On my list of “do before I die” experiences is climbing the famed Alpe D’Huez from the Tour De France. I’ve posted before about my belief that the Tour is the greatest sporting event on the planet; nothing even comes close to the drama and suspense of a grueling sporting event that lasts for 3 weeks. The riders suffer terribly, day after day.
There is no more dramatic moment than the climb up Alpe d’Huez. It’s roughly 8 miles with an average gradient of 7.7% maxing out at 12%. Lance owned Alpe d’Huez. One day The Figurehead will find out how it feels just to get up that mountain. I have poster on my wall at work of Lance climbing Plateau de Beille (I pretend it’s Alpe D’Huez). He’s breaking away from Joseba Beloki and Roberto Heras. I imagine he’s chasing me. Now, that is fear my friends.
Last Sunday a friend and I went for a ride. The route we chose had us climb more than 3700 feet over the course of 30 miles. The new wheels Mrs. Figurehead bought from my 32nd birthday helped alot. My buddy said watching me climb those hills was like watching a guy ride up an escalator. In my mind I was riding with the lead group of Lance in yellow, Floyd Landis, Ivan Basso, and Richard Virenque in the polka dot jersey. I imagined Paul Sherwen saying “Who is this kid from Tennessee? His name is The Figurehead ladies and gentlemen and he’s putting this group of elite climbers in serious difficulty.”
One day Alpe D’Huez….One Day!