Monday, 5 July 2010

Swiss Roll - Day 5 Route

It's less than a fortnight until we head off cycling to Switzerland. I've booked the plane, train and ferry, plus the hotels (in French, quite pleased with that).

Training has pretty much ground to a halt (although I've done plenty of miles), it's more about keeping my legs fresh now.

So, Day 5 - it's 77 miles from Nancy to Le Thillot in the Vosges mountains. Here's the map:

Bike route 385903 - powered by Bikemap 

Despite the fact it's going into the mountains, and takes us nearly halfway up the Ballon d'Alsace, the route follows a river valley and the climb is very gentle.

How gentle?

Well, it's 1,935 feet - which sounds quite a lot - but bear in mind that's over 77.2 miles (407,616 feet), which by my reckoning is a 1-in-210 hill - ie less than 0.5%.

Snooker tables are probably allowed greater gradients than that. And, as Geoffrey Boycott might say: "My grandmother could do that on a penny farthing".

Well, if she can do it...

In terms of the actual route, that's another unknown quantity - it could be pretty, it could be a day of industrial estates and switching banks of the river, but I doubt it.

Nancy itself is full of history and we travel through Épinal, the capital of the Vosges departement, which looks pretty.

Épinal - Click here for a panorama...

Either way, it should be a good day before we hit the proper Col du Ballon d'Alsace on Day 6...!