Marmotte - The Col du Glandon
The morning was a lazy start, for some of us. Bikes were built and we cycled into Bourg for cafe au lait and pan au chocolate. Browsing the cycle shops and people watching.
We set off for Col du Glandon at a leisurely pace, it felt good to be riding after several days off the bike. Joints and muscles were stiff and it took a while to break them in, but after the first short climb it didn't feel so bad. the same could not be said for Harby. Despite a clear warning from him, to me, NOT to eat a fromage and jamon baguette, thats exactly what he'd eaten in Bourg. It reared its head after about 20 minutes of climbing, forcing him to retire. Not eating, extreme dosages of alcohol, not enough water, and dodgy ham and cheese, not a recommended preparation technique for the Glandon. Lucas and Madison, drove past and gave me the message. I was on my own to climb my first Alpine climb. The climb was, in retrospect, not that bad.
The road climbs steeply for the first section up to a small alpine village, where the severity breaks, with a short sweeping flat section, and descent to the river below. From here the road climbs steeply again, but only briefly, after that the ride climbs at steadier rate, allowing a more civilised gear to take you to the top. The valley opens into verdant grazing land and in the distance the road contours to a distant chalet. The chalet marks the junction to either take the Col de Glandon or the Croix de Fer. The Croix is clearly the more logical summit of the road and valley, but the Glandon was the goal, so the Glandon it was. A few short metres after the chalet, the summit of the pass is reached. The first ascent of an Alpine col was mine, and now I knew what to expect from the first climb in the Marmotte. To be honest, not that daunting. I dont expect the rest of the circuit to be that straight forward.