Like most of you all I’ve been plugging along on the bike this year, getting the covid miles in while wondering why I’m doing it. Okay, no, that’s not true. Actually, I’ve been enjoying my rides in 2020, which leads me to think that something must be wrong. Normally I’ve got ‘an objective’ to work towards and that means that riding has ‘a purpose’, which leads to many of them ‘hurting’.
As you all know, most cycling events that we can participate in (i.e. not a pro race) have been cancelled this summer, but here in Europe there are a few that have not thrown in the towel: Etape du Tour is the first one that comes to mind, and not just because we have a support package around it that will probably not be run now. Something called La Cerdanya, just across the border in Spain, is still on the calendar for July 19, and then there’s La Marmotte Alps, the granddaddy of them all, traditionally the first weekend of July, but pushed off till September 5 this year. Maybe.
One or two of you may remember that I have already done La Marmotte, but that was the year the route was diverted to avoid a collapsed tunnel on the descent off of Galibier, so I haven’t done the classic route yet. This parcours is probably the best-known monster in the Alps, if not Europe. Starting at the bottom of Alpe d’Huez, here are the cols.
Col du Glandon 22km 5.5%, Col du Télégraphe 11.5km 7.3%, Col du Galibier 17.6km 7%, Alpe d’Huez 13km 8%. That’s 64.1km of difficult climbing out of 174km of riding. The total elevation gain is over 5000m.
I’m not saying I’m going to do this, or that I think it is even going to be run, but I’ll just throw it out there for anyone who’s listening and who might want to come along, hypothetically. Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?