View Alpe d'Huez and the Col de Sarenne in a larger map
Since I got to France I've been waking up annoyingly early, like 04:00. Tuesday was no different, but in this case I fell back asleep and missed breakfast. I ate yesterday's spare packaged sandwich instead.
The morning was rainy and cold. The first part of the ride is a descent, and the rain started shortly after I did. Once my feet were soaked I was once again bitterly cold on the bike. My shivering was making it hard to keep the front wheel steady.
|Looking back along D1091|
After a quick tour through Bourg d'Oisans, I started up the climb. Not many riders on the road today, but the familiar tour van was there. I stopped for a while at the church at hairpin #7, a little above La Garde, to eat and enjoy the scenery. The rain was mostly holding off, and while it was cold when stopped it was pleasant while climbing.
With the paucity of riders on the road, I was a little surprised to see that the souvenir photographer was nonetheless at work. There was no one near me and I ride very slowly, so she was able to get about five shots of me. And yes, I bought one, even though they're overpriced.
I stopped at the "false top" for a coffee bite to eat at Bar L'Indiana (passing by L'Alaska and La Nevada). When I went to leave it was once again raining hard, so... hey, another coffee.
I climbed up to the real top and took some selfies, which came out poorly. The riders connected with the tour van were just arriving, and one of them was overcome with emotion at finally making it to the top, which just reminds you how special this experience can be.
|On the road toward the Col de Sarenne|
If I recall correctly, there's at least one sign indicating that you're headed toward the Col de Sarenne. Beyond that there isn't the normal signage you see on French roads, but it's hard to go wrong. Just don't descend back to Bourg d'Oisans and you'll get there.
|The last part of the climb to the Col de Sarenne|
|The Vallée du Ferrand|
The thing about this descent is that you're not just losing the few hundred meters you just climbed -- you're actually losing more than 1000 meters, essentially descending the mighty Alpe d'Huez climb, but on this little road. It just goes on and on. The first part of the descent winds through hairpins, but then a little further down the sections between turns stretch out quite a bit and you can get some speed up.
|Lac du Chambon, as seen from Mizoen|