Col de Peyresourde
Mary vs Jesus
Today I woke to sunny blue skies and despite the mauling on the Col de Mente yesterday, I was ready for another 7/10, the Col de Peyresourde.
For a change, the temperature was a cool 25%.
From Bagneres-des-Luchon, I settled into a good cadence and immediately felt I could ride all day.
It was perfect climbing conditions.
My metronome legs ticked without effort, and I soon passed through the village of Saint Aventin.
Free from pain and suffering, the brain decided to wander. ?
Why are there so many saints?
How did people ever become one?
How high was the Saint bar set to become one?
Have standards dropped? (You don’t get many new ones today.)
Who would win if you counted crucified Jesus’s against the Virgin Mary statues?
I didn’t want to, but I did, and Mary took the laurels. (7-5)
I don’t bite
The brain was now satisfied, and the metronome legs kept going.
And so, as the climb continued, the landscape opened.
The Peyresourde is nothing too strenuous and holds no surprises.
Just what I needed, but the peace and the climb ended together.
The summit post was awash with riders.
Where did they come from? I thought, but the sight of the organised tour bus answered that one.
While I walked around, the summit riders from the group were still arriving. They were suffering. I felt for them, as it was clearly not an enjoyable experience.
When the summit marker had cleared, I jumped in for the photos that had to be taken.
This was not just any old summit marker, it was the real McCoy, a proper retro one. The best yet.
One of the group of riders asked if I could speak English.
Wow, my bonjour must sound authentic.
I laughed and replied, “What other nationality rides a Brompton up a mountain?”.
That broke the ice.
Any room in the broom wagon?
He said they were at the start of a weeklong organised tour.
The itinerary of the tour sounded intense as the tour group was riding big climbs in France from the word go.
A few riders looked distressed and struggling. They were not ready for the demands of the daily mountains.
The option to ride in the broom wagon was there if you needed a rest day, and I wondered how many would sit in for most of the tour.
These tours must be great for some, but not for me.
I much prefer being solo, although having my kit washed and ready sounded appealing.
We bid farewells and downwards we went.
The Col de Peyresourde was one highlight of my climbing career.