Vacations are good. In fact vacations are awesome.
(Never ever should anyone “not take” their “vacation days”.)
Suffice it to say, we’re having a super awesome time here in France.
This trip is all about the bicycle. We’re riding. We’re eating. And we’re doing it every single day. Couldn’t be much better.
For the first week we’ve got a great little Air BnB place in Sechiliennes, France. Our place is at the very top of a tight and twisty road. We saw some guys trying to ride up our road this morning and let’s just say, it looked intense…
The riding has been great – we did a loop yesterday that involved riding up Alpe d’Huez – this was pretty special. I’ve watched the pros race up this climb and after doing this climb, it really puts a lot into perspective. I had no idea what to expect as this was my first time riding in the mountains, but Marc did a great job of getting me prepared for the climb. I saw him in the village at the top and he rode with me to the “official Tour de France” finish. Super day that was made special with a cool descent and ride through Villard-Reculas. I got to practice descending a mountain in the rain! (Yes, I still have brake pads left!)
Today was epic. (No, not exaggerating.) We rode for about 30 minutes before hitting the start of the Croix de Fer climb. This one is a humdinger… I climbed steady for a little over two hours – apart from a much-appreciated flat section and fun descent in the middle it was all about the uphill for 120+ minutes. This ride definitely had me experiencing a range of emotions and I found the last 2.5 km of the climb to the very top to be very challenging. Luckily Marc was there to ride with me and provide encouragement. Thoughts of the hot chocolate in the cafe at the top helped get me through the last bit of the climb. The descent down was fun though the small amount of climbing on the way back really had my legs feeling like lead! All in all, a great day – just shy of four hours of riding with a good mix of flat, up and down.
Really the rest of the time has been spent hanging out, eating, and doing a little bit of browsing (shopping for me) in a couple of souvenir shops and at Decathlon (big sports store).
Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow but I think it involves a cable car ride (with our bikes) and the Col d’Ornon.
So, if you’ve got some vacation days lingering – take them! Do something fun. Life is short and vacation days should be used. Work and deadlines can wait!