French Alps 2019

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Shut Up Legs, 16 Jun 2019.

  1. OP
    OP
    Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    Sorry for the delayed reply. On the day I arrived here (17th), I realised that someone (most likely on one of the planes I took here) had given me a cold. :B) It's been persistent, and I still have it after 4 days. So over 4 full days here (18th to 21st) I've only cycled on 2 of them, spending the other 2 stuck in Le Bourg-d'Oisans not doing much, getting bored, and looking up at all the lovely peaks I'm too unwell to climb! :cry:

    Anyway, I managed a short but nice ride yesterday, cycling up to Alpe d'Huez then on to Lac Besson (northeast of and above Alpe d'Huez). The album photos below show 2 highlights of the ride.



    Regards,

    --- Victor.
     
  2. briantrumpet

    briantrumpet Guru

    Location:
    Devon & Die
    Bad luck - that stinks, but at least you're in situ ready for when your cold buggrs off. But watch out for the heat wave heading your way... you might enjoy the excuse not to overdo it yet a while. The mountains will wait for you.
     
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  3. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Try ice cream. Eaten at a time you'd normally be doing very little. Going to be hard, given the time difference.
     
  4. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

  5. OP
    OP
    Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    The cold is not quite gone, and a very persistent cough arrived. From the 21st to 24th I just sat in the B&B, and went on short walks through the town when that got too boring. Finally I'd had a gutful yesterday of looking at the surrounding mountains and not riding up them, and so I rode up nearby Alpe d'Huez in the hottest part of the afternoon, and it was about 35 deg at the top. :sweat:

    Today I did a proper ride of 80km, riding up to Col du Sabot (2115m), with a side trip from Lac du Verney up to Oz the village, and then farther up to Oz the ski station. I had to, of course, because it's Oz! The ride was very hard work, as this area has a heatwave, and the temperature reached 40 deg during the climb to the col, and was 37 even at the col. This seemed odd, because the unsigned col is only identified by the sealed road ending, and today the end of the sealed road was covered in a large patch of snow! :wacko: It was weird, standing there, dripping with sweat, looking at the snow.

    The 2 album photos below show a few highlights of the long, hot ride.



    Regards,

    --- Victor.
     
  6. Shadow

    Shadow Veteran

    Am quite envious; enjoy the rest of your trip.
    Absinthe could well clear up the any remaining cold/cough/virus or other nasties!
     
    Shut Up Legs likes this.
  7. deptfordmarmoset

    deptfordmarmoset Full time tea drinker

    Location:
    Armonmy Way
    Ah yes, the Vicks VapoRub treatment....
    Vicks_VapoRub_100g_primary_DT.png
     
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  8. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    No snow in them! Not imagining things were you. Heatwave and snow on the ground.

    On the soles of your feet for a cough.
     
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  9. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    You probably caught the cold from touching your eyes or nose after being in airports where lots of viruses are stuck to door handles. Frequent hand-washing is the answer as well as learning not to rub your eyes or pick your nose!

    My regular cycling buddy is heading for the eastern end of the Pyrenees today, with some trepidation on hearing the forecast.
     
    Shut Up Legs likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    That would kill me, never mind the bugs! I haven't drunk a drop of alcohol in over 10 years.
     
    ColinJ and classic33 like this.
  11. OP
    OP
    Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    I managed another 80km ride today, this time up to Le Col de la Croix de Fer (at 2065m). I rode up there 3 years ago, and have wanted to return since, as it was one of my favourites from my 2016 cycling trp to France.

    I still woke up tired and coughing, because the cough starts every evening, shows no signs of leaving any time soon, and is making sleep difficult. I'm not going to let it spoil this trip, though.

    The heatwave continues, with today also in the mid 30s. The local Romanche & Oisans edition of Le Dauphiné have given it the name "canicule", which literally translates to "dog days" :smile:

    2 of the 3 album photos below show the view over Lac de Grand Maison (one of France's many dammed lakes built for hydroelectricity, and about halfway up the climb), and the 3rd shows the iron cross for which the col is named. Aren't the reflections on the lake nice?




    Regards,

    ---Victor.
     
  12. bianchi1

    bianchi1 Guru

    Location:
    malverns
    Looks brilliant. One of my favourite places to cycle. There is talk about building a road/cycle way from the top of the Sabot down to that lake. Will certainly make a few more interesting rides without having to do a 'out and back' on the same roads.

    Hope the cold gets better and the heat drops off a bit.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    A shorter one today, a 50km return trip up to Alpe d'Huez (my 4th time up to it) then on and up to Col de Sarenne, which is reached via a winding road next to a river valley. The road at one spot crosses the river and the valley, over the Pont de Sarenne. It was hard work, not just because of the mid 30s heat of the European heatwave, but because the road is narrow and bumpy, which makes the pedaling tougher.


    Regards,

    --- Victor.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jun 2019
    Dogtrousers, theloafer, CarlP and 7 others like this.
  14. OP
    OP
    Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    Today I left Le Bourg-d'Oisans and moved to La Tuvière, a blink-and-you'll miss it town at altitude 1380m, and containing the Chalet La Tuvière, a B&B (with half board) for cyclists in summer and skiers in winter, and for walkers also. It's my home for the next 2.5 weeks.

    A few hours after arriving there, I was driven down to the valley to the large town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne at 580m altitude, where I picked up my hire bike for the next 2.5 weeks and rode it back up to La Tuvière, a 10km ride with 800m of climbing, so an 8% average grade. The album photo below shows my reward for getting there: spectacular views.

    One difference to Le Bourg-d'Oisans (voitures, toujours) is that it's so quiet here (except for the rumbling of thunder from the Alpine thunderstorm that's passing by now).

    Regards,

    --- Victor.

     
  15. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    A little thunder isn't going to put you off is it?
     
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