Col de Vendeix
Yesterday was a busy but enjoyable day. Travelling, climbing Super-Besse and unplanned town exploring all made for an early night.
I’m too old now for all night raves, and waking up to cowbells at 07:30 is far more agreeable.
No rain and an improving forecast signalled a promising day. Let’s get cracking.
A Super Douche wake up and a hearty breakfast would be the ideal start.
The Serrette campsite boasts full facilities. The small shop with croissants and such is all very convenient, but they surprised me with the ‘to tent delivery service’.
I am not a fussy eater at all, but I draw the line here.
No idea how the little rascal ended up there, but I thought I would stick to muesli.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone’s hospitality.
Ceremoniously released my ‘breakfast’ sat contented under a bush as I tucked into my muesli.
I felt rather pleased with my first animal encounter after the cat.
No bites and I didn’t lick it so my adventure could continue.
What an interesting start to the day.
Three climbs today and all rated as not too challenging.
Pick a ride, any ride.
A choice of three today, the Col de Vendeix, the Col de la Croix Saint Robert, and the Col de la Croix Morand.
It’s the Vendeix, take the furthest and work back.
They describe the climb as maximum 6%, average 6%, 1/10, nice, but nothing exciting.
Great, easy one to legs going
Let’s see what’s showing
I parked the car where I felt confident in locating again and headed for the Roxy.
An easy to find unusual start point for a climb.
Check Veloviewer for the profile.
Yes, average 6%, maximum 19.6%. What!!!
No good moaning. No one would understand me if I did and it won’t change, so get on with it.
I don’t think either reported correct gradients.
I clipped into the Brompton to get this done and promptly move on.
A shock gradient ride set me frantically hunting for a lower gear, wow this is tough.
I stared at the Garmin, expecting to see that the end was near (the climb, that is).
Agh! I was just short of halfway.
This was the toughest reportedly 6% I have ridden.
Veloviewer had previously reported 19% and Garmin registered 16%
This was a heart thumping climb that had me wondering about its 1/10 rating.
There is no summit, just a tight steep hairpin road junction.
For the mandatory photo, I propped the Brompton against a post on the hairpin.
Door? What door?
With the photos taken, I clip-clopped back across the road to the bike when I saw a coach approaching.
This looked a tight bend for the coach, so I stood well back.
I was right. It was a tight ask.
The sudden gradient change was too much, and the coach rear ploughed into the bend, ripping a rear door.
A solitary hinge dragged the screeching metal door down the road until the driver stopped.
He wandered out to survey the handiwork and tried to ‘persuade’ it back into position.
Despite his vigorous efforts, it would not happen.
Curious passengers soon disembarked to ‘help’ and discuss the issue, but I didn’t hear any ‘useful’ suggestions.
With renewed gusto, the driver now decided on the nuclear option and promptly twisted, bent, bashed, and ripped the door off.
The passengers and I watched avidly.
They triumphantly carried the defeated door into the coach for the passengers to admire.
The driver admired spent a few minutes admiring his modifications before looking back at me.
He laughed, “No door, no problem.”
Get down quick
With my feet clipped in, I decided it would now be a good time to head off back down.
Being behind the coach and the added attraction that a few other bits might make a bid for freedom was not appealing.
The descent was amazing and fast (not a 6%). The Garmin continued to sound the alarm of sharp bends ahead as the Brompton slicks rolled around them, ACE.
A tougher and more exciting ride than I was expecting, so this time I will disagree with the book.
Now for the Col de la Croix Saint Robert.