Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Lot of Descending

We spent most of the first day climbing, so the return journey from Mt. Aigoual should be mostly downhill, right? Well it was certainly a net downhill and certainly easier than the ride out, but we did still have a few cols to go over on our way home.

Today's elevation profile!

We had been thrilled to find an open hotel and restaurant in L'Espérou the evening before, as we were freezing coming down from Mt. Aigoual as the sun was starting to set. But it did mean that Day 2 would be longer. Still with a net downhill, we should make good time. We had a classic French breakfast of bread, butter and jam, so the first order of business was to find a shop and get some food! We got a bit more to supplement our breakfast, as well as sandwich fixings and snacks for the journey home.

Eddie had warned us that services might be sparse, and that the planned route could have us on dirt roads or trails. This was a scouting mission after all!

Once well stocked for our adventure, we bundled up for the first long descent.  We basically put on everything we had. Eddie used a spare pair of socks in place of the full fingered gloves he had accidentally left at home. I made note to bring my heavier gloves when we head back out! And my overshoes. It was quite chilly!

Our first col of the day was the ominous Col de L'Homme Mort!

We again had a glorious sunny day, which helped with the chill of the descent! So did the beautiful scenery. Eddie's route was glorious - lots of lovely quiet twisty roads, with amazing views. We did even pass through a few towns and found an open coffee shop where we had nice hot drinks to help warm us, as well as a few snacks.

As expected we made better time on the return journey. We arrived in plenty of time to enjoy a Chimay at the bar across the street before Chisa fixed us another great Japanese dinner.

We now had a taste for the mountains, and spent a bit of time that evening looking over maps and making plans to head back out for a longer tour. More to come...

Plenty of col-bagging on the way home!

A new bike?


  1. You Guys Rock! What a beautiful part of the world! Thanks for sharing with us!

  2. It really is a gorgeous place to ride, a bit pf the radar for most Americans, not as well known here as the Pyrenees, Provence, ot the Alps. Absolutely worth checking out!