Monday, August 9, 2010

Can We Stay Here Forever?

Our original travel plans have changed.  

Instead of staying three nights in Bourg d'Oisans, we’re staying five.  Why?  Because this place is awesome.  I couldn’t ask for more from a cycling mecca if I wanted to.

The tourism office, which is full of friendly people, gives out free nifty booklets with about 35 maps of different cycling routes in the area and has free WIFI.

The atmosphere of this place is great:  There’s always something going on (fireworks last night), people smile at you or cheer you on as you cycle by and the cycling is A-MA-ZING.

And our campsite, Le Colporteur, is fantastic.  Clean showers and toilets, close to a big supermarket, ping-pong tournaments and socials, friendly Dutch neighbors and cyclists galore.  What more could you ask for?

Today's Ride
We climbed Alpe d’Huez again today.

Ged wanted to beat his Saturday time of 1hr 7 min.  I set off 40 minutes before him so that we could finish around the same time.  

I felt better today than I did on Saturday.  My muscles weren’t as tight on the ride up and they didn’t lock up at all at the finish like they did before.  It was definitely hotter today, though.  I had a good sweat going on by the second turn.

Unfortunately, Ged didn’t accomplish his goal, which is OK.  I think it’s a big feat to ride up Alpe d’Huez twice in three days.  He got the same time of 1hr 7min.

He said he “didn’t have the legs today."  His lungs, legs and back were aching.  While he did feel good during the first bit of the climb, he lost the power by the second part. 

Something interesting he said was that he thinks of himself as a diesel engine, able to reach a certain point of acceleration and not surpassing that level but able to keep going for a long period of time.

Fuel For The Body
A ride like this can really take a lot out of you, and I think that’s what I’m beginning to realize. 

Our diet has changed significantly.  We eat loads more than we usually would, which is to be expected.  I find it so fascinating how much more our bodies demand.  I can eat half a loaf of bread with jam for breakfast, a baguette with peanut butter for lunch and a plate and a half of pasta for dinner.  Holy carbohydrates!  

Granted I feel very full after these meals, but my body is working damn hard and burning lots of energy to get me to the top of Alpe d’Huez and the surrounding mountains.

Not sure what tomorrow's ride will bring but I'm looking forward to lying around at the municipal pool in the afternoon...



  1. The Area around Alpe is not the "Cycling Mecca", this is the Cycling Paradise and much more, but never "Cycling Mecca" !

    "Mecca" is the Symbol for a totalitarian Ideology !

    Cycling is Freedom !

  2. Thanks for the insight. That wasn't my intention at all when I used the word "Mecca."

    I was using it in a more general sense to mean a place where many people aspire to visit.