Although I stopped meticulously planning my season after everything got messed up in 2012 and 2013, due to unplanned short holidays in the hospital, I still do plan short cycling outings abroad.
These are typically aimed at humiliating myself in ‘mountainous areas’, or at least anything that involves something more challenging than what the south of my country has to offer.
For this year, I have not planned anything as spectacular as a ‘Tour de France’ or ‘Giro d’Italia’, but both the Vosges and Hochsauerland offer (more than) enough challenges…
A range of low(er) mountains in the north-east of France (Wiki), although low in this case means below 1,500 meters, which when seen from my backyard is not really that low.
We will be based in Colmar for a midweek in June – I chose Colmar over Gérardmer because it’s close to the border with Germany. As I would like to cross over and have a go at some climbs in the Black Forest – Schauinsland and Kandel – staying in Colmar seems like the better choice.
I have never been to the Vosges, but the region is well known among cyclists for the cyclosportive ‘Les 3 Ballons‘. I will try and put together a ride that involves most of that, though I’m not going to be covering over 200 kilometers…
Les 3 Ballons does not include, let alone finish on, Planche des Belles Filles anymore. Which is not that bad, since it’s a horribly steep dead end, but I’m probably going to be tackling it anyway 🙂
At any rate, there are more than enough cols to be found in this area, as you can see in this nice map, put together by Will from Cycling Challenge.
I cycled a couple of tours I downloaded from ‘Bike Arena Sauerland‘ (German only) and decided I should come back here one day.
So, in September we will have another apartment in the same park where we rented one in 2014, as that place suited us well then.
There are many more tours to be cycled there, so I’m sure I will have plenty of opportunities to wear myself out 🙂
Let’s hope that the weather conditions are more friendly than in 2014, as it was quite chilly then – I remember coming back from one trip, I had to soak in a hot tub for about an hour to revive myself…