Tuesday, Riding Alp Duez

Haven’t been on a bike since last week, some stress over getting here, Saint Egreve but today is time to try to climb a classic. I’m really not sure how I feel, not as excited as I thought, maybe I’m a little afraid of this attempt, maybe I’m just confident with all the training I’ve done this year. Maybe I just don’t have any idea what I’ve signed up for here. We are staying about 50 kilometers from the town of Le Boug d” Oisans which is about 1 kilometer from the start. It’s a small town, a bike shop right across from where we parked and one of the mechanics tells us how to get to the climb but says warm up first! Warning, it is steep. I figure about 10 kilometers of riding and then we start. Should have been more and should have been harder effort. I think I have the right clothes on for a cool day, over cast. The climb starts and immediately I go to the 34/32 gear, I can’t make it any easier. About 1 to 2 k’s into the ride, 2nd switch back I’m off the bike and taking clothes off. Bushy arrives and does the same. If this is how it is, the rest of the 12 to 13 k’s will be tough. Time to slow the cadence down and concentrate on one switch back at a time. Breaks as I feel I need them at the flat bits in the corners. It gets somewhat easier as I ride up, the corner signs count down. I set goals, ride 2 more switchbacks, get half way up, get to switch back 10, now single digits, get to 5. I’ve passed the town of Huez but there is quite a ways to go yet. Eventually I get to an area that looks like the finish, not sure. I’m not sure where Bushy is, behind somewhere. I take some pictures and know that there is probably 3 more switchbacks to go, I have had enough, nothing more to prove, I still need to get down and the weather is looking dark and windy. I put clothes back on and start down when I see Bushy riding up past me, way to go mate, that is massive. I head down, he goes up. The ride down is kind of scary, certainly no pedaling needed, hope the disc brakes survive. I’m not the best with huge altitude vistas and this mountain has them, everywhere you look. I’m down and feel good, I want to ride more, through town and then back and start the climb again for about 1 kilometer waiting for Bushy, dumb idea to go up, back down and ride around a while and then back to the car and wait for Bushy.

He got to the top, me, almost, not sure how I feel about that. We are both starving by now and find a local cafe for some lunch, check out the local bike store for souvenirs and then back to the Arena Hotel in Saint Egreve.

A change of clothes, off to dinner and then back for a movie and lights out.