Friday, 21 September 2012

Day Three – Megeve to Beaufort to Aime (near Bourg St Maurice)

Day Three – Megeve to Beaufort to Aime (near Bourg St Maurice)

  • Distance Travelled – 55km
  • Vertical metres climbed – 1,121 m
  • Time on saddle – 6.5 hours
  • Time pushing / carrying bike uphill - 1 hour
  • Beers - 3
  • Condition – crazy tired!
  • State of mind – worried about tomorrow its to be the longest and hardest yet!!,
  • Marmots seen - 2, wild boars - none

We finish our day overlooking the valley and across to Alpe D’Huez on the other side and many pretty little Savoyarde villages nestled cosily into the hillsides.

Down below Flaine where chain broke yesterday

Top of Mont De Vores - 2,100m

My new Garmin Edge 500 GPS - love it!

The Geneve to Cannes Classic Rally in Beaufort

'Carbon' Fabrice, very tall Christian & 'Carbon' Alexis at the time trial

The sun is going down on another wonderful day full of incredible views. These experiences almost make me forget the 540 metre straight climb this morning. I arrive third (one place better than yesterday though it is definitely NOT a race) in the pecking order today inevitably behind the ‘carbon’ brothers’ Fabrice and Alexis whom chat all the way up (I could barely speak at all). Maybe Christian’s head whom is 6 foot 17 inches tall arrived before me but it was some minutes before the rest of his very very long body appeared. When I could see out of misted up glasses this gave me our second but much closer sighting of the majestic snow capped Mont Blanc which was brooding but stunning. We could look down in awe on the pretty villages way back in valley and the hot air Balloons that were being launched below.

Our journey down took us down the slopes of Megeve and through rich & verdant mountain side forest with fast sweeping bends, gurgling brooks and some tricky descents – ‘Carbon’ Fabrice’s description was this will be difficult so be careful! He does not exaggerate!

Lunch in the village of Beaufort was a pleasure, this is famous for the very popular Beaufort cheese, I can most certainly agree to this claim. The Geneva to Cannes Classic Rallye was there too and proudly showing off a wide selection of Austin Healeys, E Type Jags, Ferraris and a delightful old Porsche 946 whom were off to time trial through the mountains. I wanted to swap places with the guy in the old ‘E’ Type but he just said we were all mad as mountain marmots and he would have no part in it – wished us luck and off he roared with way much more throttle than was necessary!

We were delayed getting up the mountains due to the time trial which was fun to watch and eventually we set off up and up non navigable mountain bike routes. Over 300 metres we climbed initially, it was so steep or unridable (is this a word – it is now!) we had to push or carry our bikes). The reward at 2,545 metres was a panoramic delight where all we could hear was our own gasping of breathe and the odd cow bell from down in the valley (they would not be so stupid to climb up here!). We were so lucky to be there in the wild and open mountain savannah and above the tree line.

My bike and I are getting on much better today now I can speak ‘bike’ to it properly and it understand my strange commands (well some of them), the new chain, pedals and shoes help considerably!

Across the open slopes we flew, I wish my video cam had not run out and we whooped with delight and then took the goat trails across the meadows and fast down the cattle tracks navigating the periodic mini Alps laying inconveniently across our way! Into the woods again and down some big steep trails with tight corners and big rocks and even some jumps - heaven, hell, joy and fun and I even got brave enough and followed Fabrice picking his routes and lines and then occasionally both brakes were fully exerted rapidly, thankfully no agony! A fast finish to the village of Aime where the bells are ringing ‘beer o’clock’ very loudly! 

Fabrice, Adrian, Christian avec Alexis

I’m loving my bike and I’m loving this Trans Alp Challenge. It is seriously hard work and I wish I had trained harder but well worth the reward of the effort.

Bonsoir mes Amis

9ft tall Christian & 'Carbon' Alex (he's normal height)

PS. Christian all 9 foot of him (see pic above) and I still at the grunting stage but we have managed to speak ‘Garmin’ as we both have the Garmin Edge 500 GPS (my early birthday pressie from my ever so beautiful girlfriend Julie) and he has somehow managed to convey how I can now use it and check elevation (he should know), height climbed and descended!


1 comment: