Alpe d’Huez!By Will • May 22nd, 2005 • Category: Climbs, Cycling, Touring
Saturday, Doreen and I climbed the most famous climb in biking – Alpe d’Huez (in the French Alps). Amazing! And KUDO’s to Doreen for successfully climbing this giant.
This climb has featured in so many epic races in the Tour de France and people travel from all over the world for the honour to suffer up it’s STEEP slopes. The climb is only about 13km. It has 21 hair pin turns each numbered starting at 21 near the bottom and turn 1 near the top. It gives one intermediate goals.
Up top is a ski-resort that was closed for the off season and we stayed in the only open hotel. After a great breakfast we cannonned down to the bottom to the town of Bourg d’Oisans, rode a couple of KMs to stretch the legs and we wished each other luck.
The 1st two KMs are two of the three hardest and it’s discouraging! Luckily, the first few turns come quick so as we did the mental countdown from 21 we felt we were making progress. As the % grade gets a little better and I had warmed up, I reminded myself to TRY and enjoy the ride and the view – and what great views. At the top, I stopped at a cafe and chatted with a group of Dutch riders – all as excited as I was – it’s hard to describe the excitement of climbing this mountain. Soon after an Englishman I had passed en route finished and I convinced him to join me for a further 5 kilometers up to tiny alpine Lake Besson – well worth the ride.
By the time we were at the Lake, Doreen had finished – so the three of us has a nice lunch at the only open bar. Then somehow, Doreen and I found the energy to follow a tiny Alpine road up the the Col de Sarenne – a remote little mountain pass.
Wow, we were excited and exhausted when we stumbled back to the hotel. A great day.
Total distance 3,731 km