Click on any picture below to see a larger version from our French Alpes ride

Sunday, August 4, 2002 -Grenoble to Alpe D'Huez

       

This is the day we've been anticipating - the climb to Alpe D'Huez. 

Of course we needed to warm up on something smaller and get a
little mileage (or is it kilometerage?) in first.

         

 We began with the ascent of the Col D'Ornan.  The climb was great.

 

       

 

The views all the way up were just spectacular.  The ascent, however, was steep and twisty

It's hard to have fun on a downhill when you actually have to brake.

 

       

 

At the bottom of Alpe D'Huez, we stamped the start time on our maps.

 

   

 

The climb reminded us of Stelvio (in the Dolomites) except it was much shorter and a little steeper. 

Each of the switchbacks is named for a rider who had won this stage of a Tour De France.

       

 
There are long sections of 10 to 11 percent grades, but some sections were 8 to 9 percent.  
 
  
It felt very gratifying to finish but we won't be posting our times on this web site. 
We do have certificates with our official time, however.  They look great!
 
  
 
Lance Armstrong set a new record this year (on this stage of the Tour De France) of 38 minutes.  
That's an average speed of 21 kilometers per hour (13 MPH) for the entire climb.  
Let's just say that I felt pretty good holding 10 kilometers per hour (6.25 MPH).  
OK, if you want, you can do the math...
 

After a change of clothes we raided the bike shop in town
and purchased everything that said Alpe D'Huez.  We purchased socks,
patches, hats, jerseys, t-shirts and even key chains.  Yeah - we're crazy!
 
Dinner at the hotel was possibly the best of the trip.  
The first course was a carrot leek soup that was scrumptious.   
But the entrée assortment was incredible.

Judith and I were at a table with six other vegetarians.
They brought us a variety of dishes that we all shared.  
The first was a ratatouille followed by scalloped potatoes, omelettes and rice.  
Dessert was a Myrtleberry tart.  This is living!
 
Below are some outtakes from early morning