Back to the border

My last climb in Luz St-Sauveur, and probably my last until Roth* was up to Gavarnie, near the Spanish border.

You guessed it, it was all uphill, but it was worth it. It was a beautiful little town!

Thoughts and pictures: Col du Tourmalet

The Col du Tourmalet is a climb made famous by victories in the Tour de France.

I tried to make today a "leisurely" climb, not all that possible on a climb of such length and gradient, but to help with this I took some photo stops along the way.

La Petite Maison, Luz St Sauveur

A day off the bike today (the green gunk is back with a vengeance) so I thought I'd show you a little of the 'little house' that's our home for a week on Luz St-Saveur - La Petite Maison.

The maison dates back to 1824, and although I couldn't find any written history on it, there are some telltale signs built in.

Is this a safari or a cycling trip?

Luz Ardiden isn't one of the best known of the tour climbs, but if you ask me it's a hidden gem - certainly it's not an easy climb but it's up there on beauty.

Having said that, I chose it for this morning's ride mainly because KKB rode up there yesterday and said he saw marmottes. I've been a bit obsessed with these little creatures since our last trip and that was enough to make it my first choice of rides for this leg of the trip.

A ride to somewhere

A quick ride in the countryside this afternoon armed with a bit of "local" knowledge and half a plan.

I'd told KKB that I'd ride out to Mauleon-Barousse then up Port de Bales, and turn around after 45 minutes. I didn't like the idea of just riding to nowhere so thought of another plan - to ride up to Saint Bertrand de Comminges, a town which boasts a massive cathedral, high on a hill.

Because we'd been there a few times on our last visit I thought it'd be straight forward, but it didn't turn out that way. I went back to Plan A - Port de Bales... a road to nowhere.

Mt Ventoux: Un, deux or trois?

We returned to Mt Ventoux yesterday. I loved this climb last time we were here and had been looking forward to tackling it from another angle this time, maybe even two or three.

I woke up this morning coughing and sneezing green gunk from my nasal cavity and the skies looked ominously grey. Actually, make that black. Let's be honest - neither conditions ideal for riding. If I was at home, I would definitely not have gotten out of bed - but how often do you wake up at the foot of one of the world's most revered and respected climbs?

Yep. Not very often. Time to HTFU and worry about the consequences later.

Um... We're here..,

So the last time you heard from me on this blog I'd ridden 130ks around the Nundah Criterium Track as a long ride training session for Challenge Roth.

Then, silence.

Well, a month or so has passed and... voila... we're in France.