No crowds cheer us lesser mortals up the big climbs, but the mountains are open and mountains are rarely if ever finished with you. No matter how often you climb them, you never beat them: each time you start at the bottom, from scratch. Reputation will not take you up a climb. The physical battle has always to be repeated. Through every repeat, mental strength accumulates.
– Graeme Fife
This summer Stacy & I will return to France to ride the 100 Cols Tour once again.
This ride is over four thousand kilometers and climbs all the major mountains of France, over two hundred cols and côtes, with over 260,000 feet of climbing.
A col is a mountain pass, and a côte is a high-point on the road such as a mountain-top.
We chose to ride this tour again because it is so beautiful and challenging. This ride links the most famous climbs in France with mostly quiet back-roads and forest lanes through small picturesque villages.
If you’ve ever watched the Tour de France, you’ve seen the cols: Ventoux, Tourmalet, Iseran, Grand Colombier, Puy Mary, Peyresourde, Galibier, Izoard, Iseran, Mont Aigoual, etc. On the 100 Cols site is a complete list of the cols, sorted by difficulty.
Here are a few photos from our last trip: