I'm going to France in couple of months and will be going past Alpe D'Huez so thought I may as well give it a go (I mean the wife said I could). I'm a once a week rider and normally ride Norton Summit to Montacute so will probably need to increase my training a bit! Has anyone ridden D'Huez? and can they recommend an Adelaide Hills ride that will be a similar gradient that I should train on?
a few years back I did a similar thing (done it a few times actually so am quite lucky)... training beforehand was up Freeway and down, across to Greenhill and down and the same on norton's and montacute... it became a ritual every weekend
Then...First ride in France was up Ventoux (admittedly going from our winter to their summer also meant a huge temperature difference) but i struggled, it was horrendous... the next day however we did alpe d'huez and it was a far better ride (physically i mean by this) although the first 2 switchbacks are a shock to the system... get past them and away you go.
I know if i suggest big chain ring riding here some readers will oppose however i believe it will prepare you sufficiently when doing our hills here. Gearing is important too... won't get up there on a 25 back ring! (or you will but it will be ugly) other thing to consider is do you want to do it non stop or happy to take pics on the way up? (that said, rhythm going up is important). Photo opportunities maybe on the way down (which is fantastic!)
There you go... i know the next person will suggest something different but it really is up to you to be as well prepared as you can. Have a great trip, plenty to see and do in the area!
I did a similar thing, up Greenhill, down Freeway, then up Tollgate to Mt Loft Summit *3.
The first couple of switchbacks are the nastiest, then it's not actually a particularly tough ride, just longer than we are used to. Enjoy.
I rode it in 2003 with a 39/21.
ADH aint that hard if its your first climb of the day. Bit like Greenhill Rd gradient wise. Start it easy and finish strong. Do Montacute to Norton Summit if you want better training. Go up corkscrew 3 times in a row and you can get up any paved HC climb IMHO. Doing repeats up the corkie teaches on pacing. None of the TDF climbs are crazy steep (Ive riden most of them with a 6kg back pack), they are just long and involve pacing and high glycogen and hydration levels so your legs don't go zub zub.
Get a compact 34/50 with whatever you need on the back and dance like Lance. ;)
Thanks for the info/advice.