During the 2021 edition of Le Tour de France, pro cyclist Lachlan Morton took on something he called the “Alt Tour”—a completely self-supported bikepacking ride of the route that Tour de France riders would tackle over 23 days, plus all of the transfers (the gaps between sections of the race), with the aim of beating the peloton to Paris and raising money for World Bicycle Relief. Now, cycling apparel brand Rapha is releasing a new book about Morton's Alt Tour endeavor called The Dot.
The project, on paper or otherwise, was entirely insane. It was designed to mimic the early days of the Tour when there were no transfers, team buses, or on-staff mechanics to make sure your bike was in pristine condition. Just the riders, the road and bikes—with two gears at most. Morton’s ride offered a few more gears, but many of the other challenges were still present—like trying to steal a few hours of sleep in a hedge on the side of the road. Famously, Morton even struggled with his cycling shoes and ended up riding in a modified version of Birkenstock’s Arizona Essential EVA sandals for nearly 500 miles.
Morton's ride totaled 18 days with 3,423 miles covered and roughly 75,459 feet of climbing, far more than the riders in the Tour. And to top it off, he beat the peloton to Paris by five days, raising $760k for World Bicycle Relief—mind-blowing numbers across the board.
The Dot, which is penned by Morton himself, draws its title from the “dot watchers” who tracked Morton via GPS as he made the journey from Brest to Paris. The book, available today for $30, features unreleased photos of Morton’s ride as well as his thoughts on the monumental achievement. “I honestly felt the luckiest human on the planet. To bear witness to such natural beauty was food for my soul,” writes Morton in the book.
If Morton’s writing is half as enjoyable as his interviews and social media profiles, the book will definitely be one for the coffee table.