Monday, July 02, 2007

Megan and Alpe d'Huez July 1, 2007

Megan says that she hates to ride bikes. So just to prove that is no big deal, she said "mom I want to ride up Alpe d'Huez today. Ok sure Megan are you CRAZY? The climb to Alpe d'Huez starts in the town of Bourg D'Oisans. Here are the Stats from the Alpe d'Huez web site:
Bends : 21
Departure : 2,351 feet
Arrival : 6,100 feet
Difference in height : 3,749 feet
Length : 8,89 miles
Average steep : 7,9 %
Highest steep : 14 %
Climb record : 37’35’’
Average speed of 14,34 miles/h (Marco Pantani in 1997).

Make your choice now Megan!
Going Euro, no helmet for the climb. The first three hairpins are the worst. Megan rode with these three guys for a while. They were stunned to say the least.
I had to keep telling her to not chase these guys!
The route is well marked, you start at 21 and work your way down while climbing.
She is still smiling and the worst is almost over, but it was getting very hot. We didn't start until noon. Riding during the heat of the day was very stupid on my part.
Four down, 17 to go.
We made it to the first town, where there is a cafe and ice cream but Megan said no I can wait till we get to the top.
Well maybe I'll take a little break here on this lovely bench, as you can see, riding in the heat of the day was a bad move on my part.
Ahhh, you have got to love the fountains and ice cold spring water throughout the Alpes.
I've ridden Alpe d'huez more than 5 times and I never noticed this memorial.
Jeff and Brian rode in from home to meet us, how sweet.
Looking down on a few switchbacks and the town of Bourg D'Oisans where we started.
Luckily there is plenty of water for cooling off.
Number 11, getting much closer to her goal.
Starting to see the signs of making it, and she was still talking to me.
Yea, you are actually seeing a 9 year old girl who never rides, kicking your butt up Alpe d'Huez.
Number 8, certainly more than half way?

OK time for a water break, and a few snacks, I think that she was still talking to me at this point.
Two towns down on route to the final destination, I guess this is a religious town, the cross posts the days and time of church services.
Megan found a bus stop along the route and decided it might be a better idea to just wait for the next bus to the top.
Not Megan, she had a goal and.... now she was at number 3.
Stopping for a quick photo op.
She made it into the town of Alpe d'Huez!!!! I really did not expect this to happen!
This is close to where we watched the tour stage last summer.
Still smiling, not cracked, AWESOME Megan, totally AWESOME!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sortie Mediterranean to the Alps 433km in 2 Days

Jeff and Robert (our 69 year old friend whose club organized this sortie) at the start of day 2, 7:45 am.Brian, Jeff and I at the first rest / water stop near St. Andre.
Robert who was sporting a vintage saddle on his new Carbon Look bike.
Cyprien and Jeff behaving themselves at the back of the pack.

The end of day 2 back in sunny La Seyne Sur Mer.
The end of day 2, Jeff and Cyprien decided to call it day after lunch and 130 km (the hardest part of the ride with over 1100 meters of climbing). Robert was awesome, riding the entire 226 km often leading the pack. We started the morning with 15 riders and ended the day with 6.
Colmar, a town along the way.
Robert and the boys heading into a tunnel.
Jeff taking a lunch break, it was extremely hot on Sunday, well into the 90's.
Saturday June 23 5:45 am La Seyne Sur Mer, the Mediterranean. Robert (69 yrs) Jeff and Cyprien (13). Start of Day 1.
Robert, Cyprien and Jeff on one of the first long climbs of the day.
122 Km later, lunch which for some of the guys on the ride, also meant wine.
Allos, our future destination in the Alpes.
Our friend Denis, who left our group soon after lunch to ride with the A guys, he was the first to finish.
Jeff at about 150 km.
Denis, Brian and Jeff. Robert and Cyprien decided 122km and lunch was a good place to end day 1. This was Cyprien's first real long ride and he did great. Robert, the wise man wanted to save his legs for day 2.
Jeff trying out some new Yoga moves at one of the water stops.

Jeff with about 40km of climbing left to go, you might think that he has cracked...No he just decided to take a nap while he was waiting for me to catch up.
About 20km of climbing left.
Jeff was not too happy when we made him go back down the hill because we thought that we had made a wrong turn. He needed a few extra KM's of climbing anyway.
The Verdon River which makes a beautiful canyon pass though the Alpes.
Brian and Jeff almost done, the last 2km of the ride is a 12% grade. Jeff decided to come back down to ride with me. He was awesome, 207 km and 2300 meters of climbing, over 10 hours on the bike and he was still doing wheelies on the last climb.