Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Day 6: Ventoux

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Miles covered: 32
Miles to date: 1727

2 hours 13 minutes, 2059 calories, 1912m (6310ft) of climbing and the summit was reached. Absolutely Baltic at the top after the effort so coffee and crepes were the order of the day. Helmets back on and a quick scooter back to the Tom Simpson memorial.20 minutes later we were rolling back to the campsite.

Pasta for lunch and the took the car back up Ventoux from the other side. Unknowingly we also ended up at the summit of the Col du Madeline. Return travel has been brought forward as we have achieved everything we set out to do and now have sore legs.

We should now be home Saturday afternoon. Bonus for me (J) is that I will be able to go to Lara’s first dancing show and will get a lie in on Sunday before being back to work Monday.

The week has totally sped by and we have done something most people would only have dreamed of.

Heading back into town now to buy pizza from Bernard Breslaws French brother!!!

Forza Alto Ventuno!

J&B

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2 hours and 13 minutes in the saddle.2059 calories burnt.1912m (6310ft) of climbing and the summit is reached.

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Miles today: 160
Miles to date: 1695

Woke up to torrential rain. At this point the tent decided that after 16 years of being waterproof, it had decided to give up. With rain now dripping in, we quickly got up, took the tent down and said goodbye to The Alpe.

We decided to make the 160 mile trip avoiding the toll motorways and seeing a bit of the countryside.

First stop was at Gap where we went to see the spot where Lance Armstrong went offroading during the 2003 Tour. The field in question was much steeper than we had imagined and the drops at either side were huge. Having seen it for real made what you see on TV even more impressive.

After leaving Gap on the back roads, fields of apples and fantastic gorges followed until we arrived on the lavender sided lower slopes of Ventoux.

After pitching the tent and setting all of our wet stuff out to dry, we took a walk around Bedoin, took a load of photos and had a proper pizza meal for tea.

Excited about Ventoux tomorrow but looking for less wind!!

Allez!

J&B

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Miles today: 214
Miles to Date: 1535

Rest day today with rain stopping play for most people round here. In a town where you can either go cycling up hills or go cycling up hills, not a lot was happening first thing. When the rain took a break, we took a drive up The Alpe and videoed it with the intention of posting it here. File size has prevented this so we will do it later when we get back.

The drive up took us 22 minutes which is put into perspective when you think that Marco Pantani did this in a shade under 37 minutes on a bike after completing a 200km stage of the Tour which also consisted of at least two other HC climbs!

After not getting the tent pitched on Sunday night, we rejigged our days to avoid a repeat performance in Bedoin tomorrow, and drove a total of 3 hours to watch the entire Criterium peloton speed past us in less than 20 seconds. This was totally unexpected given we had picked the top of a climb and had at least expected them to have the decency to go by at a speed where you could pick them out. I saw nobody of note but Bren stood on the other side of the road and ,even though he saw Bradley Wiggins, failed to push him to the ground for having stupid hair.

On the way back, as it was still raining we thought we would have a drive to the top of the Col du Glandon however a combination of things made us decide to abandon the search. On the way we came across Claudio Chiappucci’s name still painted on a roadside barrier which must have been there since the late 80s. Erik Dekker still has his name up there as well!

Just finished a tent made tea of freshly baked French bread, pate, jambon and the finest quality hot dog sausages, all washed down with flower flavoured Fanta (not the Lemon Fanta it looked like!!) and Leffe Blonde bier.

Early(ish) start tomorrow to Gap for a look at the field Lance Armstrong rode his bike across, and then on to Bedoin and Ventoux.

Allez!

J&B

Day 3: The Alpe

Posted: June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Miles Cycled: 21
Altitude Gain: 1850m (6070ft)

Woke up at 0330 to find the Airbed had completely deflated and we were lying frozen on the stone tiled floor of the amenities building. Got up just.before 0700 and pitched the tent while the kettle boiled.

After a breakfast of Pain au Chocolat and Powerbars, we set off the 6km into town and the foot of The Alpe.

21 hairpins, 1789 calories, 1hr 40mins, and 8 miles later we reached the finish line used bt the Tour de France.

After a Nutella crepe (JF), a jambon baguette (BF), and two pints of full fat coke, it was time to head back for the bottom. Even with 3 photo stop, the descent took all of 15 minutes.

Pizza for tea and an early night.
Tomorrow we are heading off to watch Stage 2 of the Criterium du Dauphine, looking to stand somewhere on one of the climbs and cheer on The Shack!

Allez!

J&B

Top of The Alpe!

Posted: June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Made it! Tour de France finish 1km further than the town centre.

Helmets off and caps on for the photo taken by an Italian couple!

Better photos later.

J&B

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Miles today: 674
Miles to date: 1300

Early train over to Calais then a couple of stops before heading South.

Took a short detour to Roubaix where an extremely kind man let us onto the Velodrome itself! Superb to have a wander round and walk the finishing straight and bankings.

Next stop Arenburg to walk along the trench. Unbelieveable that the Pave get ridden at 50kph when it is difficult to even walk on some areas! Couldn’t risk running the bikes here as I imagine we would have ended up needing four new wheels!

Arrived at the campsite at 2200 in the dark and pouring rain. It was raining so hard that the owner said we could sleep on the floor of the amenities building rather than try to pitch our tent.

Hopefully tomorrow will be dry and we can get the tent pitched and The Alpe done.

J&B

Dunkirk

Posted: June 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Passed by just before turning south.

Almost 61 years ago to the day, our Papa stood on these beaches, up to his armpits in the water along with the rest of the retreating British Army.

338,226 men were rescued by a flotilla of military and civilian boats between 27th May and the 4th June 1940.

J&B

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Miles covered today: 431
Miles to date: 626

Travelled from Annan to Folkestone and ended the day with two pints of the local pubs finest Doggie Duber** real ale.

With tomorrow having an early start, we decided to have a quick recce of the Chunnel location and ended up trapped in the check-in area being asked if we wanted to travel today. With no accomodation booked on the French side for tonight, we had no option but to declare ourselves idiots and ask to be let out and return in the morning. After a bit of too-ing and froing, we were allowed to pass through, tails firmly  between our legs.

At least we know the score for tomorrow.

Pain au Chocolat and strong coffee for breakfast and a 0700 train under the Channel to France.

Allez!

J & B

** Names have been changed to protect the innocent: “Doggie Duber” may not have been the name of the ale but in our heads and memories it will always be!

Nearly there!

Posted: June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Only 200 million millimeters to Folkestone !!!!