I can sum up Fridays ride in one word…”Killer” – The highest I’ve ever climbed by about 200m, the most elevation gain in a single ride by the same amount and a 500m altitude gain in the first 6km of the ride…it was a tough one for sure;
I tried to set off at 10h00 as it looked like it was going to be a hot one but it was closer to 11h00 by the time I actually left so at 1,800m high I was sweating it out in the midday sun with over an hour to go til I reached the top
I was also regretting the change from an 11-34t cassette to a 11-32t as even in my lowest gear some parts nearly had me off, pushing…but not quite…no pain, no (altitude) gain
I didn’t plan on turning the ride into such a hard one – I guess it was a mixture of missing a turn 7km in, curiosity and then sheer stupidity had me wondering what was ’round the next bend?
I wanted to ride up to Les Eduits de Chantemerle (at about 1,800m) then traverse across/gentle climb and link up with what is the Chantemerle green resort run in the winter. Then hit the amazing singletrack through the forest I’d discovered the week before and then rip the seriously fast descent down past Villeneuve before more singletrack all the way home…but it didn’t go according to plan
Once I realised I must’ve missed the turn and my legs we’re starting to feel it a bit I saw this sign and was curious as to whether is was the same Troix Croix where the Prorel chairlift starts in the winter. Thought it must be seemed like a cool idea to ride up there.
It was. And at 2,000m alt. I probably should’ve stoped there and started the really fun stuff of heading down the mountain – fast. Especially as there’s marked out Downhill trails from there which I’ll be getting the lift up to next weekend.
But I thought I’d go higher. I got up over 2,200m and literally had to stop. The air is noticably thinner up at that height and it was hard work. Plus as soon as you stopped for a breather you were attacked by small flying things. I decided to turn back and hit some DH runs down to the forest, get out of the sun and try and get back to my original plan but I was exhausted by then so even the twisty singletrack in the woods where I’d had so much fun the week before was proving tricky with mistakes being made all over the place.
Got a bit spooked by the Blair Witch wigwams up in the middle of nowhere as well as some interesting looking characters hanging out by a van on a dirt track. That with smacking my shin pretty hard with a miss-pedal, nearly losing my water bottle in a fast flowing stream and coming very close to wiping out big time over a jump I decided it was time to go home…