Alpe d'Huez - Col de Sarenne
The legendary 21 hairpin bends up to Alpe d'Huez are a must for every serious cyclist, but certainly not for nature lovers. The ski resort which marks the finish line of the climb looks quite desolate in summer.
What few people seem to know or care about: The road goes on beyond and nice mountain panoramas open up all the way to the descent of Col de Sarenne.
Col de la Croix de Fer
Smooth climb coming from Oz. First in the forest later with nice views. Road builders put in an enormous dip half way to the top to add a bit of a challenge.
Coming up from Le Bourg-d'Oisans there is a narrow road chiseled into the mountain flank. Void of any traffic and with long dark tunnels. The upper part is just a dirt track, but can be done with a road bike.
Winter Came Early
In the second week of September there were still ideal riding conditions. No long sleeves were needed even up in the mountains.
During the last ride this suddenly changed. The day started a bit chillier than usual and rain set in a little later. When reaching the final climb to Galibier at 2050m, it was not only still raining, but fog and an ice cold wind had dropped the temperature to 2°C. Without proper clothing the only option was to abort and ride back into the valley.
The next morning snow could be seen on much lower altitude than before and Col du Galibier was closed down for the season.