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Sep. 12, 2007
Tour des Cols
Just got back from two weeks of epic cycling in the French Alps! Our group started in Neydens, France, near Geneva, Switzerland. From there, we headed south, climbing (and descending) many of the famous cols of the Tour de France. Cols such as Roselend, Iseran, Telegraphe, Galibier, Allos, Vars, Izoard, and Mt. Ventoux may ring a bell for some readers. And, little out of the way cols such as the Defend and Corobin may not be household names but nonetheless offered great challenge and quiet cycling on narrow, one-lane roads.

With my cycling friends we traveled briskly, hammering the climbs, while still taking some time to enjoy the views. The quality of riding is beyond description, with incredible twisting roads, and a Patisserie with fresh baked goods in every town. Motorists and truckers treat cyclists with a great deal of respect in Europea refreshing change for anyone accustomed to being run off the road routinely by motorists here in the U.S.

As we continued south, the scenery changed, giving way to the drier, more open feel of Provence, with the beacon of Mt. Ventoux coming into view. Averaging over 100 miles a day and over 10,000' of climbing, we took a single day off in Nyons, France, at the end of the first week of this two-week adventure. The lavender distillery in Nyons emitted a wonderful smell throughout the town during this relaxing day.

Then, we retuned north with a big loop in Borg d'Oisans including the famous l'Alpe d'Huez. I elected to make a backward loop, climbing in over the Col de la Sarenne, and descending l'Alpe d'Huez.

I mounted my digital camera on the stem of my bike and made a video during my descent, reaching speeds of 90-km per hour. I wanted to bring home a little of my adventure to share. Enjoy!
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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