The 10 Best Climbs Cycled By My Wife


View Doreen’s Big Cycling Climbs in a larger map

One doesn’t cycle as much as I do without a loving and supportive wife. Doreen prefers running – and has a marathon under her belt. But she has cheerfully tolerated endless cycling trips and often bravely “attacks” some of the biggest climbs in the Alps.


So I proudly present the 10 best climbs cycled by my wife! 😉

#1 Col du Galibier
Doreen laughs at Col du Galibier Victory Smile Proud

In fact she’s done each side, but last summer’s perfect ride with friends up the classic north side was one of our funnest rides ever.

More details on Galibier here.

#2 Col de la Bonette
Map Col de la Bonette Restefond Doreen and Col de la Bonette

The road signs proudly claim this as the highest road in Europe. In fact, there are a couple of paved roads slightly higher in Spain and Austria.

Doreen joined us for the last few days of the Tour d’Enfer in 2008. And while all us “want-to-be”s rode fancy carbon bikes, she cheerfully reached the summit on her old, heavy touring bike.

More details on Bonette here.

#3 Alpe d’Huez

On a beautiful May day a few years back, it was just us and a bunch of Dutch cyclists on the Alpe. While eating pizza at the top waiting for the girls, I was impressed to see that my wife beat the Dutch guy’s wife. 😉

More details on Alpe d’Huez here.

#4 Mont Ventoux
Mont Ventoux Doreen conquers Ventoux Mont Ventoux

In June, while Philippe and I did a Ventoux Cyclosportive, Doreen had breakfast at a café in Bédoin, cheered us as we passed …… then proceeded to climb Ventoux herself. Chapeau!

For more on Ventoux see here.

#5 Col de la Colombière

Despite bigger climbs on her list of accomplishments, Doreen will swear that Colombière is the hardest climb she’s ever done. Perhaps due to the brutal last three kms or the fact that it always seems to be against the wind.

See more on Colombière here.

#6 Col de l’Iseran
Col de l'Iseran Col de l'Iseran

The highest paved Col in France (The top of Bonette is above the Col). Another favourite ride of ours.

For more on Iseran see here.

#7 Col d’Allos
Col d'Allos Doreen on Col d'Allos

A beautiful south Alps climb. One of our favourites.

We’ve happily done this a couple of times.

For more on Allos see here.

#8 Col de la Cayolle
Col de la CayolleCol de la Cayolle

In between Bonette and Allos, this very high Col is a wonderfully long and easiesh ride. Doreen had a flat tire near the top and despite the efforts of 6 of us, no one could fix it.

While she waited under threatening skies, we had to descend back to Barcelonnete and fetch the car. Apparently, friends tell me, it’s the fastest I have ever descended.

For more on Cayolle see here.

#9 Col d’Izoard
Col de l'Izoard Col de l'Izoard

One of the most famous climbs in the Alps. On a perfect sunny day, Doreen climbed the south side.

I awaiited her at the Napoleon house near the top with ice cream as a reward.

For more on Izoard clicke here.

#10 Cormet de Roselend
Roselend Doreen conquers Cormet de Roselend Cormet de Roselend

One of the best rides up past an alpine lake/dam.

For more on Roselend see here.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. LOVELY POST!!! I wonder who is the proudest of Doreen’s accomplishments… the husband or the wife? Doreen never seems to think too much of her performances. The question “How did it go?” in general gets an answer like “Well, I just rode up”. 😉

  2. Chilly,
    I lo-ove it!!

    Thanks for thinking of me and you surprised me with the Ventoux photo! I’m glad you’ll still ride with a slow poke like me.


  3. Wow, these are some real monsters! I’d say anyone with this kind of vertical accomplishment and dedication deserves to ride on Corbon or Ti. 🙂 Pete

  4. Pingback: My 2011 Cycling Challenge : Cycling Challenge

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