Monthly Archives: July 2022

It Doesn’t Get Easier, You Just Go Faster (So If It Feels Easier, You’re Not Going Faster)

I will explain the excessively long title towards the end of this piece. For now, straight into the detail.

In November 2021 I signed up for another big bike ride, the Marmotte Grandfondo Alpes. I did it in 2019 with BW and AS, my first-ever such big event. It is 175km with 5,000m of climb, and covers some of the classic Tour de France cols: The Glandon, Télégraphe, Galibier, and finishes with the Alpe d’Huez climb. Race date was 3 July, 2022.

This summer has had some great weather, and the same was predicted for the race weekend. Friday I dropped Mister Snagsby, the dog, off at the kennel and by 06:30 Saturday morning, I was on the road. I took an over-mountain route, traversing the Col de Madeleine and then over the Col du Glandon, which in fact covered part of the route of the Marmotte, albeit in the reverse direction. So I was able to reconnoiter, look for sharp turns and bad road surfaces.

It was only then it occurred to me that I’d missed a trick: if I had bought a can of spray paint on Friday, I could have stopped at strategic points and painted “Go, Brad, Go!” along the route for the next day’s event. Sort of self-encouragement. When you have a fanbase of one, and that one is you, you have to improvise…

The views from the two cols were stunning. From the Madeleine it is actually possible to see the Matterhorn, distant, but unmistakable.

View from the Col de la Madeleine, 2000m

Continue reading