Snow At 30 Degrees

I have had another day which has mainly involved sitting on French motorways. This seems to be becoming a bit of regular occurrence and has resulted in a noticeable increase in my knowledge of French geography, my hatred of French radio and my fuel bills.

I arrived at Allemont about 3:30 this afternoon. It says Allemont on the big sign in the village but Allemond on my map, I’m going to go with what the locals say.

The practice sessions for the Megavelanche start tomorrow, I have no idea what I’m doing in a race like this so I have got lift passes for the whole week, I need as much practice as I can get! Anyway, since I can only pick them up tomorrow morning I decided to take the road bike out instead, just to have a look around.

It was 30 degrees in Allemont when I set off. It was a little odd being in temperatures like that and yet with so much snow around. I headed along the valley and then turned up the hill towards Alpe D’Huez. I knew this would be a big hill but didn’t realise just how big. I climbed up through Huez Village and up to Alpe D’Huez itself, then continued on up the mountain to the lakes at the top.

I say top, but it was just the top of the road section, as far as I could really go on the road bike. I had started about at about 2,000ft and climbed nearly 5,000ft but there was a still a long way to go, I could see the snow covered summit of Pic Blanc towering above me, the place where the race will start next Sunday.

The ride to up from Allemont had taken me 1hr54min, but the ride back took 25 minutes. Anyone who says that you don’t need disc brakes on a road bike is talking complete rubbish! Unfortunately I still have rim brakes on mine…

I found somewhere to camp, a lovely spot by a ravine with a waterfall, where I made dinner and mended the van before settling down for the night. Yes, I have yet another broken van story to tell, I’ve got a load of those which I will save for a quiet news week.

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