It’s hard to believe that less than a week ago we were in the Savoie, riding up the (in)famous Col de la Croix de Fer and l’Alpe d’Huez. I’ve decided to spare the details of all the bad stuff that happened because in retrospect it doesn’t seem like such a big deal (or maybe my sleep-deprived brain just doesn’t want to think about it anymore).
It was now about 1pm and it was HOT. People were getting hungry and they were quite pissed off at having gone 2 hours in the wrong direction – uphill! It was definitely our “bad call” to not have tested the ability of the riders before hand because this became an EPIC day.
The sign in St-Jean-de-Maurienne said that the next town was a mere 5K away, in the direction of the Croix de Fer. A very long story short: the sag wagon had disappeared with all our water/food (he was waiting at the top… kind of defeats the purpose), riders were walking, the bus was trying to get to us… Turns out the town ended up being 15k up the road. And I mean
Personally, I was having a lovely ride (despite being yelled at, cursed, etc). I like to climb! Unfortunately, the stress of trying to find people, vehicles, etc fried my brain and I forgot to eat. By the time I got to the last town before the Croix de Fer I was desperate for something — anything. I met up with a really nice group and we stopped at a little café for some nice cold Cokes. When I asked the owner how far to the top he said “15K”. I almost punched him. Turns out he was joking!
We were 5K to the top and they were pretty damn spectacular! I was SO happy to get to the top and grab… a coke. It was all that was left! Damn! After a quick photo op we hopped back on for the 25K descent into Bourg-d’Oisan which is the base of Alpe d’Huez.
Done! I was STOKED!
At the end of the day, my heart rate monitor/computer showed that I had ridden for a total of about 6.5 hours, fueled by 4 water bottles, 2 cokes and 1/2 a powerbar. Not exactly ideal. Didn’t bonk though, which I am still trying to understand.
Day 2 led us back to l’Alpe d’Huez on 2 hours of sleep, but that’s a whole other story! Time for me to get some much needed sleep!