Friday, April 22, 2011

Going Back to France


It's a cold and rainy day with temperatures in the high 40s (9 C). Not much better I can do than to plan my trip to France.

When I left last year I always knew I would return someday - I just didn't know it would be this year. Initially I planned to return to Saint-Lary-Soulan in the Pyrenees and meet Adrian Register, who rode with us our first day last year.

As I am planning this trip it has become obvious that you cant' get there from here. "There" being Saint-Lary and "here" being Toulouse. No public transportation so I will rent a car.

But the car will also free me to do more riding. Last year we rode the Col d' Peyersourde and rode the brakes down the entire time, unable to see more than 50 meters in front of us, and not willing to go faster because of the cold and keeping in mind the roads were dangerously wet too.

 Peyresourde on a nice day 

I don't have any of my own pictures from the Peyresourde from last year other than the obligatory photo taken at the top of the peak.

 Peyresourde on a not-so-nice day

It was very cold descending and we could not determine whether the curves ahead were sweeping bends or hairpin killers. We rode slow on the descent. I would love to ride the Peyresourde again, this time bombing the descent. But I'm not sure that I will.

Last year I was with a group which had an itinerary and always intersected with the Tour de France. This year I won't be chasing the Tour and will have more time to focus on riding.

IMHO, there aren't three more famous climbs in the Tour than the Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux, and Alpe d'Huez. Only once, in 1994, have all three been used in the same Tour.
And I will do all three.

Part of me wants to repeat each and every climb from last year but part of me says to keep those memories and create new ones on new climbs. And so I am planning Superbagnères instead of Pla d'Adet. A different approach over the Col d'Aspin. But the Tourmalet remains. And to the summit this year!

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