A wheely good evening to you all on this chilly Sunday evening, well it is to me after 7 days of continuous 30 degrees plus!! This was my fifth trip out and the rides on this surpassed all before. After the early part of the week I have written about there were still more col’s to enjoy/enjure/persevere!!
Wednesday was a rest day but a short spin of the legs is what we told Jason, like a club run to flush the legs through. Haha this turned into a 1000 metre climb of the Col D’Ornon. The road wound its way up through the valley as the morning sun sprinkled the tarmac with golden rays. Once at the top it was the fast sharp descent back to the chalet before heading off to Grenoble sight seeing.
So that took us to Thursday and what a day. In any Grand Tour they have the Queen stage, regarded the most brutal day of the race. Well this day was our Queen stage day as we took on the Croix de Fer, Col du Telegraph and Col du Galibier. Over 15,000 feet of elevation, nearly 10 hours in the saddle and some brutal leg burning riding, Yes this was a cycling holiday!!! But boy so glad we took it on and even though fell short of getting back to camp before dark (massive thanks to Andy Caton Curdlér for picking us up in the van) had an epic day in the saddle. This was almost the same route as stage 17 of this years tour and to follow the greats a couple of weeks later just amazing.
So Friday was our last day riding and we left a true gem for this day………the Col D’Izoard. This mountain held its first summit finish of Le Tour back in July and what a climb. For me this was the gem of the week with gorgeous scenery, sweeping bends, sharp hairpins, magnificent views and of course the Coppi monument near the top. A truly great day in the saddle and in my five years of riding probably one of if not the best day cycling ever. To add to this day while we were on this climb Dennis who came out with us rode the Alpe D’Huez climb, all 21 switchbacks at 84 years old, what an absolute legend, totally brillaint. If that doesn’t give you inspiration to get on your bike nothing will!!
So that was this years trip to the Alps with Paul Ashman Cycling and Recycles RCC and we all had a blast. So much so we have already booked the chalet for next year and not just one but two chalets as 11 of us going across.
As for this week I am off to Bournemouth for some chill time with my girls, kim and my parents. Will the bike go with me……well you never know haha. Until next time bye for now and happy riding all of you 😊🚴🏻
A wheely good evening to you all from the sunny Alps. Paul Ashman Cycling and the Recycles Road Cycling Club are enjoying a week out here cycling the iconic mountains of the Alps. It has been an awesome two days already with many more beautiful rides still to do.
Yesterday we took on the most famous of them all, Alpe D’Huez and it’s iconic 21 stages. We all set off together from the start as a group but clearly weren’t gonna stay together. Andy, Matt and Jason laying down the hammer from the off!!
Having already done this climb three times before I wanted to savour the switchbacks and the famous plaques of riders who have won on this mountain along with taking in the magical views. Switchback 3 is honour to The Pirate, one of Cycling great losses.
Once at the top we all reconvened for coffee before heading out to go up further over the Col de Serenne, some 2300 metres up this was new territory for myself and allowed me the chance to explore new terrain. Road surface wasn’t great but this added to the challenge and what it did present to us was the most amazing views and cracking descent back down to the valley. Quick Coca Cola stop and we had the final push back to base. Day 1 over and a well earned BBQ enjoyed by all.
So this took us to today and our trip south to Mont Ventoux. Otherwise known as The Giant of Provence and one look tells you how it got its name towering in the distance from 30 miles away. This was going to be a challenging day with temperatures reaching 40 degrees. The first part of the climb is up through the trees to Chalet Reynard and here a welcomed cold drink awaited.
From here we were left with the final 6 km’s to the summit and took us past the Tom Simpson memorial. Here 50 years ago the legend Tom Simpson collapsed during the Tour de France and lost his life. The memorial is a fitting tribute to a hero and legend in the cycling world. From here we were left with the final kilometre to the summit where a well earned cold drink awaited. The wind was getting up and this was going to make the descent interesting however didn’t stop me touching 55 mph!! From the bottom after a light lunch we had the final climb over the Col de la Madeleine before getting back to the van and setting off back to our chalet.
Apologies for no pics as poor internet here in the Alps but please check out some on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tomorrow is just a flush of the legs and day off the saddle. Until Thursday happy riding one and all.
Evening and hope you are all wheely well. So this morning we set off from Paris on the penultimate leg of our journey. It was a chilly but dry start so at that point all looked favourable for a showed days riding.
Anyway we set off from Paris and made great time getting to Amiens at lunch for a refuel at subway, not as French as we would have liked but it did the job. Setting off for the final 90 miles to Montreuil is where it all changed!! The wind turned to a head on, the rain came along and it made a grim journey. Legs were burning, wind was howling and and rain was cold but we kept in great spirits to land at the hotel by 6pm. And even better the hosts had a chilled beer waitin for us 👍😊
After a quick shower it was time to get dinner and that was a well earned meal. After over 9 hours in the saddle today I could have ate a horse but settled on omelette. It’s now bedtime and tomorrow we have the final 140 miles back to London.
This trip has been epic and thank you so much for all the support along the way. All the tweets, texts and messages mean loads. It’s time for zzzzzzz’s now here in Montreuil. As always check out all the Paul Ashman Cycling social media streams and will be back tomorrow with a day 4 update. Cheers.