I’ve cycled the north side of Madeleine a couple of times, but never tried the steep little side road – part way up – to Lachat. Nine extra kilometres all at least at 10%. Hard work, but on a beautiful little deserted road – well worth the detour. I figured I better do it first or I’d lose all motivation after a Madeleine ascent on a very hot day.
The paved road just stops at Lachat, but there seem to be endless roads paths above for an adventuresome mountain biker. The surface is adequate, not great in places, but OK.
After Lachat, I found a little restaurant and a fountain to get some liquids in me. I drank 5 water bottles, 2 cokes and a beer today – and still probably needed more.
I took my usual leisurely pace up Madeleine. Such a great climb. It will be in the 2012 Tour de France again – I watched the 2010 Tour near the top of this side – video and a couple of pics above.
The last 4 kilometres are the most fun, as the road climbs up and out of the valley. I was pretty knackered by the time I reached the col and the beer tasted exceptionally good.
I had an extra 150 metres of climb as I forgot my camera and had to turn back. It was worth the extra effort to get some pics.