Guillestre to Jausiers

October 01, 2008

High altitude graffiti

Amazing sleep in Guillestre then up the Col de Vars. Feeling the strains of eight days cycling in a row. The climb out of Guillestre was immediately viscous.

Living life without a watch right now. Its surprisingly relaxing and everything just seems to fall together. I get to turn my mobile on once a day when I can check the time and often along the way I can check clock towers etc and listen for the number of rings of the bell in the mornings.

Raced an old man to the summit of the col de vars. Smashed him. He was over 60 though :-) Met an english couple and spoke to them about the wonders of carradice saddle bags and got them to take a photo of me at the top.

On the summit of the Col de Vars

I also spoke to them about my plans of tackling the bonnete that day and of going to Italy instead tomorrow. They said that the road into Italy was proper busy and that my plan B of 3 extra cols to the east of the bonnete sounded better. I agreed.

Then I strapped my camera to the front of my bike and filmed part of the descent. I think it turned out fairly well. Next time I do this I will cycle closer to barriers and walls to make it feel faster.

Cruised into Jausiers for about 2pm. It was a cycling town and there was a lot of evidence that the tour has been through here just a couple of months previously. Booked into a hotel, and got some soup and coke to fuel myself up for what lay ahead.

I took the bare minimum up the bonette. Not even tools!

Its the highest paved mountain pass in europe (2802m) although the Iseran is the true king as the built an extra loop around a mountain to take the title. It was a 21km straight climb out of Jausiers; made easier by a lack of touring load but still hard enough! Altitude doesnt seem to be affecting me now.

Summit shot on the bonette 2802m

7.5 hours on the bike today. The descent was amazing, great road surface. Although lower down I was in agony, my hands and back were very sore. The forces that the body absorbs when braking for hairpin after hairpin is quite a lot.

I came my closest to crashing today. A marmot ran out in front of me when I was doing about 50kph but luckily I braked in time.

Tomorrow I am going to sneak in a few extra cols that are not on the official route I am following.