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Proud to call him,
dispatches from his
very own TdF:
Col du Telegraphe
Col Du Galibier: 5.4
miles @ 7%
Alpe D Huez: 8.5
miles @ 8.5%
Col du Lauteret: 15.4
miles @ 4%
Col de la Core
Les Deux Alpes: 5.5
miles @ 6.1%
To be added: Col de
miles @ 6.7% avg. grade
Col du-Glandon: 16.7
miles at 4.5%
To be added: Col de la
7.1 miles @ 6.3% avg. grade
Col d Aspin Aure
Col du Tourmalet: 10.2
7.5% avg. grade
Luz Ardiden: 8.4 miles
@ 7.5% avg.
Plateau de Bonascre
miles @ 7.1%
Col de la Colombiere
Col d-Grand Colombier
Hautacam: 8.3 miles @
Col de la Madeleine
To be added: Plateau
11.5 miles @ 6.4% avg. grade
Beach Drive / Rock
A winding, two lane
follows the creek in Rock Creek Park, the gorgeous tree-lined ravine
through NW DC. Beach Drive is open to human-propelled locomotion only
weekends and holidays. The Rock Creek trail runs from the Kennedy
downtown all the way up into Rockville, MD.
An excellent Rails-toTrails reclamation of a narrow gauge rail line
that ran from Georgetown in a crescent-shaped path to Bethesda, MD. It
nearly complete pending some final bridge construction.
The C & O
A fast rolling
rocky trail that
originally was the beast-of-burden path that parallels the historic barge canal . The Canal
follows the Potomac
river from Georgetown 184 miles up river to Cumberland, MD, the point
departure for the original "National Highway" west into what was then
the Ohio wilderness. The trail rises in step-wise manner every mile or
a small incline around the locks that defined the "pools" of the
canal to accommodate the elevation changes. I ride the C & O trail
Georgetown up to Great Falls. I've also rolled along at a nice clip on
& O trail headed upriver on the opposite shore from Harper's Ferry
undiscovered community of Shepardtown, WV. Like Amsterdam and Goa, this
quite the place, tailor-made for jumping off the rat race. Zen and
of living Life is practiced in this small town. An early morning
on the trail across from Harper's Ferry put us in the center of the
Shepardstown farmer's market at high noon on one Sunday Pual,
Stevie and I did it on. Paul and Mssr. Jay-Beau had a sojourn
again as it was sure fun the first time we all did it. Paul is a
and well practiced in the ways and means of plausible deniability.
During the flooding in January '96, we slipped under the police tape in
Georgetown and rode up the C & O to the Arizona Bridge. The river
breached the Canal above that. Fletcher's boathouse has markings of the
of the water level that day. In summer, one may find a wasp's nest near
marking as the flood waters were lapping at the eaves of the building.
The Mt. Vernon
The Mt. Vernon
trail is a narrow
paved trail that starts in Rosslyn,VA and travels a full day's riding
It passes the thickly wooded hiking trail-lined secret known as
Island, directly across the Potomac from the Kennedy Center and a world
The trail continues near Arlington National Cemetery where the Rock
merges with it just across the Potomac in the Commonwealth of Virginia
the [Lincoln] Memorial Bridge. It heads south past the second bike
trail out of
DC; the 14th Street bridge crossing where the ill-fated Air Florida
bounced in 1983. The trail follows under the blast of the planes at the
the large runway at Washington National Airport and proceeds down
Town Alexandria. After being disguised as a pedestrian walkway in the
Old Town, it re-emerges paralleling the GW Parkway down to the US's
president's house. There is always a bit more bicycle (and blader and
jogger) traffic on it then I prefer to negotiate. It may lighten up
Alexandria, I've never ventured to find out. Maybe next summer, as I've
for eight years now.
A paved trail with
coaster hills that leads out of DC along Lee Highway through Rosslyn,
VA on its
way to points southwest.
The W. & O. D.
reclamation of a nice east-west running paved trail. This trails runs
beyond Leesburg, VA.
The Four Mile Run
I really liked the
Four Mile Run
trail in Arlington, VA. On this trail, one suddenly leaves the pavement
heat of Shirlington and the traffic of the Mt.Vernon
and descends into deep shade of thickets of stream-fed, dark leafed
a kiddie roller coaster course of swoops and dips over and next to the
flowing along the path. This is where you knock it down a gear and ride
off the saddle, being enveloped in the deep shadow under the tree
sudden transition very effectively blinds the rider with the lack of
light. Then one pops back out in a blinding rush of sun to heighten the
experience with drastic contrasts of light.
Some Racing Links:Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team
Wachovia Cycling - USPRO ChampionshipsHere are my photos and cam phone videos of 2005 USPRO including shots of the very cool and oh so hot Liberty Classic start line-up,with emphasis on Velo Bella.
