Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Alp d'Huez, Col de Sarenne, Les Deux Alp loop

Beauty day.

Coasted downhill to Bourg d'Oisans. Here's my semi sketchy one handed descent rolling photos. 
Cindy was glad she still had a husband after this one. 

Bill Quinney is immortalized in Bourg d'Oisans. Top left.  Amazing coincidence of spotting it - good eye Bunnin!

Then got fired up for the climb. Sort of. I paced. I brought a 39x25 which is tough for me to push up the first half hour or so. I sort of knew that going in. So I paced. Pushing that gear had me at threshold just to stay rolling, so I pulled back when I could. Middle was moderate, last 5km I went a bit harder. It's interesting to look on strava after. Of 18,000 people my overall time was like around 6,000. But for some segment a guy made as last 7 switchbacks I was 1,000 and change of same total amount. Took a few shots in way up while riding!

Near top, waiting for Cindy. 

Turns out Cindy took another route up. So we eventually all regrouped at top, had a snack, and went over the Col de Sarenne to loop back. Beautiful small road. Crazy little mountain towns in the valleys. Near Alp d'Huez. 

Top of Col de Sarenne. 

Photo stop on way down next valley. 

After that I had to have hands permanently on brakes. I knew what I was getting into with gear choices (or lack of time to change them). What was news to me was how much less stopping power carbon wheels have. Shawn and I did a side by side test on the flat canal at the start of the week. On the descent today I was just hoping like hell for enough speed to scrub off before each corner, and arcing to the outside near the clover praying for my traction to keep me on the black stuff at that speed. Ha. Glad it worked out. Cindy saw me outrigger one corner near the bottom, her brakes are way stronger plus she weighs less anyway.  There's two lessons in this:  we can corner harder than we think, and carbon rims aren't the best alps wheels, unless there's some pad trick I don't know. The wheels are tough as hell, but unless I should be using something different than Enve pads, lose 40lbs, or just like thrills, they probably aren't the best choice. 

Cindy loved stage whole ride and thinks France just is so beautiful, and loves the climbs. Fast defender too!

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