Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 4: Climbing Into the Vercors

The bane of a blogger is poor internet access, and that is something I am struggling with so far on this trip. Nevertheless, one carries on.

Yesterday started out quietly. Our morning ride was uneventful and not too challenging as we cycled through rolling farmland.

Me talking with Tom before heading out in the morning.

Terri took these shots of Mark and I mid-morning

This is a common sight at virtually every intersection. Which way do we go? What does the map say? What does the Garmin say?

After lunch, our big challenge was the 3000 ft. climb into the Vercors. As we ascended, I wondered how the heck we were going to get out of what faced us (see the picture that follows). It appeared that we were being boxed into a canyon. We climbed and climbed, mercifully mostly in the shade of forests, until we came to the shelf road. The road was the alternative to a kilometer-long tunnel; it is no longer maintained, and piles of rock prevent cars - but not cyclists - from using it.

The shelf road

Looking down on the way we came

Looking down

A close-up of the view down and out on the valley of the Isere. We crossed the bridge pictured in the middle of the photograph, then shortly began our ascent.

This photo shows the wider picture. The bridge in the previous picture is a tiny yellow blurb in the distance.

Me looking at the plaque pictured below.

A monument to 10 resistance fighters who held off an entire German column, supported by artillery, in June of 1944. This region of the Vercors was a base for the resistance, and the Germans were determined to wipe them out.

Patti and Ross

The debris-strewn shelf road

Sometimes it got worse before it got better. We had to traverse this on foot.

The end.

Entering the Vercors

Massifs rise above and around us
The view from our balcony. We continue to luck out on room assignments.

There is more I wish I had time to write. But the days are full. We had a "rest" day today that I will write about in my next post. Tomorrow (Saturday), we move on to the valley of the Rhone before heading south into Provence.

Stats: 67 miles, 6400 feet. The following graph tells the story. 3000 feet at the end of the day on an average grade of 6.7%.

No comments:

Post a Comment