As a passionate cyclotourist, I’m always on the lookout of new challenges to satisfy my perpetual hunger for kilometres. When I heard of Everesting (http://www.everesting.cc : choose a climb and ride it as many times as necessary to reach the height of Mount Everest in elevation gain), I knew at once it was something for me. So, in November 2014, I took my bike and climbed 22 times the Mont Chauve (Bald Mount), a big hill that dominates my hometown of Nice, performing a
Some time after this accomplishment, I received a mail from the guys at the Everesting project, presenting the new challenge they intended to throw down to the impatient cycling crowds around the world. They called it “High Rouleurs Society” (http://www.highrouleur.cc), and basically, one had to perform a (at least)
and 10000 m
elevation gain ride, to be part of this very select community.
I immediately started to draw routes that would allow me to reach the target. It was not a difficult task, given the nearly infinite number of beautiful climbs surrounding Nice. But the accumulations of ups and downs I was building didn’t satisfy me, as I felt they lacked some underlying concept that would unite them in one way or another.
I then remembered an old project that once crossed my mind. It was inspired by an event called “Monte Grappa Challenge”, which proposed to climb the Monte Grappa by six of its different sides. Monte Grappa being a mountain rich of history (intense battles took place there during WW I) and cycling feats, in the Venetian region of
It appeared to me that the col du Turini, with its ascents from the valley of the Vésubie, valley of the Bevera, and the four of five variants on the Paillons side, could be the place for the same type of event. The similarity between both was even more obvious, as the Authion (the massif overlooking the pass) saw fights in WW II that lasted nearly until the very end of the war. Furthermore, a little road taking its start on the pass and looping around the mountains above permits to visit the remains of the military installations, and to reach the symbolic altitude of
A quick study on Openrunner showed that, starting and finishing from home, doing the Authion loop after the first ascent and performing five more ascents from the different sides, seemed sufficient to fill the distance and elevation constraints imposed by the High Rouleurs Society.
I then searched for a title to give to this achievement. Already existing were “les Cinglés du Ventoux”, “les Fêlés du Grand Colombier”, ”les Fondus de l’Ubaye”, … all being some synonym of “crazy” followed by the name of the mountain. On this model, I could have build ”les Calus du Turini”, calu being a typical niçois word to designate a crazy guy, but, as a Niçois, I dislike much doing things the way that other people do, so I chose instead the name “Turini sans limites”.
At this point, it was nearly finished. The only remaining thing to do was to pick my Garmin, put it on the bike and stroll it upon the track designed at home. In mid-april, I’ve already climbed the Authion to be sure that the road was now free of snow, so I decided that may the 6th would be the appropriate day.
For those who’d like to follow my route on the map, my milestones have been Nice, l’Escarène, Peira-Cava, Turini, Authion, Turini, La Bollène, Lantosque, Col Saint-Roch, Turini, Peira-Cava, col de Braus, Sospel, Moulinet, Turini, Peira-Cava, Col Saint-Roch, Lantosque, La Bollène, Turini, Peira-Cava, Col Saint-Roch, l’Escarène, la Pointe, Contes, Coaraze, Col Saint-Roch, Turini, Moulinet, Sospel, Col de Braus, Peira-Cava, Turini, Peira-Cava, l’Escarène and Nice.
On my way back home, when in l’Escarène, I saw that a direct return home would put me below the
10000 m target. So at the
col de Nice, I turned right and added the col du Calaïson to the record. But it
was a too modest climb, and I had to do a last detour to the Monastère de
Cimiez before I could finally go home. With a 414 km, 10068 m record proudly
uploaded on Strava.
Though not envisaging it, should this ride see the day of light, I think that the six ascents I challenged myself to are a bit too much. But a cycling meeting that would propose a few different options: a single climb to the Authion for everybody, the addition of the two other main sides (Vésubie and Bévéra) for the tougher cyclists, and finally the Coaraze side for those who want the biggest challenge, looks like something appealing. The possibility to climb at 2000 m at the end of april, and the renown of French Riviera, are other assets that could attract people from northernmost countries. But I think I will be too busy cycling to dedicate myself to the organizational tasks.