I’m sure that by the time I pull up to the ‘visitor parking’ in that red tourist-trap barn and don my cut-off shorts and my moisture-wicking Old Navy long-sleeve shirt accompanied by my … brown leather work shoes (not exactly as shown here, but you get the idea), people are probably thinking, "Who’s the circus freak?" I suppose I wouldn’t have felt so awkward if I hadn’t passed by a girl with a wide-lense camera photographing the local deer population, and if I hadn’t passed a father out with his daughter who gave me a weird look as I rode by. You’d think I’d be used to wearing spandex in public by now.
Nonetheless, the climb was good for the legs. Of course it was hot and sweaty on the ascents, freezing and windy on the descents, and that’s the way it should be. I’m sure it looked like I was bawling on the way up since the sweat came pouring off my forehead, past my eyes and then off my chin. Thank heaven there was no one around to poke fun at it. But the dirt road at the end of the climb is still inaccessible. I think the snow on that section is down to being a mere 3-6 inches thick. That means that in a couple of weeks it will be rideable, making Caloi a happy boy.
And I can’t help but scope the trailage out there. There are plenty of trails I haven’t ridden yet, and, for the most part, I didn’t even know they were out there. At the moment, they’re all soggy and slimy, but some of them look awesome (even with the motorcycle tread on the paths). Some internet research leads me to believe that if I climb from the road all the way up to the ski lift (which my bro-in-law and I have done before) that makes about 2,000 feet of climbing, some of which takes place on red-line steep trail. I’m thinking that could be good healthy training this year.
But yesterday it was just gorgeous. The cloud and mist was hovering between the hilltops above me. The rain had stopped, but the ground was soaked and shining. And it was nice and cool for the ride up. Just the way I like it–Les Deux Alps conditions. Perfect for imagining you’re Marco Pantani winning the Tour.