BBC Cycling coverage
Eurosport TV Cycle Racing Coverage
Tour of Flanders, Koppenberg:
Fleche Wallone, Mur de Huy:
la Redoute (Liege-Bastogne-Liege):
Spring Classics tours:
Tour de France links:
Le Tour de France - The Official Site
TdF 4 dummies
My TdF planning:
I bought this excellent book on France cycling:
It has great maps/info of the major mountain stages of Le tour.
Here's a good overpage of the 03 Le tour:
here's their mountain stage summary:
I think it would be nice to watch/ride Le tour in the mountains
primarily/exclusively. This is so I could try and climb some of them, its
pretty scenery, and one gets (slightly) more of a chance to see the riders
while they are moving slower. The down side is of course the crowds/traffic
jams and limits of hotels. I would like to also get a perch to see them
flying down the mtn’s too, less crowds but they would whiz by in a flash.
Here's a potential plan:
Arrive in Alps:
Maybe stay in Evian les Bains:
Avoid the crowds at points closer to the tour, and they have nice
spa/hotels. (Not sure how difficult traveling the few dozen kilometers
between Evian and the tour stgs. would be though with traffic and
circuituous mtn roads/passes.)
NOTE: I assume the F-1 race in Nevers, France (MAGNY-COURS) is going to be
In July also; could plan a French F-1 GP sidetrip
famous Alpine climbs:
km 125.5 - Col du Télégraphe: 12.1 km climb (av. gradient: 6.8 %)
km 149 - Col du Galibier: 18.5 km climb (av. gradient: 6.7 %)
km 211 - L' Alpe d'Huez: 14.1 km climb (av. gradient: 8 %)
Bourg d'Oisans - Gap
Col du Lauteret:
and then travel from Alps (perhaps via a day a la plage?)
then drive to Toulouse (France's space industry area)
(Since I’m a Rocket Scientist, I would like this exhibit because of its space theme, but I imagine
Toulouse could be boring because so many aerospace engineers must live there).
I think after taking in the space city exhibit, then proceed directly to
stay in the mtns to see the Pyrnesses
km 168.5 - Col de Pailhères: 15.5 km climb (av. gradient: 7.8 %)
km 197.5 - Plat. de Bonascre: 9.1 km climb (av. gradient: 7.2 %)
km 103 - Col du Portet d'Aspet: 5.9 km climb (av. gradient: 6.8 %)
km 118.5 - Col de Menté: 7 km climb (av. gradient: 8.2 %)
and stop at the Fabio Casartelli memorial along the way:
pic at bottom of this page:
is the famous pic of Fabio's teammate Lance when he broke away from the
pack to win for Fabio on Stage 17 of the 95 TdF after racing resumed after Fabio's
death. Lance stated he knew Fabio was with him that day. The day after
Fabio's death Team Motorola rode on the front of a non-racing peloton as a memorial procession).
shows a picture of the memorial.
Famous Cols of the Pyrenees:
km 94 - Col d'Aspin: 12.3 km climb (av. gradient: 6.4 %)
km 124.5 - Col du Tourmalet: 17.1 km climb (av. gradient: 7.4 %)
km 159.5 - Luz Ardiden: 13.4 km climb (av. gradient: 7.6%)
in the region
The 11th edition of l'Etape du Tour
Vélo Magazine will take place between
Pau and Bayonne, on the course of the 16th stage of the 2003 Tour de France.
the only day one is "allowed" to ride on the tour route.
Since it looks like from first hand accounts, the gendarmes dissuade people
(sometimes forcefully) from riding on the course at all other times, this
could be fun, but i would prefer seeing the actual tour route on our
anniversary, its a much more famous route than the Pau to Bayonne stage route.
Then we could head back toward Paris following le tour along the way or go
on ahead to return to Paris to get ready for its arrival the following weekend.
I am trying to see what time of day one could start out to ride these mtn
stage routes before the gendarmes start hassling.
I would love to park atfoot of the famous climbs pre-dawn, do the mtn route ride to summits at
sunrise with a backpack, then roll back down to spot scoped out on ride up,
spread out dechune' and blanket, hang out and enjoy "schwag" publicity
procession, nap, tune in to radio and a portable solar powered TV to watch
stage start/procession, then watch riders go by, then ride bike back down
to parked car/eurovan or hotel if close to beat throngs going down to then
dine in town, then follow similar plan the next day. I am open to a night
or two of camping with a eurovan rental, but i prefer to not have too many
subsequent days of camping in a row, to save my back and just get better rest.
I am looking into renting a bicycle in Paris like from Paris a velo.
Its not worth the risk/hassle to me to bring my Colnago.
biking in Paris:
Graham baxter's tours has nice overview of the mtn stages:
Here's my research so far:
Pyrennes and 1st hand travel accounts/tips on following le Tour:
GPS le Tour mapping software/data:
Misc. Euro tour info:
Some good maps of the roads and mountains' profiles with city names that help in my creating GPS routes: