Monday, June 13, 2011

Col de la Bonette: Standing on Top of Europe

At 2,802 meters, Col de la Bonette towers above the surrounding peaks. On Friday morning, Jono and I set out from Saint-Etienne-de-Tinee (elevation: 1,144 meters) for the 27km ascent to the summit.

The climb took an hour and forty minutes. And its unrelenting: if you stop pedaling, you'll lose all speed within 3-4 seconds and the bike will simply topple over. The final 2-3km push to the peak was thrilling: Bonette was within sight, the winds were howling (sometimes a headwind; other times a tailwind), and the green valleys were far, far below.

After Wednesday's rain ride, we were praying for warm, sunny weather. Bonette's foothills gave us just that. But as we reached the higher elevations, the temperatures continued to plummet, and we even had light snow flurries at the top.

All in all, it was a superb ride. Bonette is a monster of a climb, and the weather conditions don't make it any easier.

1 comment:

  1. Unreal. It would be scary to race down that hill trying to catch back up or break away.