Peak Week, Day One

It’s finally here, the week I have been waiting to get over with. This will be the final push before tapering for 9 or 10 days for Haute Route. I haven’t determined exactly what each day will look like – I like surprises, even when I spring them on myself – but they should entail at least 4 hours on the bike and either a) some substantial miles, or b) some substantial climbing.

So, channeling my inner Jensie, I went out into the 40C afternoon, prepared for anything.

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Alright, maybe not ‘anything’, but a long ride in the heat (or so I thought). This is a 3rd bidon in one of my jersey pouches, something I’d only ever seen on TV and Mont Ventoux before. You can tell I’m serious, I hope.

My goal today was a partial double ascent of Mt. Bouquet (below), but I was foiled by roadworks up the back side that did a good job of chewing up my back tire before I figured out it was a good idea to turn around.

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Other than this little hiccup, there was little drama on the ride. Knowing my neighborhood well now, I didn’t expect any water on my ride (it’s really amazing how many villages there are in this area and equally incredible the near total lack of drinking fountains or shops that are ever open), but I kept a keen eye out just in case and, after 3 hours in the oven that is Languedoc in summer, I found this.

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This bakery, in the village of Garrigues, is open all day (nearly a sin in these parts) and they have all sorts of cold drinks to satisfy a thirsty cyclist. I opted for an Orangina and a bottle of water, then a head-dunk here.

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I might not be able to update each day of Peak Week as it happens because I’m heading into The Land That Man Forgot (as Erik affectionately calls the Cévennes) for the weekend and might not have any electricity, let alone internet.

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13 thoughts on “Peak Week, Day One

  1. What a fantastic place you live in: no stores, no electricity, and not even water. Of course you also have incredible vistas, and world-famous mountains. Not a bad trade, I think.

  2. The extra bottle in my back pocket has been a mainstay for several weeks now along with a strategically hidden 1.5 L by the store where I purchase it midway through my rides. And still not enough. Amazing how many little towns just shut down around lunch time. Good that you found your boulangerie. There are many fountains but many with ‘eau non potable’ or ‘kein trinkwasser’.

    • Wow, that’s a lot of water for one ride! And as for water, I seem to remember that there were far more ‘potable’ signs in the past, or maybe I just didn’t care as much and drank it anyway. Languedoc has a shortage of water, so it’s no surprise.

      • Yeah, rule of thumb is usually about 1 bottle per hour however in the 30+C I don’t sweat as much as I deluge, so even more fluids. You’re right about the fountains. Usually can find one but some have signs, some don’t and if they don’t I’d rather not take a chance so bought water is what I’ll often do if I can find a store.

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