Ho hum. Climbing an Alp is just sooooo…yesterday. Okay, not really. Last night I cornered Ade to discuss today’s plan with him, because I got the sense that that The Problem With Tasha might have been stressing him out a bit. So, I pre-empted him and whatever he was going to say.
Me, cornering Ade in the kitchen: So Ade, about tomorrow….
Ade, starting to babble: I’m sorry, there’s no way I can work it so you can go tomorrow, the descents are horrible, and we….
Me, interrupting him: Ade Ade Ade, it’s okay. When you started talking about “scary hairpin turns” and descents that were “a bit of a mess” – well, I know I’m your Problem Child…
Ade: No, not at all! It’s ju…
Me, firmly: I’m your Problem Child. I know that. But I don’t want to be the Pain In The Ass client as well. So I figure that tomorrow while you guys go off, I’ll do that road that goes from Mirabel to Courchevel, then climb up that, then do some hill repeats until I’m bored with that, then go to Mirabel for a latte. The road to Courchevel doesn’t have any crazy descents, right?
Ade: No, they’re all sensible. Are you sure that’ll work?
We beam at each other, having come to an understanding, i.e. that I may be a chickenshit, but I’m not a PITA chickenshit. So that’s something.
So here we are on day four, the group setting off for day two of the Tour De Alpes, Stacey heading out the door and still fretting and whining over her ability to finish the ride. “Sandbagger,” I mutter.
“What’s that?” asks Stacey.
“SANDBAGGER! You’re a sandbagger!” I exclaim. “You always claim you won’t be able to make it up the climbs, but then you always do! Just go out there and ride, you’ll be fine! Oh, and have fun,” I add cheerily, striving as always to be my usual helpful encouraging self.
They’re gone, and I set off on my own ride, through the village and then straight up, as usual. When I realize that the hardest part of this ride is – of course – at the beginning, where you get hit with 12% grades up towards Meribel Village. I pass a bakery as I’m going through the town, and somehow manage to avoid stopping there and calling it a day. I know, the willpower here, well, it astounds.
Suffice it to say that the rest of the ride is the usual torturous climbs, but I make it far up enough Courchevel to consider this Alp #2 That Miss Tasha has Climbed, and as I head back, my goal is to work on descending. I remind myself that I’ve never had a problem with this before, so suck it up, buttercup. This kind of works, as I force myself to stay off the brakes on the road back to Meribel, and even though I only hit 34 mph, I consider this a victory of sorts. Or least it’ll have to do, for today.
Shortly after I get back, the rest of the troops arrive as well, chattering about their own ride, up and down one mountain after another. Stacey of course managed just fine.
“See, I told you you’d make it up! How do you feel?” I ask, smiling.
“Great, but did you hear what tomorrow’s climb is? Oh my god, there’s no WAY I’ll be able to get up that bbasdhyiuyoiUBY^*&^@*#^$jasbkagf nmph…….”
I honestly have no idea how Stacey keeps winding up with these socks in her mouth all the time – truly, it’s a mystery.