Ax Trois Domaines / Plateau de Bonsacre
Time to give up
I slept for over 9 hours last night, which is unheard of for me, but if I needed it, then I needed it, especially after Plateau de Beille.
The climb today is Ax Trois Domaines (Plateau de Bonsacre) from Ax-les-Thermes.
This is my last climb in the area and so I am moving on.
The campsite was convenient but expensive for what it was, but at least I had helped to put their children through college.
Ax-les-Thermes looked like it might be a busy place, but in fact, there was hardly a soul to be seen.
In true, unabashed time trial tradition, I changed and was ready to go.
Or was I?
My descending jacket was not in my jersey pocket.
There was a turnover of every stone search, but no luck.
I resigned myself to riding without it and reached in the car for the keys and there it was! Right in front of my nose.
(That sort of thing has never happened to me before. ??)
A quiet time of year
A quick roll into town and start.
It was a short 8% hello, a 17% wake up and half a dozen hairpins before the typical Pyrenees 9% kicked in.
The Garmin incline graph displayed its ‘encouraging’ 95% red hue with a splash of orange.
(I’m convinced that the colour is at fault with my Garmin, it always shows red ??)
Not much of a let up then.
I flicked the Brompton chain ring to ‘granny’, whistled ‘dixie’ and span a 28inch gear up the tree lined climb.
The climb was quiet, with only three cars and a motorbike passing by. Even the brain kept a philosophical silence for a change.
As the summit neared, apartment blocks replaced the tall trees, not quite the vistas I hoped for.
The summit complex was not a village; It was an empty town.
The shops in the square were all closed except for one restaurant/bar; this was another desolate ski resort awaiting the snow.
A somewhat downbeat view perhaps, but it was in some respects.
The idea of sitting down for an hour for a pizza was not appealing.
The descent was quieter than the ascent. No traffic!
Greggs! where are you?
In the town, a small croissant truck was the only open option, and that closed 15 minutes after serving me.
(I miss not being able to just get a quick snack and coffee, but obviously not the thing here. Greggs, are you reading this?)
With the stomach now temporarily subdued, I could now concentrate on the next big issue.
Where to go next?
Massat is not too far away and there are two nearby climbs by the well-reviewed campsite, so that seems ideal.
En route to Massat was a small commercial zone with an open supermarket.
I was running low on supplies, so the full advantage needed to be taken.
Bananas, bananas, and more bananas.
And for some variety, a large box of croissants, 4 pasta sauces, and 4 litres of orange juice.