Updated: Feb 20
Self-reflection is one of the single most valuable tools we have at our disposal and I think this is why I write - allow me to indulge.
For the past couple of months, I have been intentional about building my life. Time and time again teaches me that the magic is always in showing up. You can only be your best self, not someone else's and happiness lies in being all of ourselves. This is why I ride my bike, this is why I look for new challenges and cycling is one of my favourite ways to explore the world from within.
Saturday started with a train ride to Bonneville. Stu and I arrived in the dark and it was pretty chilly. In fact, it was quite a lot colder than we expected. We debated whether we should wait for more light and have a coffee. But given that we had a long day ahead, I suggested we saved our coffee spot as something to look forward to in a couple of hours. The light splintered through the dark and heavy clouds and the air got even cooler. We were unexpectedly cold, very cold. Before our main climb of the day, we stopped in a little town La Tour with a single bar that stood open. Somewhere between the sips of coffee (in a bar!) and warming our bodies up, we found my personality.
An out-of-category climb of 14km with 968m of ascent to reach the top of Col de la Ramaz meant I was equally happy to be warming up but working hard to keep my legs moving forward. The roads wound up and around the farmlands and rock formations changed - it was spectacular. As we rode up I was reminded that every single time I ride I get an overwhelming feeling that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing. I am free and I am living; I am doing and being me. For sure to share this is an even bigger privilege. Getting to the top meant our first food stop to feed hungry tummies - ham and cheese sandwiches never tasted so good.
The weather was still cold and so we layered back up to go down a short descent and then found ourselves going back up the other side of the valley to reach the top of Col de l’Encrenas. The big transformations, the big shifts, the significant changes, yup, those happen due to hundreds and thousands of micro-movements in the right direction. So we just kept peddling. Inevitably, what goes up has to go back down and we raced down the mountain dodging the rain that had left the roads somewhat slippery. I was getting pretty good at this downhill thing and was just loving that flow feeling by the time we arrived in Morzine.
Morzine is a ski resort in the French Alps. It’s part of the Portes du Soleil ski area, scattered around we saw lifts and cable cars. There are partially forested slopes that have summer trails and bike lifts. In the village, restaurants and bars cluster around Route de la Plagne.
The Col de la Joux Verte pass climbs from Morzine to the higher-altitude resort of Avoriaz, near the Hauts-Forts mountain. This was our second climb which was 11.2km with 733m of ascent. It was tough going and along the climb, I pulled over and told Stu I needed more food. By the time we got to the top, I felt like I was in survival mode. We had done 80km of riding and 3000m of ascent and to top it all off the wind was gusting. As we made our way down some of the best switchbacks and gratefully got out of the wind we arrived at Lac de Montriond. It was absolutely magical - the water was shining blue and people walked with their rain jackets and umbrellas around the lake. The rain ensured we wasted little time and carried on riding with our light from within as we moved around the outskirts of Morzine and through Les Gets. This area is a mountain biker's paradise. To us, this town was closed and it was less exciting than anticipated. We really could have done with a third lunch stop for the day! Of course, the magic doesn't lie in what we find in any space, it lies in what we choose to do with it. And so I motivated myself to stay positive - we were on a real adventure both mental, physical and transformative. The good news was that the journey back to Bonneville not only meant tired legs but also happy hearts, big smiles, and even bigger pizza!