Alpes Maritimes – Day 10 – My last day in France

Col de Vence.

You know it’s time to go home when a mountain biker passes you on a climb.

That happened today. Oh the shame! (In my defence, I think he was a pro! *cough*)

Ten days of cycling has taken it’s toll on my poor muscles.

I need a rest. There’s nothing left.

I’m very pleased that I’ve achieved my goal though…..

Total distance cycled: 1,087km

Total vertical gain: 18,014m

That’s over double the height of Mount Everest.

I’m a very tired but happy Rock and Rouleur.

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Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1569730

Cycling done: My poor thighs

Rocking and Rolling done: I think it might be time for some loud guitars.

Distance: 89.7km

Vertical Gain: 1,257m

Legs: Ground beef

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Alpes Maritimes – Day 9 – Col de Turini

Col de Turini is probably better known for it’s appearance on Top Gear as one of the best driving roads in the world than it’s three appearances in the Tour de France.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say it’s also one of the best cycling roads in the world.

There, I’ve said it, courting controversy and stating an opinion.

I should have gone into politics. Although I don’t think I would last long, what with my longish hair, and the fact that I spend too much time on top of mountains. A bit like Highlander, but with a guitar and a bike instead of that sword. And not as French, even though he’s supposed to be Scottish.

Anyway I digress…..

Apart from the little descent into L’Escarene after Col de Nice, it’s a 43km long climb from sea level to the top (1607m).

Even though it hurts like hell, I’ll give the climb a satisfaction factor of 9. Then again I’m weird like that, getting satisfaction from pain, and giving it a score.

The descent into La Bollène-Vesubie is one hell of a prize after all that suffering.

Definitely one of my favourites.

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Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1567731

Cycling done: Beaucoup

Rocking and Rolling done: Not much time for any of that, although this song has been going round and round in my head the whole time I’ve been here. Tune!

Distance: 110.1km

Vertical Gain: 2,215m

Legs: You know that feeling you get when someone punches you really hard on one of your thighs? That.

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A sign

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Luceram

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A glimpse of the Haute Alpes

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Another sign and my beloved instrument of torture

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The road down to La Bollène-Vesubie

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Alpes Maritimes – Day 8 – 3 countries in one day

France through Monaco to Italy and back.

The day started off with a quick spin up to Eze village and La Turbie then a steep descent down the side of the mountain through Beausoleil to Monaco, where they were setting up for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Being a bit of a fan I always do a couple of laps of the F1 circuit when I’m here.

It gives me goosebumps.

Halfway around the lap I went into the casino and had a go on the slots. I won €3.60!

Not really.

I’d always wanted to try the Milan-Sanremo climbs the Cipressa and the Poggio, just for the sake of doing them

It’s quite an unremarkable route accross the border into Italy, not very pleasant on a bike.

Unless you like traffic.

The climb up to Poggio is unremarkable as well. That’s that box ticked though.

(It’s still far better than any of the local climbs around London.)

I ducked out of doing Cipressa, It would have meant another 30km of heavy traffic.

Not for me.

Apparently that climb is even less interesting than Poggio.

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Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1564373

Cycling done: Molto

Rocking and Rolling done: Niente

Distance: 132.7km

Vertical Gain: 1,730m

Legs: Beginning to annoy me.

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Eze Village

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Building the grandstands next to the Swimming Pool in Monaco

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Pitlane exit

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Loews Hairpin

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Alpes Maritimes – Day 7 – Go West!

I’d never been this far west from Nice before, and after reading this http://www.nycvelo.com/ blog I thought I’d give it a go.

They didn’t detail a route so I mapped one out using my orienteering and cartography skills. (Bollocks!)

I’m not sure if it’s exact, but it must be pretty close.

The first half is more or less a 70km climb up to 1400m.

Which means the second half is more or less a 70km descent to sea level! Wahay!

It’s enough to scare the living crap out of you! But it is fucking incredible!

The final part takes you throughthe Gorges du Loup, a valley full of waterfalls, torrents and cliffs hundreds of meters tall.

Pretty good fun for an average day out. Ahem!

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Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1561826

Cycling done: Longest ride so far

Rocking and Rolling done: Dum de dum de dum de dum *whistles*

Distance: 144km

Vertical Gain:1,964m

Legs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEEfJGp6VLw

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Alpes Maritimes – Day 6 – Col de la Madone

The weather forecast didn’t look too good today, so I mapped out as short a ride with as much climbing as possible.

The major climb of the day being Col de la Madone.

Something, something, famous training climb, something, something.

It goes from Menton at sea level up 13km at an average of about 8% to 925m.

Hopefully I’d miss the rain.

Once I got to the top, that’s when it started to piss down.

It was a pretty miserable descent/crawl back down to Nice.

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Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1560772

Cycling done: Wet

Rocking and Rolling done: Wet

Distance: 73.7km

Vertical Gain: 1,529m

Legs: Soggy

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There used to be a sign at the top.

It’s not there any more……

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Biggest rockfall I’d ever seen:

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It came from up there:

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Should have gone down there:

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Alpes Maritimes – Day 5 – Cols: Nice, Braus, Saint-Jean, Castillon, Eze.

The highlight of this ride are the wonderful switchbacks of Col de Braus.

An incredibly satisfying climb.

I’d climb it all day if I was Superman.

As I am not Superman, I won’t even attempt such a silly thing.

It’s been a good week.

5 days of cycling: 539km and, gulp, 9319m of vertical gain! My legs are mush!

 

Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1560322

Cycling done: Enough

Rocking and Rolling done: Rien

Distance: 105.3km

Vertical Gain: 2,177m

Legs: Sausages!

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Monaco from above

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Alpes Maritimes – Day 4 – Col St. Roch (and rouleur)

Col St. Roch

I hereby claim thee as the spiritual mountain pass of all rock musicians.

See what I did there? I just blessed a road, like I’m the Pope or something.

I love climbing up here, it’s not too difficult, but very rewarding.

A descent down to Lantosque, and back up to Duranus again.

Duranus, ‘Dur’ is French for ‘hard’, and ‘anus’ meaning, well, could be ‘ass’ I suppose.

Hard Ass!

But don’t stick those two words into Google translate.

You have been warned!

That sounds like it might hurt.

I might steer clear from now on.

 

Route: http://www.bikemap.net/route/1547041

Cycling done: Quite a lot

Rocking and Rolling done: Zip

Distance: 121.7km

Vertical Gain: 2,303m

Legs: Not looking good


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