After leaving Briancon we had another long day of driving (are you seeing the trend here?) We drove the gorgeous route over the mountains--the same one that the guys were going to ride that day. It really was spectacular. All of my pictures were taken while driving down the winding road, so none of them are that great. But trust me, it was spectacular.
|Rich and Sandy|
|Kurt and Lisa|
After an hour or two we dropped off the guys at the starting point for their big climb. Then Lisa and Sandy got into the van and I hopped into my trusty Peugeot. That's when the real fun started. Earlier in the trip we'd run into trouble trusting the Garmin, as it wanted to lead us through little towns and villages--the shortest distance, but not the fastest route. Given that I was driving a stick shift for the first time in 10 years I was hoping to stay on freeways. Lisa had an old fashioned paper map and knew how to use it. And I should have listened to her, not the Garmin. Because, long story short, we got lost. And lost again. And ended up driving a whole lot of extra miles through the mountains. But I was proud of my driving skills...until Alp d'Huez. Seriously, I have PTSD just thinking about it. Alp d'Huez is a mountain town that has been a finishing spot for the Tour on multiple occasions.
|The 21 switchbacks|
Add all the bikers, the huge trucks and me in a stick shift...it was not pretty. I stalled twice, and more than a little annoyed the guy in the BMW behind me. But we made it. And Lisa graciously forgave me for getting us lost.
Ryan had a really great ride that day, over some incredibly hard climbs. And being there made it way more fun to watch this year's Tour as they climbed Alp d'Huez twice!