Sitting in the evening sun on the balcony of my hotel in the beautiful Vallée de la Guisane, highlander in the French Alps, I am truly physically and emotionally wiped out! The view ain’t too bad though!
Last night’s billet was a Logis de France, which really reminded me of an old Chicago Speakeasy Roadhouse that my cousin once showed me around, expect the French version did not appear haunted and is without the tommy gun scars! Anyway it was very comfortable and breakfast was excellent. We had an early start and set off on the D994, before turning north onto D937 and crossing Col du Festre and Col de Rioupes. The biggest problem was that at every turn the views just kept getting better!
I know it’s only geography, but I love it!
It’s quite a long way down from Col de Rioupes to Corps, where we picked up the N85 Route Napoléon. During this decent I caught up a bunch of cyclists that were, to be fair, moving pretty quick at suicidal speeds on some of the bends. There was one chap who was wearing a replica “King of the Mountains” Tour Jersey, he was either very brave or a mainstream nut case as he overtook me at one point as I was doing 55mph! The Napoléon was miles better than last time I rode it, no motorhomes and no HGV’s…loads of German bikers though! We got to Bourg d’Oisans and with some excitement turned left onto the famous 21 hairpins of The D211 up to Alpe d’Huez! It was seriously busy, with both cyclists and motorbikes enjoying the challenge of this iconic bit of tarmac! A bunch of Brit bikers did nothing to endear themselves by barging through everyone without any respect for other road users or their safety. At the top I gave them the benefit of my view of their riding, even offering to show them the video that I had taken…and to be fair they did apologise.