The town of Bourg d'Oison at the base of Alpe d'Huez. They like cyclists here! Lots of places for food & drink.
Cycles Et Sports, the best bike shop in town.
The shop is packed to the walls with merchandise, but it's not chaotic, and they do sell cool Alpe d'Huez socks & gloves.
The Casino supermarket's had quite a makeover recently and fits in nicely with the surroundings. That light pole, on the other hand...
The sign on the right (Chrono) is the official starting point for the climb. The logo on the ground next to it is unrelated to the climb itself; it's some rider's logo (Demme?) that you see all over the climb.
The beginning, and perhaps the very toughest part of the climb. Straight, 10%, exposed. You wonder what you're getting into!
Alpe d'Huez attracts a higher percentage of women than most climbs, some riding road bikes, some very heavy mountain bikes.
Each hairpin is numbered, starting at 21 (towards the bottom), and includes elevation. But this is the one climb you don't chart your progress by height climbed. It's all about the hairpins.
One stunning view of the valley floor after another. Behind Kevin you can see a bit of that "Demme" person's logo.
A very strong Dutch woman who was never too far behind us.
The beauty of Alpe d'Huez is that you travel vertically without doing much horizontal. This is simply not the way roads are built in the US.
Hairpin #1. We're getting somewhere!
This was obviously a beautiful day to be climbing Alpe d'Huez
Nearing the top, a sign announces you have 2 kilometers to go. Not sure if that's to the real finish of the race, or the much-too-soon finish line they string up for tourists.
This is NOT the finish line for the race! Sadly, a great number of cyclists climb this great mountain, believing that they've reached the top of the race course, only to watch the race later on TV and discover that it goes on for quite some distance from here! When you see this, keep riding!!!
THIS is the real finish line for the race! The sign on the right matches the sign at the bottom for the start.
I think this guy's name was Karl, yet another nice person we met on the way up the hill.
One of the very few pictures you'll fine of me (on the right, Kevin is on the left) anywhere. For this trip, I wasn't so heavily loaded down; no seatpost rack carrying a ton of extra water & foul-weather gear. Water's available about 2/3rds of the way up the climb, and there was not even a hint of bad weather in the forecast.
Heading back down the hill
An interesting view of the road up Alpe d'Huez, seen from the alternate descente towards Allemont.
Descending D44 from Alpe d'Huez you come to a somewhat confusing intersection. Either gets you to the same place; the lower route takes you across a dam and through the town of Allemont, while going straight takes you along the edge of the forest.
Heading down the face of the dam
The village water fountain. I don't know what it was about this water; at first it didn't taste like anything special, but it became quickly addictive. Very good stuff!
Yes Kevin, there *are* some friendly women not much older than you who ride! And they speak English sorta OK; they may have been Dutch.
A long lens from a long distance away. The cyclists look like little ants as they round the bend at the cemetary.
Just another typical view of the valley floor