Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Mighty Col de Galibier

The 'Galibier' a Monster, a Legend and one of the most amazing epic adventures I have taken on two wheels.We started our journey in Valloire a pretty village in the Alps. I did not know what I had let myself in for. This Tour de France classic was described in 1911 as hard labour and not racing and certainly not sport.
This jewel of the tour de France some say is the hardiest itimidating climb and I was about to ride this!
So here we go!!

I can't say it wasn't hard, nor can I say that my I wasn't gasping for air. But going over the 2,000 metre high mark did make a difference. But what I can say is the scenery was so inspiring aound every corner Grand Galibier towered above. Jagged mountain peaks covered in Snow and lost valleys disapearing into the vast unknown.

Here the going gets tough and with an average gradient at 8% it was a slow ride to the top, giving plenty of time to enjoy the view from the saddle.

Into the snow line,  and round the hairpins.

Blue Gentian, Orchids and Forget me nots all crowded for space along the lofty grassy banks.

The road goes on and on, up and up, for the keen cyclists.

Finally when you can see the top the gradient gives one final kick back and pushes you up to 10% of climbing and you know there is no return.

Is it smiles of relief? or a smile that says I conquered the mighty Galibier, now it's just a free ride down.

Stopping at the cheese farm that sells the famous Beaufort cheese, this was even a giant Cheese compared to the 'Tomme'

 The road spiralling all the way to Valloire.

'To the Galibier'

Painted in Watercolour 


No comments: