My own riding is often very different from the routes I give our customers. They have all day to ride, so I usually sort out routes which follow quiet valley roads, so that they can do a long ride without insane amounts of climbing. I rarely have time to do that, but I still want a decent work-out, so I tend to do routes much closer to home which are as hilly as possible. That always means climbing out of the Aveyron gorge.
The weather has been wonderful all week with temperatures in the afternoon in the mid-20s, no wind and perfect blue skies, so I’ve made time to get out every day, even if it’s only an hour.
Today’s ride was especially good. It started with a fast flat warm-up down the valley road, then across the Aveyron to the ferociously hilly old road.
Then the ruins of the Chateau de Penne came into sight, silhouetted against the bright sun.
The main work-out was the steep climb out of the gorge. I never send customers this way because it’s stupidly steep, but it gets the heart and lungs working, and it’s soon done. The views, of course are great.
Then I’m up on the austere limestone plateau through scrubby oak forest, a quick stop at the Monument d’Ornano, erected in memory of the resistance in the area who risked life and limb during the war to collect British air drops.
There’s a gravel section here, but it’s smooth enough to ride on a road bike and it guarantees no traffic. It’s another feature of my own riding customers never see. I am thinking about developing gravel routes though – watch this space.
The finalé, as so often, is the swoop back down into the gorge and the cobbles of the old town. A cup of tea and I’m back on social media…