Monday, July 15, 2013


July 10
Every Wednesday there is a time trial up Alp d'Huez, an epic mountain that will be climbed twice in the same stage at this year's Tour de France.  It is known for it's 21 hairpin turns and race drama with screaming fans lining all 13 km of the mountain during the race in July.

Wanting to test ourselves, we paid our 5 Euros to register for the race, collected our timing chips, and after a ready, set, go, we began the race.  The end would find Diane and Bridget on the podium for women, placing first and third respectively, and Chris finishing a very respectable 36th in the men's field.

This is how we really like to see Podium Girls!

July 11
Another Great day!  We drove to Annecy with the plans of having an easy recovery ride around the lake, a stunning work of Mother Nature.   The lake is apparently so clean that no animals live in it as there is nothing for them to eat.

The plan changed when we turned left instead of right to go up this small little 8km climb which turned out to be the very tough Col de la Forclaz, a knee ripper for sure!  It may not be long, but the grade is over 10%, I mean look at all the red in the profile!  At some point in this climb we all said to ourselves “ I thought this was supposed to be a recovery ride?”

There were tons of hang gliders and para gliders as well.  It was kinda eriee when they would fly over top and would cast a huge shadow over you. 

As we climbed to the top of the Col de la Foclaz the view of the lake was spectacular and well worth the work to get up!  Chris even found a souvenir cow bell, though he couldn't fit the largest one they sold in his pocket, so he got a travel size.  The descent was the best yet, long and curvy road with few hairpins to keep the speed in check.

It was a HOT day and most of the restaurants were closed when we wanted to eat. So we had snacks and headed back to Bourge for dinner. 

We had a huge laugh tonight and are really enjoying everyone's company.

No one was hurt in the making of this picture.

July 12
The Glandon was the nail that sealed the coffin.  For the past winter we have been training with a picture of the Glandon in our sites, imagining ourselves climbing this epic beast, and today was the day.

We set off under more blue skies with snow capped mountains enticing us.

We reached the foot of the Col de la Croix de Fer and after 30 km and an average grade of 5% we found ourselves at the top.  Only 3 km away was the Col de Glandon and the end of our climbing for the week.  Over the past five days we have climbed 7, 451 meters (24,446 feet), that's 5,000 feet above the Mt Kilimangaro summit!

We're all getting much better at descending and mastering the switchbacks, thanks to the tips that we read by Petrina before coming on this trip.

Tomorrow we'll be going in to Lyon to catch the end of the Tour de France and stalk some pros!

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