The day started with a little sightseeing at Vizille Château.
|Kevin and Sav are ready to start a revolution on the balcony of the Château.|
|Square of hedge filled with either flowers or crushed, colored glass. I've never seen colored glass in a garden before, I thought is was pretty cool!|
|Sleeping beauty is probably somewhere in there...|
|Leona with the Château in the background|
|A road through the forest in France|
Along the road, I met a trough of cold water. Whoever decided to put that water in the middle of the hiking route was a genius; I was so refreshed I decided to keep going. I wanted to spend the day biking - so I would.
|Awesome water spring trough.|
|Wet hair - I'm lovin' it!|
|Cute donkey at Montjean|
|The view from just below Montjean - imaging waking up to this every morning!|
|The trail between Montjean and Mont Sec|
|Mont Sec. Apparently Sec is a dialect form of 'Seche' which means this top is called - you guessed it - Dry Mountain.|
|The view from Mont Sec. There are really mountains as far as the eye can see here!|
The trail continued upward from Mont Sec, not as steeply, but there were more rocks and so the biking was technically more difficult. And equally exhausting.
|Casper is totally loving life.|
Suddenly, a teenager on a Commencal downhill bike came flying by me. "Downhill," I thought, "That is seriously the only direction this trail should be biked." Then two more bikers came into sight - an man and a younger boy. I said 'Bonjour', and asked if they knew if there was any water up the trail. They didn't, but we got to talking and it turned out they were on their way down Vizille.
"Can I follow you?"
François, Timon and Provence were my trail magic yesterday. They helped me find more water from some farmers at Mont Sec, and showed me a great downhill route towards Vizille. And I got to practice my bad French on them!
Although I was pretty tired, the downhill was great fun. I had really earned those meters in sweat, blood and tears. I put my camera in my backpack for the descent, and so didn't really take any pictures (sorry, folks, but come to France and I'll bike the trail again with you!)
The trails here is very different. It's very dry, and there were a lot of loose rocks covered in the leaves. The effect of this is that you can't see the rocks, but you feel them move around under you, and it's hard to compensate for them. This, combined with my slightly dazed stated and the steepness of the trail, caused me to fly over my handlebars not once, but twice. The first time was the most traumatic; I flew a couple of meters and one of pedals didn't click out properly so I was stuck to my bike at a weird angle. The second time I didn't fly quite so far, but I got a good mouthful of dirt, bruised my forward, and landed hard on my outstretched left arm.
And so the disc-burning descent continued, 1200 meters down to Péage de Vizille. We biked back to Vizille, and I snapped a photo of my companions.
|Provence, Timon and François: Thanks for all the help! The forested top in the background is the one I climbed.|
Unfortunately, my left wrist, which seemed OK at first, kept getting more and more painful. Finally, this morning, I decided to brave my way to the emergency room to make sure it wasn't broken. After two hours, a lot of waiting and stumbling to answer questions in French, the verdict of the X-ray arrived:
|Left wrist: sprained|
|My wrist. It's awesome.|
They gave me a prescription for some painkillers, anti-inflammatory meds and a wrist brace. Also they gave me codeine, so I took a good two hours nap before I went and filled my prescription.
|Good-looking wrist brace on the streets of Grenoble.|
I feel I've learned a couple things this weekend (besides the words for various bike parts in French):
A) Think twice about taking on an 1000+ vertical meter climb in 30 degrees and sun.
B) When biking downhill, always keep you weight over the back wheel. (Actually I knew this, but since I went over my handlebars, that's totally not what I was doing).
Good times! I think I have to take a week or two off biking, but there will be more adventures.
- The Wild Bazilchuk