Doing it all the hard way...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A bike ride in France

Oh yeah
While yesterday we rode our bikes, today a few of us that decided to go for a bike ride.

Davo, are you playing with words, or are you trying to say something? My legs were still feeling the Glandon as well as the Galibier and L'Alpe d"Huez and the ghost of the Velo Jaune was still causing my quads to be quite tender.  A few of us opted to go on the short route and not hammer.  It worked out well.  To give some perspective on the kind of shape we were in, we spent over six hours in the saddle, and climbed over seven thousand feet and still we considered it a recovery day.
Perhaps a busy photo, but it tells a lot.  We started our day by descending from Alpe d"Huez and I stopped and snapped this shot. Note the two hang gliders. I stopped at the town below and bought a riding jersey and a pair of causal shorts. I would wear both every day for the rest of my trip.

The record for climbing Alpe d'Huez is 37 minutes and held by Marco Pantoni. We DESCENDED the 21 turns (and thousand meters) in 22 minutes. We were flying.  The fact that our descent was only 35% faster than the record for the climb still causes my jaw to drop.
We did some climbing, but that was not a problem.  The sun was warm, the pave' nice and we were in freakin' France.
We rolled through valleys and farmland. The scent of hay, cheese, pines, and all kinds of wonderfulness greeted our noses.
We rode on this bridge.  What the heck.
It was beautiful and it just kept going.  So did we.
We took time to stop at a cafe and have some refreshment.  We drank everything we could find (or buy).  The day was warm and we needed it.
The French don't put up guardrails very often. When they do, there is usually a pretty good reason. If you look in the distance you will see a tall rock formation that looks like it was imported from Arizona. Just past that is our destination for the day.
We all took pictures of the poppies.
This was our Chateau for the night. The place was a bit run down, being older than my country. What you see are the two vans with drink and fruit in back. That is my bike leaned against a tree. You can see the tired riders eating, sitting and trying to get their share of the narrow wireless bandwidth.
We arrived early enough to enjoy one of the more modern aspects of the place.
Note the various hydration methods.
This was a cool place. Matthew and I had an interesting bathroom.
Note the fifty five inch door height into the bathroom.

This was the view from the shower..
We went to bed refreshed.

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