TGV Tour de France and real climbing

Start of the journey

Due to delay of my train from Brussels to Switzerland, I was unable to get my direct connection from Mulhouse to Valence. It turned out to become a full TGV Tour de France on Saturday! So good my friends Isabelle and François, who had come from Basel to Mulhouse, were there to help.

Isabelle and François – Mulhouse

In cases of delay however, the TGV SNCF service proofed to be very good! I was still able to take a TGV, first to Paris and then Paris to Valence. Although on the last train there was no bicycle facility at all, they made space for my bike. Merci SNCF!!



It turned out to be a long day of TGV travel, but I was very pleased to still reach the Valence TGV station in the evening and continue on my bike for another 13 km to my final destination for the day, at Montélier.

Heavy thunders that night caused some damage to electricity facilities in the surrounding villages. The weather the next day was still reasonable, but hard wind was my share. I felt as if biking in Holland again! The first 15 km. from Montélier to Combovin, were relatively flat. I took lunch in a small bar in Combovin and talking to the local people made clear that my route in the direction of St. Julien en Quint would be too much to handle for one day. I could not know that my first climb towards Gigors, passing a col of 845 m. would be a really tough one, 12 km non-stop climbing! The height of a col does in itself not say anything about the sloop of it. And Steep it was!

view at the plateau of Col de Jérôme Cavalli

It reminded me of a saying of the well know Dutch cyclists in the ’70,  Joop Zoetemelk, who won many competitions. He said climbing is either like dying or getting the flowers (for the winner). Well, cyclists will know very well what I felt this first day. The climb took me almost two and a half hours, and each 100 meters or so I had to recover from the enormous effort.

Yes, the first days in the mountains are the most difficult as you need to build condition. Then, finally arriving at the top and then going down, makes you realise what you have achieved!! The beautiful landscape and views, when going down are so rewarding!

going down hill to Gigors








beautiful view from Beaufort-sur-Gervanne late afternoon



How happy and satisfied I felt to reach the quit town of Beaufort-sur-Gervanne late afternoon, where I had a good meal and spent a long night in a little hotel.





7 thoughts on “TGV Tour de France and real climbing

  1. Hello Ans ! Les beaux jours sont devant toi, mais attention au soleil qui va vite devenir chaud et mordant pour une peau “nordique”. Tu t’adapteras vite, en profitant de la fraîcheur du matin pour rouler, de la fraîcheur du soir pour prolonger tes contacts, et en restant à l’ombre quand le soleil sera trop ardent. C’est le sud …
    Bonne route et belles rencontres.

  2. Ha Lieve Ans,

    Heb genoten van je foto’s en je verhaal !!
    En fijn te horen dat er weer contact is geweest met je.
    Zet hem op en geniet . Dit is wel echt heel bijzonder wat je doet en heb grote bewondering voor je!!

    Dikke knuffel,

    Binnen enkele dagen fiets je iedereen eraf ! Maar ik kan begrijpen dat het nu even nog moeilijk peddelen is.

    Warme groetjes

  4. Good to see you´re getting stronger each day!
    Keep up the good spirit!
    Nice photos
    Beijinhos, muitos

  5. Courage Ans! C’est clair que les premiers jours font mal aux jambes! Mais le corps s’adapte à une vitesse étonnante. Et quand tu arriveras en haut du mont Ventoux (1920m, 23 km à 9% de moyenne), tu te demanderas comment diable tu as pu tant souffrir pour monter ce malheureux col de 825m…
    En tout cas bravo et tout de bon !

Leave a Reply