Col de la Lusette, Mont Aigoual, and Sheep

I am not the only one of my cycling buddies training for a big race. Erik and Anne are both doing this year’s Etape du Tour in Annecy, and therefore are eager to get out and get some elevation in their legs. Fortunately, we all live near one of the best places to climb in France – Les Cévennes.

Sure, The Alps have bigger climbs and famous cols, but our local mountains have roads that will test the most world weary climber, and descents that will either sharpen your game or make you never want to go down a mountain again. And, of course, there’s the sheep.

photoThis is what held Erik and Anne up on our first climb today, a herd of 800 sheep making its way to the village of L’Esperou for the annual Fête de la Transhumance (the Cévennes is one of the last places in Europe where this is still practiced).

We got some good climbing in the legs today – 2450 meters, so Polar says. We climbed up the ‘Little Ventoux’, which we did on this very day last year. Then, to the top of Mont Aigoual, where I managed to remember to take a photo or two.

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John and Erik, before realizing that we might need to go 300 meters further to finish the Strava Segment.

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Two Austrians, generously pulled up the hill by Erik and John.

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The border of Gard and Lozère, the red-headed stepchild of Languedoc, but a place of magical riding.

There were two more climbs after Aigoual, but mercifully no more sheep. Stay tuned – silly season continues with another proposed Ventoux Triple this coming Wednesday. Anybody interested, you know the drill: ‘toilet parking lot’, Bédoin, 8:30. 


Here’s the Strava link to the ride, if anyone would like a great route while you’re down here:

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