Thursday, 21 August 2014


Today we drove up the Col du Lauteret, then Shawn and I kitted up to ride the short side of the Galibier.  Not because we're weeny, but because we have rental car timelines!

It's a beauty climb.  Nice grades.  Majestic high alpine.  We rode together for the first third, then we realized that somehow Old Fashioned's were better recovery nightcaps apparently than French Connections. 

View from Col du Lauteret climb up the valley (we drove this section). 

Galibier climb action. 

Bunnin crests. Just fill in with your mind the screaming fans, 2m wide corridor and the newspaper handoff to go in the jersey. 

The "been there" shot. I don't think it's the last col's we'll ride together!

So on top of this we make small talk with a guy in a Defender 110 at the top. He tells us that Valoire, the next town down the valley which we'll be driving through, is holding a 4x4 convention right now. That explains all the awesome rigs. I was in heaven driving through and seeing them all! Had two hands on the wheel when we drove through Defender wonderland in Valoire, but when were changing from riding this guy was stopping for a snack. It's a Nissan. 

We then drove up and over.  Cindy was impressed that the road got down to approximately bike path width. It is high enough elevation that some chips we bought at a gas station in Albertville popped. 

Descent towards Valoire side. 

Then one last dinner in Geneva!  Unsurprisingly, walking the streets of downtown Geneva at night is not sketchy. I think the bad neighbourhoods are the ones where you can't hear live violin music being performed at night. I was afraid that instead of being mugged for my watch, someone was going to come up and force me to put on a Swiss watch instead of a Timex.  The morning commute to the airport by train took about 10 minutes, and the airport flow from rental car area to train station to flight checkin is easy. And yes, the trains run exactly on time. As does the little rental car bus that takes you to the parkade they're in.  No Swiss stereotypes were invalidated on this visit. 

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