Ballons d’Alsace

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34.2 km

Today I climbed two of the three climbs of the famous Ballon d’Alsace. On July 10th 2005 the second of today’s climb will be the first big climb of the Tour de France.

The day started out with pouring rain – I was absolutely sopping wet when I reached the beginning of the 1st climb and was beginning to think I was crazy. But this route up from Sewen passes two beautiful mountain lakes and the climb soon warmed me up. I began to enjoy the great scenery and the empty roads.

From the top I descended to the start point of the upcoming Tour de France climb. The descent was freezing and it had started to pour again. Visibility was zero as the fog rolled in. Yuck.

The original plan was for me to climb again and descend to the car and meet Doreen. We had parked by a beautiful running path and she was putting in her daily kilometers – but I couldn’t stand another descent like that, so – shivereing – I called her and we agreed to meet at the top.

The ascent though warmed me up again, the skies cleared, I felt quite strong and enjoyed the fabulous views that the fog had hidden on my descent.

I never saw a single cyclist during all this time. We had a nice lunch at the top as the weather began to clear and as we departed for home, we passed dozens of cyclists who apparently had much better weather forecasts than me.

Great day and worth doing again.

Below is heart rate altitude and speed chart.

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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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