It is that time of year!
One of the most famous climbs for cyclists, was included in this year’s route.
Le Tour tackled the famous Alpe D’Huez, yesterday, although I wrote much of this post, earlier in the week.
My last year as an active cyclist, was the same year that I made a ‘pilgrimage’ to watch the Tour de France, ascending the classic climb in 2006.
I reached Bourg D’Oisans (town at the foot of the mountain), anticipating the following thirteen thousand, eight hundred metres of climbing, with great eagerness.
Alpe d’Huez 13km.
Below, race leaders Damiano Cunego (Lampre), and Franck Schleck (CSC), approach summit of Alpe D'Huez, 2006.
Around just the first few hairpin/switchback bends, of 21 in total...
...My lifelong dream was standing, immediately ahead of me. I was still only at the foot, but enjoyed it so much. I wanted to accelerate, but I didn’t want to rush this experience away. Honestly, I don’t remember feeling pain, I was forever able to look around and realise where I was! This is cycling! I realised that it was my destiny. A lifelong lover of the French Alps, a lightweight, skinny, 21 year-old cyclist who was obsessed with professional cycling, I knew that I was made for this! As expected, a vast range of fans filled the bottom, but those cycling up, all recognised the pain that they were about to endure! The number of fans on the lower slopes was mind-blowing! The Dutch own this place, and they definitely know how to throw a party! At no point did I doubt myself, I just knew that I must continue. I didn’t bother counting down the corners, it is a place with such a special history, I didn’t want to ruin the experience by dismissing sections with such enthusiasm! ‘Masochistic’, maybe, but I knew that I was a ‘grimpeur’ (climber). Ok, I was never the fastest sprinter, or a strong ‘rouleur’ (powerful rider on the flat), but I was used to watching most other riders fall behind me, on a climb. The Alpe D’Huez was my climb, not too long, but steep enough! :)
I was going to include a video for the new Muse track, simply because I love the band. Muse are one of the greatest live performers that I have seen. However, I decided against the new track ‘Something Human’. The video is readily available on YouTube, if wanted.
Another track which entitles a forthcoming album is also one of a regular artist that has been promoted on this blog.
‘For my crimes’ album released 28 September 2018
This week’s post is short, concentrated on L’Alpe d’Huez, as I am still a lover of cycling, and I can cite my past experience here, as a ‘lifetime peak’!
I may never experience anything like that again, so I hold my memories close, with pride.
I have drawn many analogies regarding psychologies of cyclists and my ‘Traumatic ABI recovery’, this is where many are set, but, stored in my mind! Any issue that I face now, may be seen as ‘the next hairpin’. The brilliant nature of these mountain climbs are the hair-pins. A cyclist can easily break the mountain down, into manageable chunks. This is a key psychological ability, that I have to rely on, tackling all problems.
Above poster depicts the essence of the cobbled stage finish into Roubaix.
Below, the poster representing BMC's Team Time Trial win, stage 3.
A couple of posters for this 2018 Tour De France, designed by Bruce Doscher.
Even today, a bottle of Orangina is NEEDED by myself, after a 100% gym bike workout!