Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Semnoz was our next big goal.  It is rated as an HC climb, which I found out after having climbed it, and is 18 km long, which was long enough for me!  We started once again on the bike path before heading up the hill.  I love that you see everything on this bike path; huge picnic baskets on front racks, beach gear on the bike, dogs being towed in trailers more often the kids, roller bladders, scooters, everything except pedestrians.  In Canada, people don’t even look right or left before crossing a bike path, they just cross and I have come very close to hitting several of them.  Here, pedestrians look right and left in fear, very apprehensive to step on to the asphalt and cross over to the beach or snack bar.  Kids of all ages stay back, and even more impressively, when on a bike they stay to the right and ride in a straight line.  At home I’m nervous to pass kids on bikes as they are unpredictable and have had several close calls, and one crash.  Here, I pass them with no hesitation.  Brilliant.

Back to the climb, here is a video preview.  

I’ve learnt that the views at the bottom of the climbs are beautiful, half way up you start to get some glimpses as to how high you have climbed thinking “wow, I’ve come up a long way pretty quickly.  Can’t believe how small Annecy looks from up here already!”  Three-quarters of the way up your spending less time looking around and more time focused on the pavement ahead, doing the math in your head about the distance that is left and how long it will take you; if another cyclist passes you may or may not try to stay with them, and depending on how steep it is not even care.  I have come up with a good scoring system though.  I get one point for every cyclists that I pass and take away 1 point for every cyclist that passes me.  So far I am doing pretty well by passing almost twice as many riders as those who are passing me, even scored double digits on Alpe d’Huez!

With 3 km to go I’m not even looking around anymore, I’m just trying to finish and on the Semnoz I reached a parking lot thinking “the top has to be close, doesn’t it?!”  But the house above looked to be eons away and unreachable, but I plugged on and before I knew it found Darin waiting for me, of course, and was able to admire the stunning views from the top.  Best climb by far if the reward of a vista is the marker by which to be judged, don’t you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment