Meet the 10 Hills…

Yesterday I went on the best ride of my life.  We ventured out from Limoux into the countryside to do the famous, 10 Hills ride… Each hill varied in length, grade, and terrain, but all had in common one thing—they were to be done at race pace.  An all out effort.  Our guide would announce the beginning of the climb with an appropriately accented, “game on”…and we would attack the climbs.  It was an epic ride full of good camaraderie, hard climbs, and not quite enough recovery.  After 4.5 hours, we straggled back into Limoux with a record breaking five flats, two of which were mine, but 10 epic climbs.  

The first hill…not so bad…a nice steady grade…

Just a nice little warm-up for Hill #1....

As we recovered in between sets our descents flew by, and I just tried to capture some of the countryside.  Hill #2 was much longer, a sharp right turn and another 5k to the top.  No matter how much suffering we encountered on this climb, our first official view of the Pyrenees made it worth it.

I have never done such spectacular climbs, and such amazing sweeping descents as we ascended through little towns and villages that consisted of a massive church and cobbled alleys.  Devon Haskell and I were great climbing buddies and we were able to attack the climbs and set each other’s pace to a painful threshold.

Hills 3, 4 and 5 flew by…..

Each climb felt harder the the last…#6 had to be done all out of the saddle….#7 was super steep….and when we started climbing #8…I flatted…but check out this view while we were changing the flat.. Einnat, our guide extrordinaire said I was too slow changing the flat, so she insisted on changing it for me..

#9 was back to a nice gradual climb that left my legs feeling shredded, but nothing prepared me for Hill#10.  Once we returned to Limoux, we were told “game on” on this hill that looked more like a cobblestone wall.  This was #10.  A sheer wall that we were supposed to gain composure and “sprint up”.  Meet #10.

What an awesome ride.  I am still on a high from it.  It was hard, we had to work…but the ground we covered was right out of a fairy tale.

Total bike love.

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