Cycling The Col Des Cyclotouristes from Albertville (1330m)

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Thursday 2 November 2017

Cycling The Col Des Cyclotouristes from Albertville (1330m)

Having spent a relaxing day rest on the fringe of Albertville, in the mediaeval village of Conflans, we were keen to get back on our bikes today and, since we didn't want to move the motorhome, it looked like we had two possible options. Either we could head out along the flat, well maintained cycle path all the way Annecy and back, a possible ride of 90km. We had cycled part of route this from Annecy two years earlier and enjoyed it very much. Or, alternatively, we could head uphill and follow the sign we had seen that said “Col des Cyclotouristes” just across from where we had parked. Given our apparent obsession with cycling uphill, it's probably no surprise we chose the latter.

Setting out we had no idea how steep it was, or even how far, just that it was probably around ten kilometres because there was a fort somewhere up there that was 10km away. It turned out it was a little further, since the actual top was 12.8km away with an average gradient of 7.8%, but to be honest it didn't feel that hard. A lot of the steep part of the climb is at the bottom so maybe we just had fresh legs while we were doing the hard part.

Anyway, however, steep it was, it was certainly a wonderful ride. There were hardly any cars on the road, which snaked in almost continuous hairpins all the way up the wooded hillside, passing various farms and revealing lovely views across the valleys below. The road surface wasn't great, with a fair bit of loose gravel on the surface, but it was okay because it was so quiet we could use the whole road and avoid the worse parts.

What was really nice though, a real treat after cycling so many climbs apart in recent weeks, was that we did this climb together and took it very easy. It was more of a sightseeing ride, a way to get some fresh air rather than a hard climb.

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