20 September 2009

I Call it the Col de Chez Nous

ABOUT 50 METERS from the end of our driveway is a small road that leads down a very steep hill toward our village center. It's not the only way up to our house, but there are times when it is the quickest. The problem is that it is a one-way street and cars aren't supposed to drive up the hill. But after a long bike ride I would rather head up this hill (even going the wrong way) than go the 'long' way around which also includes a substantial climb. The problem is that I can't make it up this hill on my road bike. I'm (slightly) embarrased to admit it, but each time I try I fail, resorting to the oh-so-humbling walk up the hill -- bike in tow. What makes it all the more shameful is that the hill is only about 300 meters in length!

But in my defense, the hill is really, really steep -- a whopping 30% grade as you can see in this photo of the sign that sits just a few meters from our driveway (30% is about as steep as you can get and still have it save for cars).

All the news is not sobering, however. Last Saturday afternoon I took a mountain bike ride up the Camp Romain in Le Rouret and decided to give this little devil of a climb a shot with my mountain bike on the way home. Success! Because I can shift into a much lower gear on my mountain bike I was able to chug up the hill without having to dismount. Even took a photo at the top.

My pride has been (somewhat) restored. Here are some other photos from the ride -- most from the top of the Camp Romain.

Beautiful views of the Sea in the late evening
Near the top where the views are incredible.
The strip of land out at Sea is the Nice-Cote d'Azur airport.
Le Rouret. Our house is just out of view at the top of the hill -- right in the middle.


1 comment :

Nick Jones said...

Sometimes a triple crank comes in handy. Unfortunately, here in Michigan, I don't run into any of those.