I had timed my cycle across the Alps just as the Tour de France was passing through. Alp d’Huez, 13.8km of gorgeous Alpine beauty with 21 hairpin bends at an average gradient of 7.8% (some parts at 14%). I cycled up the mountain in the morning just a few hours before the professionals whizzed up it about three times as fast as I did. It was amazing to see the number of people supporting on the mountain.
A friend from London, Nicole Oh was also cycling in the area with a bike tour company called Le Domestique Tours. The two tour guides, Riley and Sam, were SUPER friendly and let me join them in their chalet for a bite to eat… and a badly needed shower! We started round 9am and the crowds were slowly trudging up the mountain, some had already taken up their positions on the roadside and were tucking into the first of the day’s MANY beers.
I videoed the whole thing on a GoPro complete with water being thrown over me, a few friendly pushes, plenty of cheering…and a guy on a bike dressed as a goat! I’ll stick it on YouTube or maybe just the highlights soon. All I can say is it was an amazing mixture of pleasure and pain.
After lunch we had an AMAZING view from the balcony of the Tour de France riders race up the mountain. BIG thanks to the Le Domestique Tours for letting me crash your party for the afternoon and for some seriously 5-star cycling treatment!
Hauling every bit of my 37kg of luggage in 6 bags up the mountain on a bike that weighs over twice as much as a road bike was A LOT of work. I’d DEFINITELY put it up there with the top 10 most challenging things I have ever done.