J and I went for a sweet bike ride on Saturday (the 8th) in Annecy. The goal was pretty straight forward: ride the tri course and don’t die. Simple. Huuurty.
We arrived in Annecy and it was pretty nice over there. We actually started biking in Sevrier, which is basically where the giant hill of doom starts. We parked, got ready, and took a 5 minute warm up along the lake path that is specifically for runners, walkers, bikers, whatever. We did see one guy skate-skiing with long poles threatening to impale anyone who was nearby. He was also wearing the shortest spandex a man can possibly wear. Sweet.
So we head off in the direction of our destiny. The 15km climb to gain 600m. Saweeet.
So the first bit wasn’t so bad! It was actually semi-enjoyable, since the lake was to our left and it was so beaauuuutiful. Just gorgeous. J stopped a few times to catch some photos of the lake and landscape, and while he took breaks, I chugged on. And because I am so slow, he managed to stop like 4 times and still catch up with me every time. Good for my ego. <shhhhrink>.
I think I averaged like 8 mph on the way up. At some points I hit 10, some points I hit 7. I almost made it to the top without any rest breaks, but at some point, ~1km from the Col (900m), I was going slower and slower and it wasn’t happening. Stopped for a 3 minute break, took a gel, drank waters, drenched myself with water and then on our way again.
The gel didn’t upset my stomach at all, like sometimes, so yey for that! Then finally we hit the top and J caught a shot of my bupkiss passing the Col sign. He is such a good photographer! Always gets the timed shots!
Then we turned left, and all of a sudden we go straight up again…whaaat? The profile on the Annecy website didn’t feature this! Then we follow the road to the right, where I drop my speed to ~5mph because it’s steep here! I’m thinking…whaaat?? again. But there is not time to consider this because there are the cutest sheep in the world to me left. OMG they were so cute. Extra fluffy guys, with black eyes and schnozzes, so fluffy, that they looked like they just popped out of the dryer. The looked like stuff animals. So I did what I normally do, despite heaving up this hill, I started screaming “Oh My God, hi cuties! LOOK JUSTIN! They are the cutest I’ve ever seen, omg you are so cuuuute.” To which they responded by running to the opposite side of their fenced area. I do that. All the time. I’m impressed I had enough energy to yell and bike up that shisty hill.
Finally we hit the top of that crap and then saaaaaaail down…and I mean sail. We freakin’ flew. I hit 32mph, and there were some switchbacks so it was pretty scary. We hit this town, and then continued on, and realized we missed a turn, but it was right behind us. Turned, and look what we have here…hill #2….BOSSE deux! It was brutal. Way shorter and way steeper than bosse 1. J decided to tackle it standing, some other dude decided to pass me (that’s too damn easy) and I juuuust made it up there without my legs falling off, averaging ~4mph. I didn’t know I could go that slow on my bike. It was tough. Took a break to relax the leggums, and also figure out where to go next. Kept on, and then we FLLLLYY again. At this point we’re more than halfway, which is great because I am getting tired. We fly down a million squiggly switchbacks, my fingers want to fall off and by now i’m sure my brakes are melting onto my wheels. We make it down into this town, where some other guy passed me, and then breaks left while we go straight. Obv he is doing the tri (totally not obv) and we should have followed him. We turn back, and finagle a few turns and find our way to the main road again.
Then make a left, for the final climb..BOSSE troi! We did part of this one 2times bevcause we are big idiots. Well I am, I thought it was the wrong place, but it was correct. So we did it, passes a lady who said I was courageous for doing it, and then J took us to a dead end which had more grade than anything that day (totally doesn’t compare to the Chapelle ride, which I never wrote about because I’m permanently scarred – when I comeback from PTSD, I will write about it). At one point there was a large grating area but with no grating, so I jumped off, walked over the grating then walked my way to the top of the dang hill…was only like 100m…totally worth it. Then we hooked up with part of the first climb and sailed down once again. Within like 5 minutes we were back to the starting point. I’d say it took ~2hours and 25 minutes to climb and about 5 minutes to descend the entire course. I totally rock at climbing. So I withdraw my statement that this season will be the season I learn to climb well….I will just learn to climb a little…to just get by. And thankfully at no point did I think I was going to die on the course. That made me happy. What also made me happy is that I actually finished the damn thing. I definitely needed another gel, and wish I had had one, but will definitely have one come race time. I also felt well hydrated and felt good. My legs wanted to fall off, for sure after. I was tired of climbing. My avg HR during the climb was ~167, and my avg HR overall was 145. My peak was 176, which is great. I didn’t push too hard that I’d want to just throw my bike away and die, but so that I could imagine running 10k after. I think it’s possible! WOOOOO.
Here’s the gpx business:
Yup. Awesome stuff. Do you see the incline of that last one?? jebbbuusss.