Author: Will

Happiest while cycling uphill.

Cormet de Roselend is one of the more beautiful climbs in the Alps. But remember, the best route is not via the main Route des Grandes Alpes road that climbs the north and south sides. Instead, take the 3rd way up via Col du Pré, like the Critériun du Dauphiné will on June 5th. Col du Pré is a challenging beautiful climb with 26 hairpins and high mountain views in all directions. And just beyond the summit is one of the great views in the Alps down towards Lac de Roselend. And best of all? To get to Cormet de…

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Yes, I am still here! My first adventure not starting from home since the end of the most recent French lockdown. The route? Col de la Colombière “the hard way” via Romme. These will be the feature two climbs during stage eight of the 2021 Tour de France. See bottom of post for the stage profile. The climb to Romme is steep! It begins as a little cliff road right beside the autoroute. The moment the road turns up there is this welcoming sign: The local joke of course is “Tous les chemins mènent à Romme” (All roads lead to…

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Woohoo, my first ride not starting from home in 6 months. I was motivated as yesterday was my first ride of 2021 in shorts, and tonight France is almost certainly going to announce stricter lockdown conditions. 🙁 Part of my 2021 Cycling Challenge was to climb 100 cols, so I needed to get moving as I’ve been cycling the 5 cols near me over and over. 🙂 The loop climbs Col de Richemond (1060m) then visits several nearby Cols atop the Plateau de Retord, finally descending back to the start via Col de Cuvery (1178m). See bottom map with all…

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I hope everyone is doing well. I know, it’s been a while since I posted. Between COVID, winter, and a couple of other things – I’ve only ridden from home so far this year. No new adventures … yet. But I’ve been riding a lot locally. I am actually on pace for my 2021 Challenge of cycling uphill one foot for every single minute of the year. 🙂 525,600 minutes = 525,600 feet = 160,200 metres. Hopefully, I’ll get more adventurous at some point soon. But here are a few photos of recent rides. Be well.

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2021 would be the 17th year of my silly annual cycling challenges. Back in 2005, I was an occasional cyclist and challenged myself to ride 10,000 kilometres. Now I am addicted to riding my bike. See here for my 2020 Cycling Challenge results. I must admit that I have come close to ending this blog after this depressing year. Me on twitter a few hours ago. 🙂 I am considering ending my blog and simply posting photos of "benches with a view" 🙂 pic.twitter.com/hiCNoBWGKV— cyclingchallenge (@cyclingalps) December 31, 2020 But fuck it. Yes, 2020 sucked. But let’s have some hope.…

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Year 16 of this blog and my silly annual cycling challenges. It was obviously a fairly lousy year. First, let me wish everyone well. Here’s to a better new year. Of course, 2020 was a strange cycling year for me. Zero overnight trips and few ambitious new rides. But I definitely used cycling as a way of managing my personal well-being. The after effects of exercise are highly underrated and whenever I felt down, I went pedaling. Here are the results versus my 2020 Cycling Challenge. 160,200 Metres of Vertical Ascent 525,600 minutes in a year 525,600 feet = 160,200…

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Busy doing your Christmas shopping? Looking for a 2021 cycling or cow calendar? Well, look no further. For obvious reasons the majority of my cycling was local this year, so I’ve made only two calendars for 2021: A cycling calendar and a cows calendar. Moo! There is only one size this year: (11 x 8.5 in / 279 x 216 mm) Price: $9.99 or a similar amount in other currencies. Global delivery is reliable. Lulu.com, the publisher, sometimes has coupon codes available to lower the price. Use google to search for a coupon code in your geography. For example, SPOOKY10…

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It’s getting colder and the high Alps has fresh snow. With lots of lousy weather in the immediate forecast, my goal was to profit from a sunny day and enjoy some close-up views of Mont Blanc. Col du Joly (1989 metres) is paved on its west side from Beaufort. But I love the unpaved north-east side starting from Les Contamines. Les Contamines was also the start point for my amazing 3-day mountain bike “Tour of Mont Blanc Unpaved” with my friend Alfie. Details here Leaving Les Contamines, the route quickly joins a steep, unpaved farm road. As the map profile…

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Lac du Bourget is the largest and deepest lake entirely in France. It is surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains including Mont du Chat, one of the toughest road bike climbs in France. Doreen and I would ride the bike path on the south east side of the lake and then visit the very scenic Col du Chat above. See here for a detailed post mapping and describing a bunch of cycling climbs and loops in the Lac du Bourget region. We started on the south edge of the lake. There is a segregated bike path that reaches Aix-les-Bains…

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Originally, I had planned to see the Tour de France today. But I am feeling un-social lately. So instead I mountain-biked up to some cols above/between Megève and Col des Saisies. The only thing spoiling the glorious silence? A bunch of damn (Tour de France) helicopters in the distance. 🙂 This challenging route visits 6 cols (all labeled on 2nd map at very bottom). The first two (Golet, 1480m and Col du Drayon, 1517m) I had never visited before. So there are a couple of very steep, difficult stretches early on as I tried to link them to the upper…

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