First ‘proper’ ride here didn’t get off to a good start. I set off to ride the aforementioned climb by riding down the cycle way and turning off at a place I have been before but completely missed my turning and was 8 miles further down the track before I realised I had missed it.

I know what the problem was, at the place I should have turned off another rider joined and was just in front of me. My thoughts immediately turned to those of catching him, which I did and then he just sat on my wheel. I wasn’t trying to drop him, just intent on keeping a good tempo going and looking for my turnoff. Eventually he turned off and my thoughts returned to the job in hand and the realisation of what had happened.

The outcome was to retrace my wheel tracks and a total of about 15 miles more than I needed to do. A good warm up though but in temperature of around 30c not really needed.

So I eventually started the climb up. Starting for the first couple of hairpins at around 10 and 12% I assumed it would ease off eventually, WRONG ! it dragged on and on, bend after bend and reaching 15% quite often and for one stretch even 20. I think 10% was about as low as I saw for the entire climb.

Eventually the village of Montmin is reached after about 4 miles of climbing and then, cruel upon cruel, it drops down again before another mile of 15% plus climbing to the summit. The view from which is spectacular on a day like today.

So spectacular in fact that after my descent and return to site, a quick dip in the pool and something to eat we returned by car for Jan to see the views. I have to say it was much easier by car but far less rewarding!

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