What goes up, must come down. Thank god!

18 07 2013

Most cyclists have a love-hate relationship with mountains.

They love reaching the top. They hate getting there.

Of course that can change meter by meter, depending on the nature of the climb, how the legs are feeling, the weather.

I don’t consider myself a climber. I don’t relish ascents, but I don’t go out of my way to avoid them. Mostly. After all, a long, hard climb is my admission ticket to an exhilarating descent.

When I was younger, I was all about the up. Now, I’m more about the down. But the latter can’t happen without first accomplishing the former.

The Lapierre is a wonderfully stable bike, which gives me the confidence to really push it going down, leaning into swooping curves, tucking down the straights.

Sunday, with the Tour de France on the eve of a tough week of mountainous stages, our FRFuggitivi group elected to climb our own Géant du Nord-Ouest, Mt. Seymour.

At almost 13 kilometres long with an average gradient of about seven per cent, with the occasional pitch to nine, it might rank as a Category 1 climb on the Tour, if it came at the end of a long, hard stage. Locally, it’s as big and as gruelling as it gets.

We knew our little peloton would split apart pretty quickly, so arrangements were made to rendezvous at a coffee shop afterwards before riding home.

The split happens early, but I'm able to hang with Curtis until the final sprint.

The split happens early, but I’m able to hang with Curtis until the final sprint.

Early on, the mountain goats of the group stretched their sinewy legs and were off the front on the first steep incline.

I settled into a comfortable rhythm, keeping abreast with fellow FRFer and neighbour, Curtis.

The l’autobus was somewhere behind us.

The company and conversation helped the kilometres tick by almost unnoticed. When climbing solo, there’s nothing else to think about than the road ahead and the slow pace those roadside mileage markers are passing by.

It took me 64 minutes to reach the summit, just behind Curtis’ sprint to the line, eight minutes behind the goats.

Riding across the finish line at the summit. Guy needs to clean the lens on his cellphone camera.

Riding across the finish line at the summit. Guy needs to clean the lens on his cellphone camera.

The blackflies and mosquitoes at the top were voracious, so we pointed our wheels downhill and headed for the coffee shop.

It's Bastille Day, so a few of us celebrate by impersonating French cycling heroes.

It’s Bastille Day, so a few of us celebrate by impersonating French cycling heroes.

Time to punch my ticket.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

One response

7 05 2016
Down and up |

[…] climb of 1040 metres is stretched along 12.5 kilometres. It’s steepest pitches, about 10 per cent […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: