Helen Findlay

My adventures in Middle Europe and The Colonies. This blog contains my own views and opinions and does not represent those of my employers, or any other organisation with which I am involved. Remember, just because it isn't Singletrackworld, doesn't mean it isn't shite !

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Il pleut et il pleut et il pleut et il pleut...

Pg 980 of the Rough Guide to France states that; 'one place you're unlikely to be cycling to is the ski resort of Alpe D'Huez'. OK, so it doesn't have Don't Panic written on the front in big friendly letters, but it is usually more reliable than that !

But I'm starting in the middle. (one of the many benefits of a classical education) Spent most of last week exporing the trails and road climbs around Morzine. Not easy if you stubbornly refuse to use the chairlifts. Bit of an Epic ride on friday, decided I liked the look of a walking path to get to the top of a col that would take me over to Swiss airspace and some lovely descents. As I was climbing up, remarked to myself that it would make a great descent, and I must try it from the other side sometime. I am not sure where I lost the path, although it was horribly clear over a beer later on. Ended up 4 hrs in, carrying my bike to the top of a mountain, hoping to see a massive carpark and telesiege on the other side. Nope, 200 metre drop. Bollocks.

Nae food left, cloud closing in and pretty knackered after 1200 metres of climbing, so set off back down the path, terrifying a few french walkers. Oops. Will not be defeated, Sir Ed Hilary and all that, so will tackle it from the Swiss side sometime. Will remember and take Tensing to carry my bike, mind.

Started raining somewhat on saturday, no worries, I needed the rest, got lots of shopping and chores done, finished The Algebraist by Iain Banks. Rained again on sunday, so did some desultory climbing intervals and back to my tent. Bored now. Contemplating a home made tattoo. Feel like I'm in an 80's Aussie Soap 'Rack off, or I'll dob you in to The Freak' Desparate enough to start reading the book Kieren leant me 'Sea Harrier Over The Falklands - Commander Sharkey Tells It Like It Really Was For Our Lads'.

Monday morning and it's raining even harder and my tent has really startet to let the water in. Hurriedly throw all the stuff I care about in the Van and head down to a hotel in Bourg D'oisans, the plan tro wait out the weather and get my kiwi arse up some famous Tour climbs. Realise after an hours driving that I don't care very much about my road shoes, they are still in the tent. Looking at the map though, this might not be such a bad thing, to go up D'Huez, Galibier and Telegraphe in a circuit will involve some offroad action, and the VTT is much less scary on the descents, and has lower gears. (but we all know how unreliable French maps are...)

Nice meal in the hotel last night, Magret de Canard, and the waitress spoke English and felt sorry for me on my own so invited me for coffee ! Nice day today so about to head up the hills...