Cote des Rousses
Welcome back to France
Today I am back in France after a slight detour to the Passo dello Stelvio.
The drive back from Italy was a long drive with little help from the weather.
At first the temperature was approaching 30 but for the final 100Kms it dropped as dramatically as the rain.
It was like driving through a car wash.
The motorcyclists, who are usually fearless, stopped to huddle for shelter under the motorway bridges as the thunder and lightning boomed and flashed.
With another 100Km left to travel, the thought of arriving at a campsite to pitch a tent was not appealing.
As I passed through the small towns and villages, I looked for places to stop for the night, but many were closed. Summer is out of season, like last year in the Pyrenees.
At 30Kms away from a planned destination, the weather relented. I was hopeful that the rain had had ended and setting up my tent would be fine.
I was warmly welcomed at the wet and muddy campsite as the grey clouds still filled the sky. The price per pitch was favourable, but the option of a camping pod for two nights caught my eye.
Balancing the slightly more expensive pod with its bed, electricity against setting up a tent on a soaking wet pitch and a forecast of more overnight storms it was a quick decision.
Plus, there was a restaurant on site and that within minutes I could enjoy a beer my decision was cemented.
Trying to take it easy
With cloudless skies to greet me in the morning, I mulled over the local climbs. A relatively easy one would be the order of the day.
I was fit; the weather was a comfortable 25C but mentally I was lethargic after my Stelvio excitement.
The Cote des Rouses rated as 2/10 with a distance of 9Km and an average 5% might be just the steady ride I needed to my mojo back.
Let’s give it a go.
I think it’s 2/10 if you take it easy, but for some unexplainable reason, I put the big gear on and attacked it to shake myself up a bit.
It worked and pleased to say I gained a respectable position in the old gits’ Strava rankings.
It was a relatively quiet and unspectacular ascent on the wide roads, and it was not long before I arrived at the pristine town of Rousses.
I looked around for some summit sign or something to show that I was at the top of the climb, but nothing was obvious.
I slowly pedalled along wide flat the road and then,
That will do.
A massive LES ROUSSES sign was under construction up a grass bank.
I shot a few photos off with a posing Brompton and just as I was about to leave, some ‘photographers’ appeared.
The centre-fold pose
They spoke English and were very accommodating, which meant it was time to get a little more inventive with the photographs.
All in all, a good leg warmer and I was back in the swing.