Yesterday, Ged and I rode up the final climb of stage eight from Morzine to Avoriaz.
12km of nonstop climbing. Wanna know something amazing? I didn't stop. Not once.
I've done rides in Italy with steeper gradients, but those rides were nothing in comparison to this. This climb was the longest one I've ever done. About three times as long actually.
Ged took off to go at his own pace while I steadily ascended on my own.
The atmosphere was so amazing. Complete strangers were cheering me on, honking their horns and fist pumping. One lady even ran next to me asking if I would like something to eat.
The encouragement is what really kept me going. I wanted to stop at the seventh kilometer, but I just downshifted and told myself it wasn't that bad.
If other people can do this, you certainly can.
By the time I reached the top, I was emotionally drained. I was so happy to see Ged and we hugged for about five minutes. I accomplished what I set out to do and it felt great. I think I even shed a couple of tears because I was so proud of myself and because I was just so damn emotional at that point.
The descent took us through this "goat village." Goats were roaming freely everywhere--through restaurants, clothing stores. A very strange town but cool nonetheless.
Then there were cows. Their bells sounded like my mother's wind chimes.
We're riding up again today to see all the workers setting up for today's stage finish. I hope to get some good pictures of the riders later on when they roll in around 5 p.m.
The atmosphere here has been great so far this morning. People are buzzing around with a "sense of purpose," as Ged says. We all have a common passion and you can feel it in the air.
The locals have even decorated the ski slope near our tent:
Oh yeah. Here's our "camp site," by the way:
It comes with a great view, too...