Classic Climbs of France, Day 2
Distance 64.21 mi | Time 6:22:58 | Speed 10.1 mph | Elevation 7,894 ft
I’m sure at some point, this series of blog posts will get repetitive. Conquering a long and difficult ascents, thrilling downhills, spectacular views, etc. So in this post I’ll more let the pictures tell the story.
Today we had a one-way ride to Saint-Lary-Soulan, a Pyrénées ski resort. In the process, we climbed and descended Col du Tourmalet, featured in this year’s Tour de France, and Col D’Aspin. The day started off rainy and got quite cold at the top of Tourmalet. Everyone followed our guides’ advice and layered up and brought rain gear, especially for the descent down the back side of Tourmalet. Climbing Tourmalet was a beast, a life accomplishment… well until later in the week when we do Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez. Col D’Aspin was not as tough (not as high) but it was our second climb of the day and after lunch.
One thing that has helped me mentally… though the climbs here are 10–20 times longer than what I’m used to in Ohio, the maximum steepness is, so far, typically 12%-13% grade. At home I trained on hills as much as 20% (for short runs) so it makes me think I can handle whatever we have in store for us here. We’ll see…
I’ll do a quick plug for Trek Travel, as everything has been well planned and executed and first class so far. And the guides (see photos below) have been just awesome. They are all bad-ass cyclists and they have been given us great advice and been patient and super helpful.