Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 1 Classic Climbs of the Alps

Yesterday was Day 1 of the tour…..a "warm-up" day.  A mere 31 miles and just 1600 feet of climbing.  Just 1600. Cuz today was NOT going to be a "warm-up" day with 54 miles and just 7200 feet of climbing.

The day's elevation profile

Anywho the day started out meeting our group (3 women other than guides and 6 men) at the Annecy train station.  We are 9 strong from all over the US.  Our guides are Lisa and Laura Lee and I pretty much just love them!  We took a boat from Annecy to Menthon, had lots of meat and cheese for lunch, got fitted on our bikes and then took off for "warm-up".
Dad and sis before start of warm-up

Yes, the bikes are great and I am now completely enamored with UI2.  Must. Have. On. Home. Bike. Here's how "warm-up" went.  Somehow I managed to get myself right behind Lisa who was leading the group for today.  She doesn't suck.  The ride starts uphill and then really goes uphill.  Like my heart rate went from 115 to 150 in approximately 4.2 seconds.  Holy Moly.  Are we kidding??  So in between labored breaths I looked up and around and was completely in awe that I was riding a bike in France!!  Yes, I was 10 minutes into the ride and in zone 7ab but I was also in France!!!!
I'm riding my bike in France!!!!

This was the Col du Bluffy - yikes.  But I loved it.  I mean, really, I can't even describe how awesome it was:  so green, waterfalls, rivers, small towns, amazing mountains, skinny roads.  From there it was flats and then another climb.  Lisa left our group of 6 to check on the other group and that's when 5 penises came out to test out each others testosterone levels and pound on their chests.  I lost this one.  As the lone female in the group I had no penis and was shunned to the back.  Well, actually off the back.  But that was totally cool since I could finally look around, talk to the cows, and drink out of my bottles.  Col du Marais was this climb - a much kinder, gentler climb.  And then…..a descent!

The penises guys waited for me at the bottom (how nice!!!) and we continued the ride back to Menthon.  So freakin' cool.  The rest of the day brought a nap, watching the last stage of the Tour - in French (not as exciting as the US coverage) and taking a dip in the amazing waters of Lake Annecy.  Incredibly clear water.  And my first open water swim since last year.
Our hotel in Menthon.  Awesome until you have to climb all 109 stairs just to get to the lobby.   Poor planning for a climbing bike tour:)

Nic diving into Lake Annecy

Glad I found my big girl panties last night since I really needed them today……Day 2 recap coming soon!