Conquering l’Alpe d’Huez

We did it! All 21 switchbacks and 14 k that average just under 8-percent. This is an hors categorie, or uncategorized climb. It’s not in the Tour de France this year, but it’s one of the most famous big climbs in France. We started riding early, hoping to beat the heat, and managed to do that, for the most part. Along the way, more than a few of us stopped to take stunning pictures of the view (and each other!). Of course, that didn’t happen til after the bottom two switchbacks, which are incredibly steep. 5 miles an hour steep. We loved it.

After some fruit and snacks at the top, everybody scattered in to the little stores that are there. They’ll be coming home with some pretty cool gifts and jerseys that they worked pretty hard to get. The descent was amazing, of course. Michel, one of our guides, knows this area well and took us down a less busy, much more beautiful part of the mountain. It was fantastic… And you can see what happened at the bottom. There is a beautiful COLD lake in Allemont AND a little restaurant where we got salad, pasta, and glace, or ice cream. Ice cream has never tasted so good!

Tomorrow: another big ride. And hopefully, more glace.

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