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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

St. Julien-en-Vencors to La Tour du Pin

From Screen Captures

After yesterday's all day battle with the headwind (109km, 1831m climbed), we woke up to nearly calm weather, albeit quite a bit of fog. We started the morning descending to Gorges de la Bourne, which then led to with a gentle climb up Col de Romeyere (1074m). The light was beautiful, with sunlight filtering down through the clouds, lighting up the hills with patches of light, and on occasion as we rode up the pass, the light would come down at just the right place to light up a church, a village, or a building. As we rode up the pass, however, we were soon into the fog, and could not see much past our headlights. We even turned on our tail-lights, just in case, but the traffic was so light that we didn't have to worry very much.

At the top, we started a descent down the Route des Ecouges, and it was wonderful. We first descended in the fog and then hit an intersection which gave us views of a gorge below. We then entered a 400m long unlit tunnel (single lane only), which put us on notice that we were in for an exciting adventure! After that, the road was lined with waterfalls, sharp dropoffs, and views that might as well have come out of.a Chinese painting. Then at the bottom of the hill in St. Gervais, we found a beautifully paved bike path along the Isere river which took us to Tullins for lunch, which was much needed by then because I was so cold!

The rest of the day was filled with gentle rolling hills, a lake (Lac de Paladru) and then more hills till we got to La Tour du Pin at 5pm. La Tour du Pin looked like a nice place to stop, despite it being only 83.6km with 1067m climbed. Looking at the map that night, I saw that we would make Bourg-en-Bresse tomorrow if we got an early start and did not eat a long lunch.

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