Day 4 and Preparing for Le Tour

**NOTE: If you’re interested in watching for me/us during the Tour stage tomorrow, I will likely be at switchback 16 in La Garde en Oisans on Alpe d’Huez. It’s at 59.5km to go and then again at 11.5km to go to the finish (if they ride the mountain twice (it’s supposed to rain so it’s possible this won’t happen)). I will be wearing very America-themed clothing.**

With that out of the way, here are some pictures from today’s ‘rest day’ of biking up the back side of Alpe d’Huez and then hiking down into (and back up from) town to get, among other things, beer, chocolate,  and toilet paper:

This is another view of the house we are staying in.

This is another view of the house we are staying in.

And a view midway through our ride this morning.

And a view midway through our ride this morning.

I went out with Chris (front) and Doug (behind) to climb the mountain from the back, less trafficked side. It wasn't that much less difficult, but as we learned when we hit the main road, it was SIGNIFICANTLY less crowded. The main route up the Alp was a shitshow today with the tour coming through, but the festive atmosphere made up for most of it.

I went out with Chris (front) and Doug (behind) to climb the mountain from the back, less trafficked side. It wasn’t that much less difficult, but as we learned when we hit the main road, it was SIGNIFICANTLY less crowded. The main route up the Alp was a shitshow today with the tour coming through, but the festive atmosphere made up for it.

Me at a water break in the town of Villard Reculas

Me at a water break in the town of Villard Reculas

The views between Villard Reculas and the town of Huez are some of the best we've seen yet.

The views between Villard Reculas and the town of Huez are among some of the best we’ve seen yet. In the distance on the left are some of the switchbacks on the main route up Alpe d’Huez.

After summitting, showering, and eating, Doug, Audrey, and I hiked into town. I've biked up 3 mountains in 3 days, but  hiking down and then back up 30% of the Alp was significantly more unpleasant - and I have the blisters to prove it. That said, the town really is beautiful as this house attests.

After summitting, showering, and eating, Doug, Audrey, and I hiked into town. I’ve biked up 3 mountains in 3 days, but hiking down and then back up 30% of the Alp was significantly more unpleasant. And I have the blisters to prove it. That said, the town really is beautiful, as I think this house attests.

7town square

Just outside of the super busy town center.

8town panorama

The center of town.

With The Tour coming through, tomorrow should be a real rest day. It airs bright and early back in the states, but we don’t expect the riders coming through until after lunch here. Folks were already out partying this evening, and even with the rain they’ll continue through tomorrow. I think our group might split up while watching the stage, but given the nature of the fans I encountered today I suspect everyone on the mountain tomorrow will be new best friends that we just haven’t yet met.

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