2014 was my 10th annual Cycling Challenge. If nothing else, I respond to New Year resolutions! It was the first time I hadn’t “announced” my annual goals on Jan 1st as I had been several months off the bike at the time (old man knee!), and was a little depressed.
But things improved, and by February
I was doing my slow, uphill thing as usual. Still my 2014 Challenge was more hopeful than ambitious: 50 Great Rides, and somehow get fit enough to complete the Maratona dles Dolomites – perhaps the most beautiful and best run cyclo-sportive in Europe.
Ultimately, the knee stopped being annoying, I managed far more than 50 great rides, completed the Maratona, became addicted to mountain biking up Alps, and had my biggest climbing year ever (Strava says just over 200,000 metres vertical) – perhaps 80 or so Cols/climbs for the first time. And I now speak almost mediocre Italian. Fantastico!
I recently blogged my favourite climbs of the year:
As usual, thanks to my beautiful, wonderful, and supportive wife Doreen.
Passo Pordoi with Doreen and Fausto Coppi
My “Comeback” Ride (February):
Cross Country Skiing at Flaine (March)
Torino City Bike – Doreen (April)
Monte Grappa Bike Day (May)
Best Race Marshalls Ever?
Above Lac de Roselend (June)
Unpaved road to Passage de la Charmette
“Winning” La Maratona dles Dolomites with Philippe (July)
A Beer at 2350 metres (August)
Cheers – Colle della Lombarda
Snow in the Swiss Alps (September)
Snow already? Furkapass
Col du Joly (October)
Mont Salève Autumn Hairpins (November)
Six great hairpins
Chartreuse de Pomier (December)
A Gallery of favourites:
My “home” mountain in the far distance
My standard shot
Hike above Chamonix
New Hannibal sign near Col
On the dam. Lac de Bissorte.
Glacier du Tour high on right
Descending from Tête de Veret
Aguille Croche – 2435 metres. Scared !
Cow de la Colombière
Through the Woods
My pal the stork
Lago di Rochemolles
View from inside the Galleria (tunnel) descending on the main road.
Griessee: 2386m. Gries glacier behind.
Lago di Narèt
On the second dam
Rhone, Glacier, Furka hairpins, and a cow
Lago di Santa Maria – top of Lucomagno
Summit of Männlichen
Narrow, low, scary tunnel
Steep, but at least I can pedal 🙂
Freezing at the summit
Stickers, and old military roads
Colle della Lombarda
Please don’t rain
Santuario di Oropa
Approaching Col du fréjus
Dam in background
Long (700m) tunnel to access far side of lake.
Joux Plane with Markus
Lago di Combal
Lago di Serrù – standing on the dam
Gran Paradiso indeed
somewhere above Valgrisinche – Val d’Aosta
Between rifugio auronzo and rifugio di lavaredo
Just below summit
Hairpin #14 in a tunnel
Corvara with the boss and Xavier
Ballon de Servance
Doreen: Passo Sella
Passo Gardena descent
Trying to win my age category?
Descending Passo Gardena
After the Maratona dles Dolomites w/ Philippe
Col d’Izoard: Bike-only Day 2014
They descend faster than me
Great Cliff Road
In search of Elephants
A summit beer
Great road to Passage de la Charmette
Heading to Col du Coin
Col du Coin
Lac de Tseuzier
The Rome Coliseum
Our Guide at the Circus Maximus
Canada and Switzerland
Road to Col de Planchamp
Col de Tréchauffée
May 30th 2014
Sacrario militare del monte Grappa
Cheers from Monte Grappa
Lac Plan d’Amont
Me and my stork pal
Col du Glandon
Friendly Stranger (passing me)
The friendly stranger
Enjoying the climb
I met Roger Federer
Doreen and a bunch of skinny bums.
Best Restaurant Ever!
The top ridge. Tower is behind me. Col 1 km ahead
Taken from the Col
Above Col de Beau Plan
The Po River
Torino at night
Vichot in the France jersey
above Méribel Mottaret
East side Plateau des Glières
Despite a slow start you still had a great year and beat your goals. Well done Will! Great pics and can see you are having a lot of fun. Miss riding with you but thankfully you keep the blog and pics coming, so like many others I can live vicariously through you. All the best to you and Doreen for 2015!
Happy New Year to you and Doreen !
Your collection of climbs, rides and outings is once again very impressive. The photos are fantastic and make appetite to just grab the bike and pedal uphill.
I wish you good health, motivation and positive spirit for your adventures in the new year. The few rides we did together last year were all great – I hope we continue cycling together once in a while.
Your blog keeps being my reference !
Encore une belle année cycliste qui vient de se terminer. Je suis heureux de voir que tu as pû en profiter pleinement, c’est en tous cas l’impression que j’ai en lisant ton résumé. J’espère que vous passerez une excellente année avec d’autres belles sorties de vélo (et de “cross country skiing”).
What a fantastic year of cycling. A truly fabulous sporting achievement and with loads of great photos for the memories. I discovered your site a few weeks ago and it has been a great source of encouragement to me. Inspirational in fact. I hope to meet you and the Ventoux Night Session and buy you a beer or four!
P.S If you ever want to discover more of the Vosges you should drop me a line. I can show you some super quiet beautiful little climbs.