the date of writing this post I have ridden more than 5000 km. I go out 3 times a week. I usually leave around 3am and alternate between rides of 80km to 150km (sometimes more), both on and off road.

I trained all winter long, in the cold, the very cold, the wind, the rain, but I also had some beautiful sunny days. My outings do vary however according to my family and work life. When I started training I had not ridden for more than 10 years! I measured 1,79m and I weighed 94kg. I still measure 1,79m but with 9 weeks to go before the departure I weigh 73 kilos!

I discovered the Genesis brand through a friend and I fell in love immediately! A real thunder clap. It was obvious to me that I wanted to do the French Divide with a Genesis, but which one?

I looked for a Genesis stockist in Aquitaine and I discovered Musette bicycles & coffee. A independent bike shop a far cry from the faceless chain stores! Perfect for me.

genesis vagabond french divide

After discussing the Genesis Longitude with the Musette team we decided instead upon a custom build based upon a Genesis Vagabond frame, as my requirements for such a testing race were rather specific.  The principle choices for the build that we decided upon were as follows :

– Genesis Vagabond Frame

– Custom built wheels using Mavic xm819 rims, a front dynamo hub and a Hope hub at the rear

– Shimano XT transmission ; 1X chainring with a Shimano XT 11/42 cassette

– Shimano SLX brakes

– Maxxis Tread Lite tire

– WTB Volt Saddle

– Shimano XT pedals

genesis vagabond front dynamo hub-

Finally I would like to thank the entire team of Musette who were very attentive to my many requests and questions. I found exactly what I was looking for! A team of enthusiasts who know the equipment and provide honest customer service.

You can find Madjou et compagnie on Facebook on the page Madjou fait sa French Divide. We are taking donations to help the lives of children and their families affected by Friedrich’s Ataxia.

I’m going to give my all to finish the French Divide within the given time-limit. I’ll be doing it for the charity and for my family. I also hope that the bike built by Musette will be finisher, it deserves it !

See you soon for the rest of the adventure.

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