Across the bottom and up the east side

24 08 2013

Le Ride Stage 11 from Perpignan to Marseille: the bad news, probably the least attractive day to be plodding along in 100 degree temperatures. The good news, at least it was one of the flatter stages allowing us to cover around 180 miles in 12-13 hours of ride time 

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Le Ride stage 12 from Marseille to Nice. 5000 feet of climbing in the first 60 miles put a little sting in our legs, but we got reinvigorated by dipping our legs in the Mediterranean about half way thru the roughly 175 mile day. We made it a great end to the day with a nice swim in the clear blue waters off the cote d’azure. We rest today getting ready for 2, 200 mile days thru the alps.

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Le Ride Stage 13 from Nice to Grenoble. We started at sea level in warm temperatures only to spend hours in the rain with near freezing temperatures when we reached the top at nearly 7000 feet. Somehow we managed to find a “bonus” climb that was not on the profile … the Col de Champs which was over 10 miles long with an average gradient of over 7%. Oops.

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Le Ride Stage 14 from Grenoble to Evian. We arrived at the hotel at 2 am after 200 miles and 16000 feet of climbing including the epic Galibier (pictured). I am not sure how we made it as I was nodding off on the bike for the last half an hour and fell asleep immediately on the street when we got off the bike. I thought a lot about my late friend Eddie who loved riding and skiing these Alps.

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Le Ride Stage 15 from Evian to Pontarlier. It is pretty scary when a 100 mile ride with 6000 feet of climbing is an “easy” day, but after the last 6 stages, this one felt like a walk in the park. We had to say au revoir to the mountains as we crested our final col, the category 1 Col du Faucile, but the reward was the view of Mont Blanc behind us (pictured).

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