Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

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Zoltan
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Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby Zoltan » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:13 am

First out and back overnighter with some solid miles and climbs in proper heat. Something I'd been mulling for a while, to disappear for a few days from our family holiday and go and tick off one of the alpine climbs on my list.
I travelled very light, bivi bag, down sleeping bag and inflatable mat, all in a saddle pack on my road bike with minimal everything else. France has plenty of restaurants and cafes, why torture yourself with dehydrated food?
Day one from Buis to Alpe d'Huez took me up through the Vercors which was stunning, then over a small col down to Bourg d'Oisans and, if time allowed, up to Alpe d'Huez and bivi there.
Unfortunately I hadn't anticipated just how closed it was going to be so I ended up having a celebratory beer and headed back down to Bourg for food.
Food out of the way I set off in the dark looking for a place to bivi and sort of got carried away, eventually climbing back up col d'Ornon and setting down on the top of the col in some woods at midnight. 135 miles and 17,000ft that day say me sleep soundly. :D
Day two, 6.30am start and a roll downhill looking for a cafe for breakfast. France is a funny place, I'd ridden about 30 miles and it wasn't until about 9.30 until a cafe appeared that was open and ironically it was the same place I'd had lunch the day before.
That set me up well for the biggish climb back up over the col de Menee which had been a big old grind up the day before. With that out of the way it was quite a good ride back from there, mostly gentle downhill. The trouble with an out and back is that you know what you have to come back through.
Another very welcome lunch stop left me 40 miles and three cols but with the temperature climbing in the afternoon I found a good spot and had a dip in a river which was really welcome. I got back to camp about 6.30 with 110 miles for day 2. The last climb seemed to go on forever but that is tiredness for you!

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Next insanity planned is overnight sleeper to Edinburgh Friday night and then ride back to London over a weekend in October. Hoping and praying it won't be a South Westerly and horizontal rain!

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Brian-reynolds
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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby Brian-reynolds » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:39 pm

All I can say is WOW! Well done!

I would have struggled to do that when I was in my prime... if I ever had one that is....

If you are passing on the way South you would be welcome for a cuppa or two....

Go safely,

Brian.

crinklystarfish
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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby crinklystarfish » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:40 pm

Good adventure Colin, proper tough ride and hardcore camping.

I enjoyed the write-up. Love the retro jersey, too...

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christyler
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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby christyler » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:20 pm

pretty damn impressive mate,

I struggle to get out of bed in the morning !!!

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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby jonbull » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:32 am

Fantastic...I'll bet you really appreciate your surroundings when travelling like that. :D



.now...about these e-bikes..? :lol:

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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby crinklystarfish » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:50 am

Colin, timely weight distribution query (given the recent moto-carrying threads).

I know you were travelling as light as possible but did the front end become skittish - especially up the steeper climbs?

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Zoltan
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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby Zoltan » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:31 pm

The saddle pack was very light, I didn't have any way of weighing it but I doubt it was more than 3-3.5kgs

For Edinburgh-London I'll have tri bars on the bike and will strap a dribag under the tribars. Mainly I just want spare/warm clothes as I intend to bivvy again wherever that is on the Saturday night

Bicycle is just the perfect way to appreciate the surroundings, especially on the climbs where you are moving slowly

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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby Grommet1 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:42 pm

Looks like a fantastic trip and stunning scenery. I bet that swim was heaven!
Let me know when in October and will aim to be around if you want to drop in or I could meet you somewhere.
Cheers and see you at AO show

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Zoltan
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Re: Buis les Baronnies to Alpe d'Huez and back

Postby Zoltan » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:17 am

It'll be the 7th and 8th of October but I'm not sure of the route down at this stage, I think South Emshall will be as close we get. I'll know a bit more shortly


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