Col de la croix Morand
You’ve gotta get down to get up
My last climb of the day, Col de la croix Morand, which passes Camping de Serette at Chambon.
I wasn’t in too much of a hurry.
Tiredness from the Croix Saint Robert ride wasn’t the problem. It was eating too much cheese at Mont Dore.
I had to drive up the climb to reach my campsite and then cycle back down and up again.
An opportunity for clean gloves and bandanas, amongst other things.
Discovering a climb by driving it before riding can be off-putting as you either exaggerate or dismiss the gradients.
As I viewed it from the car seat, it looked tougher than it was.
All changed like a mad dog or an Englishman, and I was ready to enjoy the baking sun.
Most welcome, as it means an early and relaxing end to the day.
To leave the campsite, you must descend the entrance road.
This is 16% with an automatic a barrier. I hope it recognises cyclists.
Like driving up a climb, riding down first always makes you more aware of the gradients for the return trip.
‘Wow’ that bend was fun and ‘Whoosh’ this is fast.
Every silver lining had a cloud making you think, ‘Hang on, I must come back up this’.
It wasn’t, however, that bad. A nice steady climb around the standard Massif 6% gradient with a certain serene atmosphere.
This was a climb that allowed a rhythm.
You could contemplate man’s inability to understand his fellow man, etc.
‘Yes’, a silent road and a mind running around like an unleashed dog in the park.
The occasional 11% bumps snapped you out of the philosophical dreamscape, but the 35º heat seemed tolerable.
I found the signpost for the photo and again some passing walkers mistakenly made eye contact.
Time to show off (the now perfumed which I forgot to change) Belgian PHILIPVILLE top I picked up 10 years ago at Camden Market.
A puzzled French rider arrived at the top, looked at me, looked at the Brompton and asked if I had ridden up on it.
After a polite exchange with my nearly non-existent French, he concluded, as many have already, that I was mad.
I, of course, agreed.
For once, I did what I always intended to do and stop on the descent to take some photos.
I always plan to do this, but once the wind pushes your glasses to the back of your head and a bend appears, I will not stop. And that was the problem.
‘Yes, more speed – faster.’
I hurtled down at breakneck speed, content with three climbs bagged today. I shot past my campsite.
It was only when I was some way past and nothing seemed familiar that I realised.
A stop and a quick Google map check later, I turned back to enjoy some more climbing and the barrier on 16% slope back up to the campsite.