Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

Ride reports for everything *but* the Tuesday-Thursday morning ride

Shakedown ride, Col de la Charmette from the backside

This innocent little road takes you up the backside of the Col de la Charmette. The FUN side.
This innocent little road takes you up the backside of the Col de la Charmette. The FUN side.
This is the experience I seek out!
This is the experience I seek out!

Details coming later today, but for now, suffice it to say we completed a ride that Kevin and I started 2 years ago, doing the infamous “other” side of the Col de la Charmette, up Route Forestiere. Many claims that the road isn’t for riding on anything but a mountain bike, but, if you’re willing to walk over just a couple of places where rocks might slice your tires, and probably walk through one dark tunnel as well (again, because sharp rocks might do a number on your tires), you could ride any road bike up it. Provided you have reasonably-low gears that is! And yes, parts of this are pretty steep, with kilometer sections averaging 10, 11 & 12 percent. You will be working! Thankfully, our Bike Fridays were up to the task, as usual.

 

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Just 25 miles Sunday, things getting tight as we prepare for France

So little time, so much to do. Today’s ride to the coast was severely shortened; it was to be our shakedown cruise of the Bike Friday folding bikes before packing them for the trip, but didn’t quite work out. First, we discovered we had no spare tubes at home! Doh! Had to ride down to the shop and pick some up, then ride up Woodside Road (yuck!) to Woodside. Heading up Old LaHonda wasn’t much fun, partly because Kevin was flying, and partly because I was having a little bit of an issue with new pedals & new insoles for my shoes. Kind of a dumb thing to do before an important event, but that’s how I roll sometimes.

The issue with the new pedals was that they weren’t set up with enough “inboard” float, so my ankles were a bit further out from the bike than they like to be. Fortunately they’re adjustable, so that’s taken care of. But further up the hill I found out that Kevin had forgotten to bring his mid-day epilepsy meds, and sorry, no way we’re heading all the way out to the coast without his meds.

Tonight (Sunday night/Monday morning) is probably my last semi-peaceful moment before having to go full-gas getting things ready and making sure I haven’t left any loose ends at the shop. We leave for France Thursday morning, arriving in Grenoble almost exactly 24 hours later. San Francisco/Chicago/Paris by plane, then a train (or two?) direct from the airport to Grenoble.

Nice thing about this trip is that we’re staying 9 days in the same place! No moving around, relatively-minimal driving (all but two stages are accessible either by bike or a combination of bike & local train). We’ll be seeing all of the Alps stages, plus the finale in Paris, as well as a stage or two that end near the foot of the Alps. Hopefully I’ll have good connectivity while there with frequent updates here! –Mike–

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