I had planned this ride a few days before, Friday was review day at uni and I made sure I got myself a morning slot so that I could sneak off in the afternoon and hit the trails for a few hours as I say the weather was supposed to be 16degrees, it definitely felt like much more than 16 degrees.
The review of my project work at uni went pretty well and indeed the sun was out, without a cloud in the sky so I was unnecessarily excited to go out riding. I went home, grabbed my bike, some music and just stuck the essentials in my pockets to go ride up Le Rachais which is one of the closest hills to the city. Phone, Earphones, Multitool and Keys is all I took.
I took the ascent that goes up the west side of the hill for a change, taking the road from St Martin Le Vinoux to Clemencieres before it turns onto a forest track type ascent. I am not sure why, maybe because I was a bit over stoked about a bit of downhill or that the sun was going down, but I spotted a road rider up ahead and decided to chase her (or maybe because it was a her), this made me regret not taking a drink! I caught her not long before I got to the top but was definitely needed some water.
The good thing about around here is that in almost every little village there are either little fountains like this one or green taps that you can turn on or pump to get some water, so to find this one at the top was perfect!
A Little bit more road climbing before hitting the forest track, which actually turned out to be super tiring as the top few hundred metres was under snow which resulted in a lot of slipping about, 3 steps forward 2 steps back kind of feeling. Anyway made it to the top with the sun still shining but unfortunately a LOT of mud!
It was super hot on the road climb so I decided to get a bit naked, put the t-shirt back on for the downhill though as with all the mud spraying up it was a bit chilly.
I decided I would try ride the whoooole way from top to bottom without stopping as there is a few different sections and stopping points where we normally stop but since I was on my own I decided to try do the whole lot. It is funny that you often don’t realise how tiring descending at speed it, your arms and legs get very tired quickly. Usually you are with friends so stop to chat about or get excited about the bit of trail you have just done or you live in the UK where the descents are not long enough for this to happen! But trying to do 700m of continuous descent tired me out and resulted in concentration lacking big time and two over the bars, nothing serious but it was just obvious I only fell off because I was tired and not concentrating! As usually those sections are no problem.
Anyway my GPS screwed up and it looks like I hucked down the last half of the mountain if you look at the route so I will have to go back and do it again sometime!