Cloud at 1500m. It’s not a day for the big mountains with 50% chance of rain. Booked in for 2 more nights, time to hire a bike and head for France.
Wow, what a ride. Packed 3 climbs into 64 miles. First the Portilhon, a steady introduction to the Pyrenees, 500m in 8km. Ok I can do this. 5% and a triple chainring is the way forward. A drop into Luchon, I remember watching guys on the way up and thinking I had the easier side, and I may take a longer way home. Stopped at a cafe in Luchon, and decided the Peyresourde was on.
From 640m to 1580m in 14.5 km. Ok I can do this better than the other col worshipers today, passed 2 guys on the way up. There were ramps at 10%+ but not for too long. The cool weather definitely helped. So did the crepes and coffee at the top. Coming up from the other direction was a 12 year old French kid, who beat his father by a good 5 minutes. Chapeau!
The descent was chilly, got stuck behind a truck so stopped to get some clear road. Stuffed a caramel sports bar at the bottom, ditched the jacket at the foot of the Portilhon and set to work. Oh yes this side was tougher, there’s one incredible section near a waterfall where you end up 100m vertically above the road below. Stand, sit, spin, try and breath more air than ever before. This one was hurting. Suddenly Allez Allez Allez! From some guys dropping off the top. Push push push, and lie down at the picnic spot. Victory.
Another cold drop and then 10 miles up the valley to Vielha with a snickers and not much drink. Got to the car, stretched and ate. I wasn’t going up to Port de la Bonaigua tonight! But the guy did say I could drop the bike back in the morning…..
Shower and a snooze. Now camped out in montGarri coffee & shop with beer and some chilled electronica.