Monday, September 19, 2016


As I'm writing this post, all I can hear is laughter from our group, a group that is getting along well and sharing in triumphs and suffering. 

Earlier today, we rode the Col du Glandon, a 20 km climb that averages 7% through a stunning valley before reaching the "top of the world". The scenery was breathtaking, the incline challenging, and the summit a much deserved reward! 

Col du Glandon finally gave us amazing views of Mont Blanc.
Rush hour on Col du Glandon.
Some had more energy then others at the top.

From there we climbed another 2.5 km to the Col de la Croix de Fer, had lunch and enjoyed a long descent. We then split in to different groups with one climbing up and down the Lancets des Montvernier, another continuing on to the Col de Chaussy, and another couple of masochistic riders summiting the Col de Madeleine. 

The Lancets des Montvernier gained popularity when it was featured in the 2015 Tour de France.  At only 3.8 km, it has 18 switchbacks and the view leading up to it looks like laces, hence the name.  The inside was all rock, the outside a big drop to the bottom, the road was narrow, and the experience was pretty cool.


The group that continued on to the Col du Chaussy experienced what might well have been one of the most beautiful descents of the week, after climbing another 10 km.  Not overly technical, it was winding and fun, with views that went on forever.  The word views has been used a lot in describing this trip, but it feels like every time we turn we are rewarded with another spectacular view.  Suppose it's one of the rewards of climbing up mountains.

Two brave souls tackled the Col de la Madeleine; digging in deep and using all of their resources.  Sharing a jar of pickle juice to refill their electrolyte losses, they mustered just enough strength to summit.

It was a pretty epic day with 6-8 hours on the saddle. After a quick dip and some cannonballs in the fountain, everyone shared stories of highlights and struggle while eating our pizza dinner.  The bond over a Col is a strong one.

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