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Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 14: Beaufort to Carouge

We woke up in the morning to cloudy skies but after breakfast I still hoped that there was a chance to make it up Cormet Roseland before it started raining. Halfway up the hairpin turns a couple of cross country skiiers on long roller blades passed me, along with their support van. Professional or near professional cross-country skiiers "ski" up the passes in the summer as training, but the skis make for awkward descents so they're always accompanied by a support van to bring them down the mountain. Apparently riding a bicycle wouldn't have been sufficient training.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

By the time I got to the lake the first rain drops had started to fall, and the church we saw yesterday looked a lot gloomier. Phil had pressed on ahead but as I rode around the rain got heavy. Having climbed Cormet Roseland in near perfect weather I felt no need to ride it in the rain, so I turned around and went back to Beaufort where I found XiaoQin and we grabbed a table for lunch just as Phil showed up.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Driving out of the Alps took us to Mont Blanc country, where we got views of the mountains but they were occluded at the peaks by clouds. We found Jennie's place after having to get out of the car and walk around and call her. Her apartment was so new that it showed up correctly neither on Google Maps nor on the Garmin GPS units.

While driving, the dust cap on my valve stem had gotten too close to the exhaust and hence melted off, coating the screw cap as well as the threads on the valve stem. I hadn't been able to fix it, but we hadn't had any flats for two weeks so I was content to leave it on. But at Jennie's place, we were supplied with an exacto knife and after about 10 minutes of work I managed to scrape off most of it. 5 minutes later my valve stem was good as new!
From Tour of the Alps 2011

I had originally thought I'd needed to go to a bike shop to buy a new tail light, but Jennie's husband Raphael was an avid cyclist and had a spare LED light that worked with my bike and generously donated it to me!

Dinner was a dish new to me: Raclette, grilled meat and cheese. We must have been hungry because everything on the table was gone after an hour.
From Tour of the Alps 2011

Raphael promised us a ride on the Saleve the next day, so we weren't actually done with French riding, though we were sleeping in Switzerland.

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