Célébration Bastille brumeux

12 07 2015

The FR Fuggitivi ascribes to the Italian cycling ethos: ride for enjoyment, look good while doing it, and the quality of the coffee stop is as important as the Strava data.

But once a year, we channel our inner Bobet, pull on our French cycling kits, stumble through the high school french expressions we’ve somehow manage to retain and head up.

FR Fuggitivi’s French day falls on the closest Sunday to Bastille Day, which usually coincides with the beginning of the mountain stages in Le Tour de France.

For us, a mountain stage means Mt. Seymour; 1000 metres of elevation over 13 kilometres.

Guy serenades the bikes with a little piano music to soothe the savage climb ahead.

Guy serenades the bikes with a little piano music to soothe the savage climb ahead.

Fortunately, this year’s Gallic grind also coincided with a break in the heat wave that has afflicted this neck of the woods since pretty much the middle of May.

Richard channels his inner Virenque.

Richard channels his inner Virenque.

The misty clouds that shrouded us almost the entire climb were a welcome relief to the interminable furnace that softened the pavement and parched our throats on last Sunday’s epic Tour de Everywhere.

I wish I was a faster climber.

But as I’ve learned over many years of climbing the Grouse Grind, a steady, comfortable pace ensures survival.

While the mountain goats in the group spun off into the distance, Richard (Not Virenque) and I maintained a rhythm that kept us moving forward and upward, while still saving us enough breath for conversation. The mist had the added bonus of hiding from our sight the inclines ahead. Instead, we counted off the kilometre markers on the side of the road.

The view from the FRF autobus. The mist shrouds the inclines ahead.

The view from the FRF autobus. The mist shrouds the inclines ahead.

By the time we reached the foggy, chilly summit, everyone else in the group was bundled up and ready to head down. So we turned and followed.

The group is ready to head down.

The group is ready to head down.

Alas, the same damp mist that was our salve on the ascent, meant the roads were wet and slicked for the descent, so there would be no land speed records set today.

Of course, what's an FRF ride without the requisite puncture; my fourth official flat this season!

Of course, what’s an FRF ride without the requisite puncture; my fourth official flat this season!

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7 05 2016
Down and up |

[…] such a ride doesn’t officially happen until July, our annual Bastille Day climb to celebrate the French holiday and what is usually an epic mountain day at Le […]

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