Alpe d’Huez

Tomorow I will be going home after spending a week in France. Because of that week, this could be a very long post. If so, sorry, if not, you’re welcome.

So… France…. I’ll start at the beginning, sort of… My partner is a racing cyclist. Just for fun, not proffesionally. They cycle with some friends. My partner loves it, because it keeps them fit and they can clear their mind. Most of the times they train for semi-small events, but last year they decided to do something big.

If you’ve never heard of this, there’s this event that raises money for cancer research. The participants collect money, and they will take part in this huge event in return. Taking part entails walking or cycling from the base to the top of Alpe d’Huez. If you cycle you van do this once, but you can also do this six times maximum. My partner wanted to go up at least three times, and so the training began.

Of course we partners wanted to come along as support, so that’s six adults. Because this would be our first time participating one of the cyclists suggested to take part in a team that had been in a previous year. They did. We as partners never met them before we actually arrived on the mountain, all people that came as support had special shirts, we didn’t. Let’s just dat, we didn’t feel like part of a team, and we tried at the beginning, but in the end we decided we could do without the others, and so we did.

Well back to the beginning of our trip. A twelve hour drive, including breaks. Then we arrive at a hotel, where we booked a six person appartment. One of us supporters couldn’t make it, because of a family member that passed away, so we het there with five adults and the man at the reception seems confused that we wanted to get five adults in the appartment. He recovered himself and said that wouldn’t be a problem. Right….

This is the lay-out of the appartment we had to spend our week. You open the door and on your righthand side there’s a bunk bed. At the head of the bed is the door to the toilet. At your left hand side when standing at the door, so opposite the bunk bed, is a door to a bedroom with a double bed and just enough room to stand beside it on one side. At the end of this halway, where only one person fits (and still they manage to hang a coat rack) is the door to the shower. It has a bath! And you shower in the bath where upon the floor turns into a pool. On your left hand it opens to a kitchen with a dish-washer. If two people are in it it becomes difficult to move, you then go through a door into the living room where there’s a couch that turns into a double bed and a tablet with seven chairs. Take a seat and stay, or bump into eachother at every turn. Then there’s a balcony. The view from our room makes up for the confined space. The picture for this blog is that view.

At the beginning of the week the cyclists of our group tried if they could het up the mountain. They could. Especially going down on the bike is scary. On thursday the climb would start for real. All of use got up at a quarter past two at night. The cyclists would go down at half past four and the event would start at half past five. The cyclists would be allowed to cycle up in groups. We supporters wanted to wave them off on the trip down. They went there on their bikes, we walked. Uppon arriving we couldn’t find them. There where other cyclists, ours had already left so we went back to the appartment to get all the good and drinks and stuff we needed to re-supply Them for their next trip down. We found a good spot and ‘took’ it at a quarter to five. Than the waiting began. The first cyclists started to arrive and we cheered on as many people as we could. After all, they all did something spectaculair, they went up the mountain to get that research money.

At first there was only mist. Every dat before had been Sunny, but this dat started in the clouds. It was so cold. Now emagine going down in cycle gear. The first time is bound to be cold, the seconden time is bound to be even folder, because of all the sweating during the climb. Supporters wore winter coats to Stay warm. My partner cycled up the mountain three times!!!! I’m so proud of them. And not only Them, but everyone that participated.

Tonight we will celebrate, tomorow we’ll go home. If the three cyclists of our group decide to do this again in the future I’m in Trouble however, because the other supporter in our appartment and I have said we would walk up the mountain if they ever go again. My partner told me to start training… Oops. Well it is for a good course, so I’ll put money (mine and that of people that Will hopefully sponsor me if it comes to pass) where my mouth is.

Love, dreamer