Day 11 26/07/2012

Laffrey – Col des Festreaux – Col Bayard – Tallard

Dist: 105.33 km
Time: 6.39.02
Avg speed: 15.8 km/h
Max speed: 61 km/h
Tot time: 63 56
Tot dist: 1165.4 km

Day 2 in Alps.

I was a little tired yesterday so decided to sleep a bit longer. Was up around 8 and out of the camp by 9.

But first let’s finish the story from last night. It turned out that the froggies we were having were Polish. Didn’t have any patriotic feelings though and in they went. They were really good.

Now today.

It was a fantastic day of cycling. Beautiful weather – still hot and sunny. Loads of up and down the mountain.

At first there was a series of uphills. Practically till the first Col it was all slowly going up and up and up. Views were magnificent. All the way. Stopped for a photo a few times but could have been taking pics every few hundred meters.

After the first Col came a descent that tested breaks and as the road looked really clean I went down. That was when I got the max of 61 km/h. The fastest I have gone on this bike.

Then there was a series of relatively flat ride. I didn’t realise I was going up again. There are this slow slopes that kept me guessing – is it up or down hill. There was no problem telling the difference. My mind was oh it’s down and my legs were saying – hold on. There is something wrong here. It happened on several occasions.

I had a breakfast in La Mure, then stopped for lunch in La Fere. It was 14 km from Gap but my body was running out of juice.

Had couple of Cokes and quiche with chips. Wise decision.

Next after La Fere till Laye? it was a hell of an up the mountain. I was on my way to Col Bayard. (1246 mtrs).

It was funny how I was bargaining with my body and my mind to get through this one. It was marked at 12 % as well. Same yesterday. Maybe shorter on steep bit. It went on for about 3 km and then it was a bit more friendly.

When I started going up I thought I won’t be able to do it. Then meter by meter the distance from the top was getting smaller and smaller. I was arguing with my mind and legs for another few hundred meters, till next shaded area, till next curve and then to safe stopping point.

Then after Laye the slope started getting milder. And I did get to the top.

Nobody would prepare me for the downhill I had to take afterwards to Gap. 5 km of a steepest serpentine I have been through. All the way marked at 12%. Terrific and terrifying. In Gap stopped at the tourist info and as I prefer quieter places I cycled out and found Hotel. There was supposed to be a camping but I missed it. So Hotel it is tonight.

Went to supermarket to get few bits and pieces. Toilet paper, sun cream, fruit and sparkling water.

Can see the tops of the Alps from the hotel. It has been a short but fascinating adventure. Great food by the way.

Now let’s head down the sea. Where? Tomorrow somehow will tell.

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