Sunday, 8 August 2010

Col col col....

I got a tad carried away after my highly successful ride with Pat on Friday and somehow managed to enthusiastically commit myself to doing another ride with Andy today, this time from the house and with just a leeeetle bit more ascent than I have done in the past year.... or maybe 2! But the weather was glorious this morning and, after a good clean and a bit of a fettle yesterday, my bike owed me a favour so off we set.

The last time I rode from the house up to the Col d'Agnès was over 2 years ago. The actual climb from Massat is just over 17kms long with 921m of ascent and takes you up to one of my favourite areas here, around the Etang de Lhers and then up to the Col with its fantastic views of the high mountains which border SpainDespite the heat, we managed it without a problem. From there, the long descent down into Aulus-les-Bains where we had to take a decision whether to start the run home, down to Ercé and then up to the Col de Saraillé and back down into Massat, or hang a left and climb up to the Col de Latrappe which would add to the distance and the height gain somewhat. What the heck, I have already done the climb a couple of times ... it's short (4.5kms) and only ascends 375m... the legs were feeling OK and I did need a longer ride. So up we headed. Easy peasy (relatively speaking). Then a great descent down to the Ustou Valley and a fun run battling a headwind through to Seix where it was time for a welcome shandy/coffee stop.

By this point, after 56km and nearly 1300m of height gain, my legs were feeling somewhat weary and I wasn't relishing the prospect of even more climbing but we had no choice. That's the price you pay for living where we do! So I fuelled up and off we headed again, on our way back home, via Cominac and the Col de Saraillé, another 430m of ascent over 11kms, then down into Massat. At last, all the ascent done! Er.... WRONG! Home is another 5kms and 200m of ascent further up the hill! Gah! But the Col de Port road no longer strikes fear into my heart and before I knew it we were home, tired but with no significant aches or pains - just very tired legs which is kind of expected after that kind of a ride. My new position on the bike and my new saddle are making all the difference. This is the ride profileFull stats for the outing are on the usual site although the total ascent figure appears to be a little bit inflated. The ride was actually 83km long/2026m of ascent in total which took us just over 4 1/2 hrs (not including stopping time). I'm pleased with that. No more cycling for me for 9 days while I am back in the UK, but when I return, the rest will have done my muscles the world of good and I will be on demon form..... no, really I will!

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