Betty Battles Alp D’Huez (and Wins)

Yes that’s right Betty and I are in France (Bourg-d Osians) this week because I have foolishly entered The Alp D’Huez Triathlon (more about this later). A few friends from BTS have hired a farm/town house in Bourg at the foot of Alp D’Huez. We arrived on Sunday evening and after a nice meal and many beers we retired to our beds with plans to swim in the locale pool the next morning, have some lunch and then ride up to Alp D’Huez in the afternoon. This climb is a famous ride that the Tour De France usually rides up with a mountain top finish. So it’s well know to cyclists and a bit of a must do. It’s a 14km climb that has 21 hairpin bends and an average gradient of 10%.
Betty and I set out after lunch on Monday in the hottest part of the day with temperatures of 35oc in the valley. This was because in the race on Wednesday I should be on the Alp about this time. It was possibly a mistake as it was baking hot and there was very little air. The higher we got it should have been getting cooler but it seemed to be in the mid 30 degrees all the way up.
Betty managed the climb in fine form with just a little bit of bleating about the temp and moaning about the time of day. This is a great achievement, I know a lot of cyclist wouldn’t think of try to get up this climb and it shows how much she has improved over the last few months. Just this time last year Betty struggled to get up Winter Hill in Cookham a mere 300 metre climb and here we are on the 1850 metre mountain that the best cyclists in the world race up most years in the Tour De France. Of course we were going a lot slower that they do but that just means we were on the mountain for longer.
I shot some video of the climb that I will add later but in the meantime there are some of the photos we took on the way up and at the top. They do not really do justice to the steepness of this mountain and how difficult the climb is. Just to prove we made it here’s a photo of Betty at the finish of the climb. I also made her ride around the town a bit to check out the transition area and find a nice bar.
And, of course, a post climb beer, just the one mind you, as we still had the descent back down to Bourg to come, 21 hairpin bends later. I managed to get up to 45 mph on one of the straights Betty being much more of a light weight and sensible took it a bit easier.

About fred1960

Old Bloke that doesn't know when to stop
This entry was posted in Cycling, Cycling, Family, Holidays, Training. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Betty Battles Alp D’Huez (and Wins)

  1. Alex Booker says:

    Weather looks fantastic where you are, it’s another day of drizzle for us back home. 😦 Well done on the climb, it looks/sounds devastatingly tough.

  2. Pingback: Video of Betty Cycling to the top of Alp d’Huez « Fred1960’s Weblog

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