Today brought the last ride of the week for our VIP Alpes gang, and it was probably the most beautiful ride we’ve had so far.. about 100k through an area called Vercors, about 45 minutes from our hotel in Grenoble. The first kilometers were a fantastic descent down, down, down along a river, into a valley. The rocks hang over the road. It was breathtaking. We had a gigantic picnic lunch in a wonderful town called La Chapelle-en-Vercors. There’s not much better than eating local cheese, fresh French bread (and, of course, Nutella) in a little park in the summertime in France.
The ride back to the starting point had some climbing to it, but when you ride uphill the day after conquering L’Alpe d’Huez, not much seems steep. It was hot, though, so the discovery of fresh spring water fountains was a good one. Every day’s ride has been a little different, so our group got a nice taste of all kinds of riding that’s available in the regions we visited. Tonight, a toast of champagne to a fantastic week of cycling, getting up close and personal with the Tour de France, eating and drinking whatever we wanted (we burned it all off!), and making new friends that we’ll keep in touch with when we return home. I’d say it was a highlight reel of a week. And tomorrow: The Pyrenees. Stay tuned.