Back to solo rides

Today was the day to say “Au revoir” to my Exeter Wheelers friends who have been staying here for the week: though I’ve had just three full riding days with them (because of my delayed arrival), I think that Andy, Shane, James and Tom have had a good taste of the riding down here. They have done routes to all points of the compass, have gone over about a dozen cols over 800m, and done around 22,000ft of climbing.

We mixed and matched somewhat, as the heat has been a significant factor: yesterday it went up to 53C in direct sun, and 38C in the shade, and 700m ascents in such temperatures aren’t to everyone’s taste. Quite often when I have groups of riders with me, they end up finding different solutions for getting the most out of their stay: some focus on getting miles and metres in, and others prefer to take a bit more time for the sights and flavours. Chacun à son goût, as the cliché has it. Anyway, I think that each of them now knows why I keep on coming back.

Just a few of photos for this one; at Col de Rousset, on my first ride here with them (on the lovely little loop to La Chapelle-en-Vercors), an evening visitor to the house, and just as the Exeter péloton prepared to brave the holiday traffic back to Calais in James’ spacious car.

And a footnote on that subject: it pays to time your travel down here in the summer holidays. Let’s just say that their journey down here in James’ car was a bit of an epic; I hope that the return is a little quicker.


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