The Mythical Passes of the South : Col de la Madone
Expectation : 75 km and 1300 m of elevation
Reality : 102 km and almost 1500 m up !
This was a second ride with my client from February -Vinicius, with whom I've already did Col de Vence; retracing partially the itinerary described here.
This resulted in his lifetime record of a bike ride - 80 km and 1300 m of elevation kind of ride.
This time we went for another challenge - col de la Madone - as the goal is to beat the previous record, we added a bit of an elevation by visiting a cute Village of St. Agnes (listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France). But let's get things in order :
Road Bike Rental - for my client, Vinicius, a rad Brasilian and a tutor at University in Nice, I contacted my local partner for Côte d'Azur- We Rent Bikes, for a full-day rental of Disc-brake BMC.
Even though you still have to use LEGS to push the bike forward, it definitely helps to have a good quality and operative machine, especially when going for a full day ride.
2. Cycling Food - it's so so so vital to feed yourself properly (or just simply, eat something solid) on these long-days of cycling. We did two snack-breaks - one after a coastal part in Menton (at the very last city in France), second one took place in the middle of the climb - in the village of St. Agnes; one of the highest located villages in that part of Europe, and a Maginot's ligne monument.
3. Monaco & Menton & Madone - this super coMbo is so much worth stopping and enjoying in the tourist mode, col the la Madone being quite difficult to reach (however, a good spot for a hike too). When in Menton - remember not to miss the tasting of their delicious lemonade - it's the true French-made and 100% local limoncello.
4. Villefranche & La Turbie - stunning sandy beach, very easily accessible from the train, cute town suitable for a stroll and a finish with a lunch / dinner at the port. La Turbie is the town above Monaco (on the way to / back) so it's quite unmissable weather you do only Col d'Eze or longer ride.
5. Nature - This tour offers 1:1 ratio when it comes to mix of the sea and the mountains. Perfect experience that lets you enjoy a bit of morning sea breeze and mountain wind gusts in the afternoon (so important with 35 degrees we had that very day).