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To remind me that I am not Andy Shlek, Contador or even a half good roadie SO that when I attack one of the steeper climbs in and around the Alps I should do it in the manner to which I can successfully complete and not suffer, drool and nearly implode.

First time up Mt Saleve outside Geneva and I requested the steep way. Turns out that the steep way is steeper and longer than I imagined. I thought it might be 20 mins ish even though Jerry had said 40 mins. Not entirely sure why I blocked that figure out. I think it was my ego ear muffs.

I started off feeling pretty good. PRETTY DARN GOOD actually. Round the first corner I spotted my first victim. The power increased. Victim eaten. And repeat with the steady stream of evening cyclists. With this came the ramping of the gradient. The 10plus is a nice gradient I find. Really rewarding.

Then the switchbacks started. Steep as and then steeper after. 12/13%. Up, up and up. Was flying and liking it but knew I was over doing it. A few more switchbacks, victims and eventually I had become the victim.

Well into the red zone and starting to really suffer. Mixing standing up with trying to turn those pedals faster to keep on top of the gear but I was failing. I was slowing and no wonder as I had been climbing at a silly pace (1200m an hr I am guessing). I also noticed a softening of my front tyre through my haze.

I looked for more gears more than a couple of times. Passing another rider I realized the previous cocky rider that took the corners at their steepest was now a disgusting, non classy rider drooling, and pedalling like a bobbing baboon.

I consider stopping as my heart was trying to rip itself from my chest, my windpipe was on fire and I felt terrible but that Ego thing kept me going. The gradient eventually eased and I struggled on and eventually got to the col.

I’ll learn to check the profile AND the height next time but it was ace in a very sick, pain locker/cave/dungeon.  I’ll break it next time 🙂

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