Bonjour toutes les amis ..
Let me begin by asking you to please excuse any typos in this entry (and future entries while I`m away). It should be against the law to change the position of the letters on a keyboard .. since when did Q become more important than A?! It is taking me forever to type anything so let me get on with things!!
First: without telling you the entire story (I will do that when I have a proper keyboard again), the Col de Madeleine was the craziest ride I have ever done. For those of you who do not know, this climb is epic: Cadel Evans (a pro tour de France rider) cracked on the Col de Madeleine ... now, what exactly do I mean by cracked? Well, let me tell you from my first hand experience with it!!
Steve and I started out the ride .. a little 5 to 7km warm up before the beginning of the climb. The climb itself is 28km .. that is long .. its an unpredictable climb too. Just when you think you have a handle on it, it gets really steep or throws you off. Because of its varying degrees of steepness, it is a climb that does not allow you to find a pedalling rhythm.
After a week of climbing insane mountains, my legs were tired, my body ached but the last thing I wanted was to be defeated by the Madeleine. This, my friends, was wishful thinking .. at km 20 with 8 more to go, I cracked: I started hyperventilating, tears streamed down my face, my bike halted and I thought "what the hell am I doing out here? how am I possibly going to finish this climb? Steve really IS trying to kill me"!!!
Steve and I had a chat. I am lucky in life to have friends that believe in me more than I believe in myself, push me to do things I would never dream of on my own and who would kill me before they would let me quit!
I started up again, after absolute defeat, and rode over all the painting from the tour: cheering for Livestrong, Schleck, etc and found myself in no time, drinking Orangina and eating fries with mayonnaise on the top of the world. The story continues but I will stop here for now and leave you all with this:
I complained to Steve about my bad day on the mountain to which he responded "you see, I don`t see it like that. Instead of thinking that you died on the Col de Madeleine, I like to think of it like: you got through 20 strong kms before she took you"!!
This morning when I was riding the undulating terraine of the Luberon and passing many men on the climbs the thought came back to me, "If I could only console those men; afterall, its not about a girl passing you, it is about celebrating the kms you have climbed before she does"! :)