Stuffed Ballons d’Alsace

Ballon d'Alsace marker (borne)During my first ever trip to the Vosges, I got a little more ‘Stuffed Ballons d’Alsace’ than I was able to swallow.

I anticipated ‘friendly’, green and quiet climbs, which is what most descriptions show/promise you.

Don’t get me wrong: the scenery was very nice, although traffic was a little annoying at times.

However, I really chocked on the more than frequent bits of 11, 12% average, with extra spicy chunks of 15, 16% which – as usual – are not visible in those nice profile pictures.

Obviously, I may also have been a little overenthusiastic when I tried to fit in as many of the ‘known’ ballons into my only 3 days of cycling.

I did get on the bike on Monday afternoon too in the end, but I doubt that was a very sound decision after some 10 hours en route…

And to make things worse, the weather was not very cooperative.

I first rode in drizzling rain and near-uncomfortable temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius on Monday afternoon and all through Tuesday, when all of a sudden the weather changed and Wednesday threw a blistering sun and 36 degrees Celsius at me.

Anyway…

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Prepping for the Vosges

Next month, we’ll be heading for Colmar, the self-proclaimed capital of Alsatian wine.

While I’m sure that this title alone will make some of my readers go wild, I’m actually just going there because it’s an excellent place to start cycling trips through the Vosges mountains.

Gérardmer – or La Bresse – is probably the more popular choice among cyclists to set up their base camp, but I also want to squeeze in some rides in the Black Forest on the other side of the border, which makes Colmar the better choice.

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