The truth is that we had a pretty darned good day. Kevin wasn’t happy with our “rest” day including a pretty gnarly ride through nearby mountains, even though he was gaining strength as we went, while I was running into some trouble on the Col du Porte. Still crazy hot, but I’m getting more and more used to it as we go. I feel so much better than I did at the start of this trip!
Tomorrow is an early morning for us; we have to catch a train at 7:30am, connect to another at 9:45am, then then the final train to Lourdes around 2pm. All of which is subject to some degree of fuzziness due to the high temps causing disruptions in rail service. But we’re not in a hurry; we’ve got plenty of time built into our schedule.
And I should add that, while Kevin’s not so great at planning things, he executes really well. He has a much easier time figuring out how to pack than I do, which is good! Plus, he’s a lot better navigator than prior trips too! Big help getting around crazy cities like Grenoble.
It seemed like such a great idea. Visit a place loosely named the Gorges of Death. What could possibly go wrong? :-)…
Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky on Saturday, July 16, 2022
Really interesting day today, completely erasing the “agony of defeat” I’d been feeling the prior two rides here in France. I felt like a different person entirely on Alpe d’Huez. The only substantive difference is that I decided to go back to using my inhaler, despite the last set of test results that showed it didn’t have a positive impact on my breathing anymore.
Tuesday & Wednesday, I just couldn’t get started, didn’t get better as I warmed up, and was feeling… old. I want to feel experienced, not old. But Tuesday & Wednesday Kevin could ride rings around me. Well, not entirely on the Galibier; Kevin was fading as the climb went on, and sometimes the experienced cyclist knows that you’re going to get there and has the patience to grind it out until you do, rather than feeling like you want to give up (although I have to confess I wanted to give up on Tuesday!).
Unfortunately we got back so late from the race today I don’t have time to get into details; the interesting stuff is on my Facebook page, which I was able to update in real-time because there was excellent cell coverage on the Alpe d’Huez. I’ll toss some of them in here-