My boys climb to new heights in my estimation 

Map reference: Montee D’Oz time trial

Carbs and caffeine: boys tried their first Torq gels

Every Wednesday in summer the local tourist office organises a time trial of our hill. It’s 7k and about 700m climbing, so no small achievement for my sons of 11 and 12 on their heavy hired bikes. There were about eight other cyclists this week, two teenagers, the rest adults and some runners and walkers. 

We intended to start together but quite quickly my eldest son was off. My second son was on a child sized bike, complete with smaller than adult wheels, so he was never going to be able to maintain the same pace. His saddle was on its absolute upper limit and the handles bars were at their lowest so he also struggled with the extreme angle. Despite his obvious discomfort he kept ploughing on. Husband and daughter, 7, waited at our chalet halfway up the climb with water and extra jelly babies, which were gratefully received. Husband was still laughing when we arrived as apparently Big One shot through the ad hoc feed station chucking his empty bottle at him and grabbing a fresh one without stopping. He made it to the top in 40 minutes and would have grabbed third place on the podium if he had known where the finish line was. Local knowledge and an understanding of French instructions would have helped. Second son and I came in at just under 48 minutes which was 10 minutes faster than we had estimated.

All in all it was a good first French time trial for the boys and if we come back next year we will have the advantage of knowing the form. 

Having warmed up my legs, Husband and I decided to go for a quick circuit leaving the kids glued to a DVD. There’s a nice circuit down to Allemont via Villard Reculas. It’s nearly 20k with some descending and 450m climbing, rather putting the equivalent two circuits of Richmond Park in the shade.

Meanwhile Husband – of course – had to go and beat the winning time of this morning’s TT. With 29 minutes being the time to beat, he did it in 27 minutes. I’m so glad I don’t have to take up these challenges, definitely too much like hard work, although he was grinning all over his face when he came in. Chapeau, darling.

Note to self: time to get those race tyres on, so they can be tested on a couple more local circuits

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