No one, the trip and the rides were all solo, let's face it, who else would be crazy enough to do this with me.
My first climb Col de l’ Oellion was a tough one for me as it was the first climb after recovering from Covid.
Hautacam was tough because of its undulating road which never allowed an rhythm to be established.
Semnoz was a nightmare. Supposedly a beautiful ride but I had cold wind and thick cloud base near the summit. It was freezing.
Port de Larrau was extremely testing due to the 70kph cross winds and the only time I was forced into my lowest gear.
In the Massif Central it was the Col de l’ Oellion at 20km.
In the Pyrenees it was the Col du Tourmalet at 19.6km
In the Vosges it was Col du Calvaire at 18.6Km
In the Jura it was Col du Grand Colombier at 17.57Km
In the Alpes du Nord it was Col du Petit-Saint-Bernard at 27.72Km
In the Alpes du Sud it was Col du Lauteret at 26.10Km
At 3.05km the Cote de la Croix Neuve also nicknamed the Montee Laurent Jalabert.
Difficult to pick just one but the favourites would be
Col de Peyresourde,
Col du Soulor
Col du Petit Saint Bernard - it was a beautiful day
Col d l'Iseran - with its snow capped peaks, breathtaking
Mount Ventoux - One of my all time favourites
Cime de la Bonette - The landscape is out of this world
I found these two the least enjoyable but in some perverse way I do actually want to ride them again to convince myself how bad they were,
Les Deux Alpes was a big dissapointment
For the most part it was hot, sometimes in the 40s.
Occassionally I 'enjoyed' drizzle and low cloud bases on some peaks. On one occassion it was 75Kph winds which were 'interesting' on the Port de Larrau .
Semnoz was undoubtedly the worst experience. a warm start at trhe base then a sudden freezing wet fo near the summit. I thought I was going to suffer hyperthermia.
No punctures in Massif Central or the Pyrenees.
A screw came lose on my camera mount and a pedal needed tightening on the crank, apart from that no issues.
Pyrenees = 28 and 22 inches
Massif = 51 and 40 inches
Holding down a gazebo with three others during an Old Testament thunderstorm while the cook in the caravan kept cooking.
Seeing Vultures and large eagles
Hearing wild wolves
Yes, they probably do.
You could look at 10 different sites and get 10 different profiles (unless some copied others) and when you are actually riding the climbs then Garmin will show a different figure altogether.
Generally I find that most stated profiles are near enough in the same ball park and consider them as a guide.
If they say its going to be a high number then you know its going to be steep.
Anyone loafing around at the summit who makes the mistake of making eye contact with me.