Day 24 – Grenoble to Le Faurie (Alps)

I opened my eyes in the comfort of a hotel bed. Checked my phone, and saw that I had the reference code that I badly needed to get some cash. I put the radio on, and the 1st track was ‘Queen – We are the champions’. I then cracked a big smile knowing that today, was going to be a good day.

I stayed in my room and made the most of the bed. Check out time was 12:00, I left the room at 11:58. Went into town and picked up the money. For the 1st time in a while, it seemed like everything was going to plan.

My next move in this adventure was getting to Barcelona via the southern coast of France (with just the small matter of cycling through the Alps 1st)

The pressure of chasing the tour is off and it feels like I have all the time in the world.

I rode my bike for 6 hours today, at least 5 of which were in the rain. But I didn’t care. I was just happy thing were back to normal.

My 1st col of the day was the Col du Fua at 899m. A relative baby, but still big enough to take me into the clouds. Once in the clouds, everything around you is wet. It’s hard to tell what is sweat and what is rain. The only way I knew I was sweating was the salty taste in my mouth  (no I didn’t have a mouth full of cum before anyone pipes up). The rain was a welcome change to the killer heats I’ve been scorched by this month. Truly reminiscent of Yorkshire weather.

The rain did mean however, that I had to be super cautious on the soaked roads of the decent. But the real reward of the day came as a surprise when I got to the bottom. I got to a bridge and looked over the side where I saw the most amazing valley with a beautiful, deep emerald coloured river running through it. I stopped for a time, just looking at it in pure awe.

Back to business I had another col to deal with, Col De La Croix Haute. A bit bigger and a lot longer, at an altitude of 1171m. It was definitely enough to tire me out. I had a break where a cat took a shine to my bike. I was tempted to put it in my bag and bring it with me as a travel companion.

The climb was long and it was counting down the time to when I could dismount for the night. That was until the dessert of the day came, with a sugar sweet 18km downhill. It was mainly a long, straight road with a train track running along side it. The speed limit was 70kmph which I managed to exceed (and even had the balls to photograph it)

A train was heading up the hill in my direction. I tried giving it the classic honking motion that you gesture to passing trucks as a child, hoping the give you a toot. I wasn’t expecting anything, then BLAAAAAM!!!!  It was so loud, it felt like it made my heart skip several beats at once and then raced back into life.

“I’m not gonna lie, it’s gonna get a little weird…….. 2 dragons”

-Big Earl


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