My last day of the year has been pretty special. Riding through the French Alps from Briancon to Grenoble was a pretty magical experience. I’ve never before been up close with such spectacular snowy mountains before. The climb out of Briancon wasn’t too challenging and I was really able to relax and enjoy it. Stopping to take photos and videos broke up the exertion so it didn’t take too much of a toll. The descent was thrilling, and not in an entirely good way. A lot of the road was covered in ice and snow. My brakes are at the end of their life and so on such a slippery surface they were simply not powerful enough to stop me. The worst parts were when I was on clean bitumen, when I would actually accelerate despite having my brakes on full lock. If I wanted to slow down I had to plant my left foot down and ride over the snowy/icy sections. It was fun in a way, but it was also pretty scary. Luckily, I didn’t really have a reason to slow down, other than the fact that the faster I am moving when I fall, the harder it will hurt. I basically rode the road like a roller coaster the whole way down.
Somehow I never stacked it and made it through in one piece. Eventually, the snow cleared from the road completely and the road began to level out, meaning I could belt along at a fast pace. I had reached Col du Lautare at 1.30pm after 30km. By 5.30pm, I had ridden a further 87km. Getting into Grenoble was a breeze, thanks to well set up bike paths. In fact, I think Grenoble is the most bike-friendly city in which I have ever been. I made my way to a hostel, which I promptly discovered was closed for the winter. Hostelworld suggested the other hostels in the city were similarly closed or full. With it being dark, and being pretty exhausted from the day, I decided to just find the nearest hotel. After settling in, I went out for some food and found it in a Vietnamese restaurant down the road. It has been so long since I have had Asian cuisine. It was very good! I gorged myself on three meals, including five spring rolls, beef pho and sautéed vegetables. Having returned to my hotel, I have just watched the final episode of American Horror Story Season 5. It’s 10pm and I plan on going to bed so that I may be ready for another big day on the bike tomorrow.
|Distance ridden today||117.79km|
|Average cycling speed||18.4kph|
|Total distance ridden||29,484km|