Thursday, 21 July 2011

Tour de France 2011

In July 2011 four of us (the usual suspects) embarked to the French Alps. The trip had a multiple purpose. To do some riding in the Alps & to watch the Tour de France.
I found this winter ski-chalet by chance on google one day, in summer it is a mountain bike/cycling chalet. It was amazing. Will, the owner is an excellent chef, his portion sizes are perfect. Enough to make you want more, but enough for you not to need more. I would highly recommend Ecrins Lodge. It had everything we wanted, a warm place after riding in the wet, a bike wash area, a bike storage area, a big bowl of pasta after a day out, beers in the fridge, jacuzzi & coffee and in an idyllic setting.
The downhills were something we never experienced before, they kept going for kilometres. None of the ones we did were super technical, but they had berm on berm on berm. Corkscrew berms, huge berms exiting onto a tabletop jump - you name it!
I had a bad fall in May that year and strained my left thumb quote badly, so the braking bumps at the bottom of these trails were not great & I also burnt my hand with boiling hot fudge 3 days before we left. We treated it well each day and wrapped it with a bandage and some blister plasters each day. The Alps are just beautiful, God really created a place of outstanding and unbelievable beauty.
I asked Christiaan if I could share some of his amazing desktop screen saver type pictures, so please see below.
Photo credits: Christiaan Botha
Ecrins Lodge

The boys: Louis, Christiaan & Simon - Alp d'Huez

I'm fascinated by this tree, it looks like it is crying...
A river runs through it

Simon & Louis - Les Deux Alps

TC - Did I mention HUGE berms?

Thousands of people lining the mountain at Col du Lautaret
Col du Galibier
Hairpins of Alp d' Huez
The legend that is: Jens Voigt

Les Deux Alps

Christiaan Styling - Photo taken by me :)