Thank god someone invented the wheel

We're a group of people who enjoy going out and trying new challenges on the bike. And we thought it would be nice to share some of the beautiful stuff we see. Enjoy.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The French Challenge /// Day 04


Day 04: Les Croisettes Saleve (1379m), le grand Bornand (948m), col de la Colombiere (1618m) 148km 
Difficulty: Hard.  3 medium cols in a day with different reliefs. The first one is short 
but tough followed by 2no of long but steady hills. it's a long and straight back home
on flats and hard with a front wind. Relaying essential. 


Last day of our French challenge brings us to a second attempt of le col des Croisettes on the Saleve which directly overseas Geneva. Short, steep and painful, this is a category 01 on the tour de France 
charts. We make it up there and carry on the other side, riding through a beautiful road which leads us up to the Grand Bornand. 

There, we have a lunch break and head off for the ultimate climb of the trip. Le col de la Colombiere 
along the easier side. Still, 11km of steady climb in the heat and a difficult descent into the valley as the 
road 's crash barriers seem to be lovely concrete pylons on the side of the road. 

We reach the valley and head towards Annemasse, with a heavy head wind to fight against. This is when you are glad to be cycling with a great cycle companion and our relays pay off massively by switching pretty much every 2-5 km. The previous day's efforts start to pay off, I think we would have 
really struggled to accomplish this had we started off with this. 

We were glad to get back home again and fill the stomachs full of amazing food and wine. Thanks Mom and dad, your welcome is always amazing!!! 

Tomorrow, we rest, pack and set off. This is the end of the French challenge. This was a very physical challenge. I think next year we might be talking about redoing a bit more of a cultural challenge like we did in Vietnam. 

Let's see, we'll keep you in touch. Ciao for now. 

The French challenge /// Col de l'espinouze Day 03


Challenge: Col de l'Espinouse (1124m) 84km
Difficulty: Easy/Medium, Soft climb to the col in a beautiful and hidden country side.
A real feel on how the vegetation changes with Altitude.



We set off again to go further south towards Bezier.
We were most welcome by Jack Harriet Wendy and Bob to a superb
house in a small hamlet called Mezeilles. Bob already had a cycle
route in mind which we happily tried out the next day.

We crossed the Orb river and ascended into what is the southern edge of the
Massif Central. The scenery, the roads, and the change of climate made this
ride spectacular. Again, we were blessed with perfect weather conditions.

This ride was more about the scenery rather than the actual challenge of climbing.
The inclines are gentle and consistent really allowing you to set your own rythm and
recuperate whilst smiling at the view of ever changing sights.

A big thanks to Wendy and Bob who were mega hosts.

The French challenge /// The Mt Ventoux day 02


Col du Mt Ventoux (2x1912m), one climb from Bedoin, the other from Malaucene 114KM
Difficulty: Hard, the Mt Ventoux is a Hors Categorie climb, the first climb felt good, but on the
second, the southern french sun made its appearence and things became a lot harder

Day 02: 

Right, we are off at 7AM from a town to Carpentras to attack the big beast of Provence. 
15km on the flats to warm the legs up and we arrive in Bedoin for a pre climb breakfast. 
I can't apologize enough to the lady serving us: I released a nervous silent and deadly fart 
which gave us a good excuse to get cracking. 

Ben and I set off, the temperature is perfect and there is no wind. We climb gradually taking it 
very easy. We heard so many stories about this climb that for once, we were very cautious and 
expected the worse around every corner. We overtook quite a few people on the way up, which 
in all honesty does boost your moral up in quite a pathetic way (it's not a race, but if it was I would be alright..haha). 

Ben completed the climb in 2hours 10 and myself a good 10 minutes after. It was a good and comfortable climb, so we decided to do the decent and start again, this time from Malaucene. 

After some food and the purchase of a new back wheel, we set off again this time at 11:00AM. 
However this time round, conditions had changed. The southern sun was nicely spreading its heat, and 
the legs quickly reminded us of the first morning's climb. It became difficult. 

But we made it up there (we do not have a timing) and it felt fantastic. 
We would have wanted to do the third climb, but unfortunately, ran out of time as we needed to be 
somewhere before a closure. This is the first but not the last time we do the Ventoux, next time, 
we might try it. 

30 minutes of downhill into Bedoin, followed by a massive pizza for evening meal. 
This is a must do climb but without a minimum of training it would not be much fun. 

Next stop, Bezier. 

The French challenge /// Le Jura, Day 01

The Stats: 

Day 1: Col de la Faucille (1323m), Col du Marchairuz (1449m) 141km
Difficulty: Medium. Individually, both passes are pleasant and not too hard, 
but it's on the flats, from Nyon back to Geneva that you find out if you really 
managed to spread your effort wisely throughout the day. 

We fly to Geneva where we are welcome by my parents and fill up of food ahead of the challenge. 
The first day is a warm up in the Jura region before we pack the bikes and head south to Provence 
(Carpentras) and try out the all mighty Mt Ventoux. 

It's a track we tried out over Easter, but this time the weather and temperature were in our favor, 
and knowing the route always makes it easier in the mind as the effort distribution is a lot easier. 

All in all a good performance with a lovely view onto lake Geneva. Back home we watch the tour de 
France and remain in a state of shock when we compare the pros stats with ours.. (it's the bikes they have of course...). Bags are packed, the car is ready, tomorrow, we head South.