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Published: March 22nd 2018
There's something to be said when the trip organizer himself elects not to do part of the alternate route - but I didn't know any better at the time (I left before him), and truthfully neither did he as the Internet had had precious little to share about the itinerary he had suggested. So I got to be the trailblazer, and now you get to find out how things went.
The day started promisingly enough: overnight rains had subsided and the nearby summits were shrouded in mist that the morning sun was busy burning off as I left Meyrueis. In fact things were so scenic as I left town that I kept stopping almost every few metres to take a picture, and at one point in the climb to Col du Perjuret I noticed to my chagrin that my average speed and climbing speed at that point were in fact identical. I quickly 'summitted' and headed off towards the Col de Fourques (the second of 5 named cols on this ride), which I actually passed through while descending. Meanwhile the weather started to turn and it even got downright chilly. Then I came upon this ominous warning.
descent wasn't really that scary, but I held back just in case, because having seen what passes for normal on some of these country roads I wasn't sure what "dangerous" might involve. Eventually descending through the picturesque town of Rousses (I didn't see any redheads) I immediately got to climb up the other side of the valley to get a view of where I had just come from. After passing through a tunnel I started heading down again before hitting another questionable road - but this time I would be heading up it. Surprisingly it was a fairly enjoyable climb,with a nice view of the valley . However, once over the top (or so I thought) I was immediately met with a stiff uphill on a road so rough it sapped any speed I might have mustered. At least this time when I again thought I had topped out I could see in the distance that the road would pitch upward again so I was prepared for it, but it was a tough slog to get back to the main road - which immediately started climbing again heading towards Mont Aigoual.
In due time I arrived and got to
take in the views before returning to the main road to enjoy the descent, which was the best I have ever encountered in France (or possibly anywhere). Once again, I was surprised to reach a col (Col de la Sereyrede) without having to pedal upwards, and luxuriated in the continuing loss of altitude until my route left the main road and offered the worst 12km of descending I have ever had to endure - the road was horribly rough and at the end I believe my organs had been rearranged; I have never felt so beat up. Amazingly, after Treves (which, had I looked at a map instead of following my directions, could have been reached by continuing further on the smooth road before joining the nominal route on what certainly could only have been a better road) the descent continued all the way to Millau, although by this time I was so banged up that even the 'normal' French road surface seemed harsh.
To add insult to injury, tonight I opted for what I hoped would be a fine meal, and indeed my entree was very nice indeed, but the rest of the meal went downhill from there
- definitely not worth the 23 euros charged; worse yet - they had no creme brulee!
Tot: 2.55s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 10; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0474s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb