Col d Ordino
A bit of a slog
I am carb loaded after the Arcalis-Andorra and ready for the next climb the Col d Ordino.
A 10Km ride which is rated at 5/10 and the easier of the two climbs today.
With the temperature at 35º, it presented a tough ride ahead.
I settled into a steady rhythm, but the lack of scenery up the tree lined climb still made this a slog.
The climb had a few interesting hairpins up its steady gradient, but nothing too demanding.
At the last hairpin, a mile the gradient eased to about 6% but I wasn’t in the frame of mind race the last mile. Just get the job done.
Unlike the Arcalis, there was nothing at the summit except another STRAVA sign (only the second one I have seen ?)
Get the photos, pause for breath, and go.
Pausing may not have been the best thing if I had wanted a quiet life.
A group of overly enthusiastic riders came up from the opposite side and stopped with their tour guides and support bus.
As they waited for other riders to appear, they loudly debated their expertise and abilities about group sets, wheels, and frames, etc.
The rules of the debate were simple: the loudest won
The debate would occasionally break (and stop saying aloooo min ummm) to holler some encouragement to the riders finishing.
I thought perhaps it was time to go before they did.
The tour guides set off, and they followed, ‘Drat, too late’. Just as I had clipped in.
Can you beat the chaser?
I thought I would follow at a respectful distance, but I soon realised the folly of this decision.
Some riders were extremely cautious, which was fine, especially if they were unsure. At least they were predictable and safe to follow.
I caught the tail of the group simply by rolling.
Then it all got sticky when the adrenaline of the chase kicked in.
In hindsight, perhaps not the wisest of decisions, but I went for them.
It would be safer at the front if I could pass them.
I had a splendid vision round the bends, so I was not sparing the horses.
I passed most of the back riders on the bends, but as I neared the front, things became hairier.
The bends were my friends. One rider, however, was unpredictable. He was enthusiastic on the straights, but brake happy on the bends. Cornering over 10mph was not his forte.
I would have been safer to let him stay well in front.
But no, my adrenalin buzz overruled common sense.
A WIDE BEND, A SPACE, TAKE IT. YESSS!
The Brompton hit the front.
Just the tour leaders in front, which I passed quickly, much to their surprise, but they cheered. Now to find the laurels.
I will be the first to acknowledge that this was perhaps not the wisest bit of cycling I had done, but what a buzz.
Go home, slowly, there’s no signal here
With the descent finished, I crawled back to the car, trying to ease of the legs.
Hyped but exhausted, I again tried the Garmin Express.
It was still down (deep joy).
My tank has little left, so if my segments were not right, then it’s back another day.
As I drove out of Ordino with the Tom-Tom beeping at all the speed cameras, it rained. Great timing.
Passport Control was the only thing to think about now, and like others, I slowed.
I allowed myself a sideways stare. The office was now abandoned.
‘Get yourselves home early boys and tell the wife it’s been a tough day?’?
And so, I returned to my campsite for a Lapsang Souchong, and a phone signal.
Dare I look?
I had completed them both. What a relief.
Andorra was a great place, but I am not sure I want to go back.
And now, with no reservations, it is off to the restaurant.
I decided and accepted the risks