14 July 2010

Pla d'Adet in 2005 and 2010

The Pla d'Adet is a tough tough climb
I think the difficulty of the Pla d'Adet rates up there with the Col du Tourmalet and Col de Marie Blanque. I have always been a George Hincapie fan, but now I think he is super-human. I was on the Pla d'Adet with my brother an sister-in-law to witness Hincapie's win in the 2005 Tour de France, it was amazing then. Today five years later (and five years older) I decided to ride it myself. 
It was hard. Any climb that ascends on a straight road carved into the hillside is hard. Give me a switchback anytime over a semi-straight steep road. It didn't help that is was beyond hot today. I drank 2 bottles of water on the climb up, another on the descent, and one more in the town at the bottom. I then pulled my bike over next to the river, and walked into the river. I'm not kidding. I saw it, and in I went. 
I by now have climbed most of the climbs I had intended to climb in the Pyrenees. I have decided I am going to create a new rating of all these climbs in the Pyrenees and rate them with a Horse Fly rating of 1 to 5 (forget HC,1,2,3,4). I am also going to rate these small towns according to size, with a car symbol rating them by fat truck to itsy-bitsy you really think you can drive through there. I am becoming more paranoid about driving in these tiny towns and over the cols. Give me a peage or a big city please!
In week one I arrived appreciating the beautiful butterflies and all God's creatures great and small. By week four I am swatting at anything that moves. Flys, butterflies, cows, donkeys, anything. "Out of my way, I am climbing to the top of this Col at 4mph (or, maybe, slower) and nothing will stop me!" Which reminds me, I actually saw a herd of donkeys yesterday. I didn't know donkeys could be herded. Although the Shepherds were screaming at them as if they too were doubting whether donkeys could be herded.
Some images from the day:
Looking across the valley from above Guchan at the climb. The climb is to the right, and the top of Pla d'Adet is at the top middle.
On the climb
Looking over at the Pla d'Adet from the Col d'Azet. This is the steep semi-straight start. 
I would much rather stand road side and watch the pros ride this climb than do it again, it was a tough hot day in the saddle. But the cold river was fantastic!

Today is Bastille Day in France! July 14th. 

*post post: my bike and the river

Images from the Tour de France 2005 on Pla d'Adet: (all photos by PedalDancer.com)
The finish area of Pla d'Adet
TDF Fans on the Pla d'Adet in 2005
Christian Van deVelde 2005 TDF Pla d'Adet
Cadel Evans 2005 Tour de France on Pla d'Adet