Monday, August 25, 2014

Cycling: The Col de Shivering

Yesterday was the coldest I have ever been on a bike. Maybe ever. There have been times when coming down from Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon back in Utah has produced a visible chill which actually causes my bike to wobble a bit. But those instances were nothing compared to yesterday. 

Mark and I set out to ride up to a col (pass) in the Jura Mountains above Lake Geneva. Things started out wonderfully. We rode a few miles from our hotel (which is in France), then crossed through an unmanned border station into Switzerland. Instant farmland. The first village we passed through was Bossy. We thought that a bit humorous. Then on through Gex before the real climbing began.

Church in Gex. We listened to church bells as we passed through.

I stopped to take several pictures on the way up, but apparently my iPhone camera lens was foggy, and only a couple turned out (below). We road wound through forests, and occasionally there was a view down to the valley and lake. 

Seen on the way up

Things started getting distinctly chillier as we approached the Col de la Faucille. The map said we would then ride to another col just outside Cure. What we didn't know was that the route actually took a gradual descent on the shadow side of the mountain. That, combined with the temperature combined with forest shade combined with overcast skies, made for a *very* chilly ride. Even once we got down to Nyon on Lake Geneva, where there was plentiful sunshine, we were still chilled to the bone.

The bold red line is basically the route we followed, starting at Ferney-Voltaire, then up through Gex to the Col de la Faucille, then to la Cure (top left center) where we re-entered Switzerland, then down to Nyon on Lake Geneva. From there, we rode along the lake to Versoix, then through the countryside back to Ferney-Voltaire, re-entering France along the way.

Lake Geneva at Nyon


We ate some pizza *inside* this cafe.

But more important than the pizza were the two cups of coffee I drank to try to warm up.

View from the cafe window at our bikes outside and the lake beyond.

After lunch. We were much warmer by then.

Eating ice cream lakeside

Small Roman Catholic church we passed on our way back to Ferney

Countryside approaching Ferney.

Today, we head out on the tour. Our destination for the day: Annecy.

Stats for yesterday: 55.5 miles, 4000 vertical feet.

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