It’s been cold and threatening for several days. So if I wanted to ride I was going to have to brave it.
The Col de Solaison is only 35 kms from home – near the more famous Col de la Colombiere. My French Cycling Climbs book says:
"…. Col de la Colombiere links Cluses and Clusaz while Col de Solaison seems only to be there for the pleasure of tourists, and amateur cycling climbers in particular."
The climb is steep immediately – the first five kilometres AVERAGE 10%. And the road – especially the lower parts are crazy narrow and cliff hanging.
Its a little easier but not much after that. I knew there would be snow up top due to the cold and rain below so I used a mountain bike. This decision wasn’t done lightly as it is 10 pounds heavier than my road bike. Still it has better granny gears and when I saw slush on the road a few kms from the top I knew it was a good decision. Even on this steep climb I felt the cool breeze and I knew I would freeze on the descent. And boy did i ever.. and almost bought it when a cow ran across the road. I moo’d but he ignored me. Hard but great route.
CHALLENGE UPDATE: My 10th +1,000 Metre climb of 2006