Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

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

Only at the ‘Tour do you see…

What you're seeing is real. Molina, first over the top of the final climb, and soon to be stage winner, is being offered a banana by a fan.
What you’re seeing is real. Molina, first over the top of the final climb, and soon to be stage winner, is being offered a banana by a fan.
You’re never really sure ahead of time what you’re coming to the Tour de France for. You have various ideas; a general feeling of excitement, getting to ride on roads unlike what you have back home, random acts of kindness from a bar, the usual stuff, right? Well today, just past the top of the final climb of the stage, Molina, shown in the photo above, is being offered a banana by a Vegan group that had set up camp opposite from us.

He didn’t take it. Maybe he’d heard of LeMond’s bad-peach story, or maybe it just didn’t make sense in any universe he’s part of, with a terrifying descent beginning just 100 meters further. Bu it was one of those “you had to be there” moments. Oh, as for how we knew it was a Vegan group, they had pretty fancy signage about that.

It wasn’t a long riding day; we took the train from Grenoble to Gap, and then rode to the top of the final climb, and back down to the finish afterward. Under 20 miles. But not 20 easy miles; with temps in the mid-90s on the way up, and some pretty steep pitches, it was far from easy. Not to mention having to be careful about not going through our drinks too fast; heat & wind dry you out very, very quickly. Kind of the theme so far! But it all went well, we’re back in Grenoble and I’m planning tomorrow’s “Tour rest day” activities. More soon! –Mike–

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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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