_26 Vierge Noire et Guinness


Route map here

Got home. Was sunny. Got my bike. Went and rode it. Simple as that really.

It was the option of going for a ride before it got dark or staying at home and going out to get drunk after it got dark for St. Patrick’s Day, well in fact it ended up in both so win win all round, although I didn’t do the uni work I was planning on doing.

I just went for the closest fast descent there was which is La Bastille, which also has the sun on it for a bit longer in the evening since it is not in the shadow of La Moucherotte and then down La Vierge Noire.

Because of the mountain that is La Moucherotte, the sunset is like this every night over Grenoble
Because of the mountain that is La Moucherotte, the sunset is like this every night over Grenoble

With a sun set like this every night, you can’t help but want to go and chase it really! You can just see La Bastille in the right of this photo which is where I went up. Although by the time I got to the top the sun had dipped behind the hill and it was a very orange sky.

Looking East towards Crolles from just beside my house
Looking East towards Crolles from just beside my house

The view from the bridge over the Perepherique of Grenoble is pretty amaing really, the perspective of the valley emphasized by the road dissapearing away up the middle. The large mountain over to the left is one to be conquered when the snow disappears, I think it is around 2200m but I am not sure how possible it is to ride, if it is too steep or not, some investiging to be done anyway.

Story of my life this picture
Story of my life this picture

A rather fast ride up the tourist route to La Bastille to the top of the descent of La Vierge Noire. This evening I discovered another reason this ascent is good fun, despite there being a good long set of steps halfway which kind of breaks your rhythm, the gradient is perfect to get a decent pace going, but there is also a lot of runners and a lot fo them are female and the weather is getting warmer, I will let your guess the rest about why that is a good thing…

I am getting fairly used to this track now so managed to hit it with a decent speed and there are never any walkers on it since I am quite sure it was some mountain bikers that built it. There is one part up near the top that I decided to take a different line down however, it is much more steep than the other but is a lot quicker and certainly gets the adrenaline going. I did however have a ‘moment’ at the top of it, I got to the top of it and at the very last second had a second thought about it, leaving me stopped almost dead but also unable to go back on the edge of the steep section, we all know starting from dead stop usually ends in tears (much better with a roll in), luckily I managed to stay on but ended up in a very skittery and pant browning next 50m bouncing left right and centre with feet flailing everywhere!

The rest of the descent was conquered fairly safely however.

Pipers were in town for St. Patricks
Pipers were in town for St. Patricks

Just as I got back into Grenoble I got a text from a friend saying that I should go to the Irish pub as everyone was there, so I decided to go along for one Guinness at least. I was however not prepared for going ‘out’; with my expensive bike I couldn’t lock up (well I didn’t have a lock with me anyway), sweaty from my ride, no wallet, wearing my bike clothes (compromising of white shoes, white scruffy shorts and a white wife beater!). I stayed for a couple, luckily the big crown meant that I didn’t get too cold in my outfit that would be somewhat fitting on a night out in Newcastle and the pipers even came out to play a few tracks for St. Patricks Day! Really reminded me of the pipe bands at the local shows we go to in Northumberland, even if it was irish!

A bit of a drunken ride home ensued afterwards, since I had not eaten anything yet… Made it home in one piece though.

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