Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dreaming of Le Tour

I listen to this podcast called "The Bike Show" and a few weeks ago they did a show on doing your own Tour de France by randonée or touring. Basically, getting racks on the bikes and hauling your own luggage as you travel by bike.

We use this website called Strava to track our training miles. They are having a Tour de France competition where you try to match the elevation climbed by the pros in the race.

So Sunday we went out to ride an epic! I have been dreaming of a training ride that combines all of Cincinnati's beautiful hilly neighborhoods. So many cool ascents are paid off with an incredible view from a public park on top.

From our house on the East side of Cincy we set off and climbed up to Ault Park down to Mount Lookout and a couple of climbs up to Alms Park overlooking Lunken Airport. We didn't do all the climbs, I was intending to save some for the way back.

We hit Riverside and headed for Kentucky. We don't typically ride up to Fort Thomas but I decided to throw it in. Well, it turned out to be a bad idea. I forgot where the climbs were and we got lost and wasted some time. We were climbing up River Road when we were hit by a torrential downpour. There was nowhere to go, we had to keep climbing and getting soaked. We finally found refuge at the Tower Park Army base! All the G.I.s were having a picnic, so a couple of Lycra clad weirdos really stood out amongst all the camo.

Once it cleared we hit Devou Park. But we were still drenched and it is not fun to ride in a soggy chamois. So we bypassed Clifton and Liberty Hill and headed home. We still hit Mt Adams first, and really enjoyed the beautiful views.

We got home and changed and hit Indian Hill. One thing we noticed straight away is the lack of stoplights and stop signs--our average speed started increasing.

We started to "zipper" up and down the climbs, alternating the ups and downs as we rode the hill side towards Loveland and Miamiville. Kuglar Mill, Camargo, Blome, Indian Hill and Spooky Hollow are some of our scenic favorites.

My legs felt pretty good. I did something silly: I rode 105 miles and climbed 7000 feet the day before. Part of me gets really inspired watching the Pros tackle back-to-back mountain stages in the grand tours.

I was giddy to be sharing this epic with my Bjet. I hope someday we can do our own Tour de France. It is great we have a crazy hobby we can do together and while I am riding I am so content, I wonder what else I would be doing and I am thoroughly proud that we choose to write our own adventures instead of watching them on tv.

The  next time we attempt this I would love to include more climbs around Devou, as well as a stop at Findlay Market and the hills of Clifton and Liberty Hill. We also missed Price and Ibold roads due to time constraints, and of course the whole Dry Run, Sugar Camp and Baldwin climbs would have been awesome to hit too.

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