If you’ve seen much of this blog, you’ll probably have realised that cols are an important part of my riding diet, and particularly cols over 1000m. These aren’t massive cols by Alpine standards, but many of them are a reasonable challenge for a cyclist, and it’s satisfying remembering that they are all higher than England’s highest point (Scafell Pike).
As time has gone on I’ve explored most of the ones within striking distance marked on my map, discovered several not marked, and documented many of them here.
One outstanding not-map-marked one was Col d’Herbouilly. James and I had no plans to ride it today, as we set out on a route to Col de la Bataille. But the weather looked just a little less settled than ideal at the top of Col de Rousset, and by Vassieux the rainfall radar confirmed the gloomy diagnosis: rain coming up from the south west (a familiar forecast for Devonians).
After some humming and hawing at my favourite La Chapelle café, we headed north towards Les Grands Goulets, and on the spur of the moment I suggested Villard-de-Lans as a lunch spot, and a return over the Col d’Herbouilly.
I’ll return and document it properly at some stage, but for now just to note that while the col itself is a forgettable 1370m affair, the two real interests were the viewpoint at Belvédère, with its views over the Gorges de la Borne and war-ravaged Valchevrière (preserved as a memorial to the Résistance effort of 23 June 1944), and the lovely descent to St-Martin-en-Vercors.
A few pictures of the ride…