Day 19 - Argeles-Gazost, 43 milesMay 4, 2016 in France
Wow what a day and the kind of day I could only dream of when planning this trip. Some of the most incredible scenery I've ever seen let alone riden alongside and all under perfectly blue sky.
The day started with a steep ascent out of Argeles-Gazost on the way to the first and biggest climb of the day at 1,474 metres to Cor du Soulor and used regularly in the Tour de France. After the initial steep climb it was a steady ascent until the last 6 miles where it hit an average of 8.5% with parts upto 12%. You know it's steep when you go to change gear but you're already in the granny gear. My big worry for the day was my knee but the rest, stretching and icing for the last week has seemed to pay off and despite feeling it very slightly is didn't cause any major problems.
After arriving at the top of Col du Soulor it was time to head over the top and onto the Cirque du Lit a pass along a steep rockface. As you will see not your average ride with a sheer drop off one side and steep rockface above. The plan was to ride onto Col d'Aubisque but the road was impassable half way due to rocks brought down by the melting snow and snow that had not yet melted so it was time to turn back but an incredible couple of miles.
After arriving back at the top of Col du Soulor it was time to ride back down the last steep 6 miles and despite taking nearly an hour ride up I was down in just a few minutes. It was then time to head up Col des Borderes and onto Lake d'Estaing for some more postcard scenery. After a days climbing the 12 miles back to town were all down hill and wow what a ride.
In summary - 43 miles riden, over 5,000 feet of climbing and the same descending, over 3,000 calories burnt, a top speed of 48.5mph (to the 4 women in my life it was really only 18mph!) and 1 banana and Nutella and 2 x ham and cheese baguettes oh and one cracking photo at the top of Col du Soulor of me taken by the only other cyclist at the top!
I'm afraid after today I will definitely one of those lycra clad 40, 50 and hopefully 60 years old. Who's up for joining me? I'm looking at you Purv, Moz, Mikey, Francis!Read more