Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day 7- Alpe d'Huez---The Climb of a Lifetime

Most cycling enthusiasts only dream about riding up the great Alp d'Huez, we actually got to do it, and on a tandem. The mountain was buzzing with the tour only two days away. There were hundreds of cyclists climbing the mountain with us along with campers, vans, and other vehicles at EVERY turn. I have to hand it to the Dutch and the Germans; they were out in force and were already in party mode. Check out these two guys at turn 8, about 2/3 of the way to the top, complete with chairs, table, beers and party cranks, cheering us on "allez"!

The climb starts off at over 10% for the first few kms then settles down to around 8-9%. Each turn is marked with a number starting at 21 with the last turn as 1. On the signs are past winners of this stage. The views were spectacular. We actually rode up with a young 13 year old Belgium boy. What a stud. Who says you have to have a fancy bike, the right pedals and shoes. Needless to say he went by us about 2/3 of the way up. I don't think it was fair that his mother brought him fruit and water at every turn!

The views were stunning with mountains all around you. One can only imagine what this place is like in the winter. It took us 1 hour and 38 minutes to reach the top, only about an hour slower than Lance! What a memorable day!

1 comment:

cycliste said...

I read Sheryl Crow's time up this climb was 95min ..I suppose if you had Lance as a pacer, you could have matched her.
What MPH is 98 min for 16km?
4-5 mph?
I broke a sweat looking at the photo