It was a good forecast for Tuesday with the chance of thunder storms later in the afternoon. I planned a circular ride talking two of the cols that are regularly climbed on the tour de France . We started Arreau sbout half an drive away. The climb up to the Aspin starts on the outskirts the town. We had climbed it in 2013 but from the other side and a description can be found on this blog.
Photos were taken at the start of the climb but three quarters of a mile into the climb I realised my watch was sitting on my car roof. I had removed it when applying sunscreen. After a quick dash to the car I started the climb again while Lyn continued. The climb to the top was 12 km with boards at very km telling you how far you had climbed, how far you still had to go and the percentage elevation of the next km.We steadily made our way to the top, stopping to take photos and admire the view. The gradient was not too step with a maximum elevation of around 8 percent . We arrived at the top admired the views and found a spot away from the cows for lunch. (Bread and mixed nuts) . It was then decision time.A quick descent to the start or descending 1000 feet down the other side to Payolles and climbing back over the Hourquette d'Ancizan. We opted for the latter and after a quick decent to Payolles stopped to top but the sun cream. The climb started at few percent. We caught 2 riders on electric bikes that had also started to ascend. After a gentle first few kms the gradient increased to 7 - 8 percent, 5 km from the top Lyn was beginning to regret the descision. A piece of cake provided on energy boost and a km descent 4km from the top gave a welcome restbite for 1 km.We had got well ahead of the electric bikes but just like the truck in a Dual they appeared 2km from the top and overtook us. Photos were taken at the top and the last of our food eaten.It was then a quick descent to Arcizan before we returned via the main road back to Arreau. On the return back to Genos the rain started and Lyn set several segment records on Stava as she had not ended the ride. I corrected it later. When we got to Genos the rain was so heavy we waited in the car for it to subside before going into the super
Market. The riders we meet when we descending the Hourquette D'Ancizan would have got very wet . After a good meal including pork with a sauce made from tomatillos Lyn had brought from England a game of Carrot Hill kept us amused .
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