Edit Blog Post
Published: March 19th 2018
the other side of where-I-came-from
After descending the other side of the Col de la Rochette
I'm having trouble getting this entry going here, somewhat like this morning: when you start the day with a 6km climb directly from the hotel, there's little opportunity to warm up. Fortunately the grade wasn't outrageous - an average of 5.1% and a maximum of 6.5% - but I still felt stupid after realizing at km 4 that I should have removed my helmet for the ascent and been that much cooler, since the sun was out and it was already quite warm. I felt cheated not being able to get a photo at the top (there was no sign, and the area was wooded), so I had to settle for something on the other side.
Today's route choices were a rather pedestrian jaunt direct to Annecy, the path I will describe here, and a more challenging endeavor that involved 15% grades up the Col de la Grande Colombier that I chose to skip since I was sure I hadn't yet found my legs (and unsure that I ultimately would). To compensate for this uncharacteristic sensibility, I chose to include the optional out-and-back route up the Col de Richemond. I hooked up with a local cyclist who appeared at just
About to start the climb to Col de Richemond
the right moment, and was able to chat the whole way up and gain some knowledge of the area. This proved useful when he pointed out that the road actually descended a bit before rising once again (would I have figured that out on my own?), and I was finally able to snag a proper Col-bagging photo.
I then got to enjoy a 10-11km descent, the latter half of which ran along the edge of a valley so I could finally relax and enjoy the ride. My timing was impeccable, as I caught Carole just at the point where I need to make a left turn to start the climb to Col de la Biche. I foolishly let my momentum shoot me partway uphill before stopping to chat as Carole climbed, and then had considerable difficulty getting clipped in to start up again - not surprising since the 6km climb has a minimum grade of about 8% (I think) maxing out at 11.8%. This was another case where the actual Col is in the woods (apparently there was a sign in the trees but I missed it) and there's a descent followed by more climbing (and several "barrieres canadiennes"
i.e. cattle guards) before breaking out into the open and offering another 11km descent.
This one, however, proved more invigorating, as I tried letting things run a bit more, using the entire road (which wasn't much more than one lane wide, and characteristically bumpy) and encountering at various times gravel and both cars and ascending cyclists suddenly appearing in my chosen line; there were a couple of times I came uncomfortably close to losing it when a turn proved somewhat tighter than anticipated.
But once having reached the valley and turned onto the main road (annoyingly listed as a momentum-killing left turn on our route sheet, but in fact an obvious right one), the pavement was North-American smooth enabling an easy 57kph coast into the gorgeous little town of Seyssel.
Following that there was a now-requisite "route barree" notice that you couldn't help but know was inconsequential - it was simply there because there was a crane in the middle of the road - so we had a nice section all to ourselves before hitting a more traditional ''route barree'' impediment. It seems summer is construction season here too, and <br style="background-color: transparent; color:𛈇 font-family: verdana,
I took this photo to show what the conditions were like at one point, and apparently somewhere in these woods there is a sign indicating this is the official Col.
sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; line-height: 19.2px;" />this looked serious - there was even a 'here's how much of your tax dollars we're spending' sign erected. Fortunately the rough patch didn't last long and we were able once again to continue on our planned route. As we neared Annecy traffic increased, and we soon found ourselves in the midst of a large metropolitan area.
BTW did I mention my roommate snores? We are in rather close quarters tonight - I took this photo pressed up against the wall! Worse yet, it seems there have been huge snowfalls in the Alps and we are not sure the roads will even be open in the areas we had hoped to travel. Stay tuned.
Tot: 0.17s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 11; qc: 52; dbt: 0.1013s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb