I did it! There will not be a full blog report on this ride for a little while. As I was the first British rider to attempt one of these rides, I hope to drum up some interest in tackling these adventures with an article in Arrivée (the AUK quarterly magazine). If that gets published, I will put up a copy here.
The short version is that it was an amazing adventure (involving striking baggage handlers trying to spoil the trip). I rode so many legendary climbs and many less-travelled ones (that were in many ways more enjoyable).
These rides are a significant test. The first day was one of the hardest I have ever had on a bike. I climbed around 6700 metres in only 190km! It hurt.
Very chuffed to have completed the ride.
Here are a couple of photos of the two climbs that bookend the ride: