SHAKE IT UP #2 « 1heure - 5 kilomètres »

Usually, spring officially starts the season of evening rides: more daylight means finishing off a day at work, putting on my bib shorts, sliding into a jersey and hopping on my bike to ride a 50km loop into the sunset. A feeling of bliss I especially love. But with this damned curfew, it seems everything gets twisted. It’s been a year now that days have a different pace, a different taste.

Riding a bike was taken away from us for a while, and now riding your bike is like the sweet memory reminding us that freedom still is around the corner. These days, we have to take this breather, this moment of freedom around midday; and most days, it is undoubtedly the “Short and Sharp” moment of the day. They told me about a little climb which is worth a visit…

I’m spinning along on the Basse Corniche, the less tedious road of those leading to Monaco. My legs are happily tingling, my pace is good, sharp. I simply can’t get enough of seeing the sea sparkling on the side of the road, I feel the excitement building up inside me. As I enter Beaulieu, the slandered silhouettes of the Casino palm trees transform my ride into a majestic journey, as if my bike smoothly transformed into a fairytale carriage. I’m getting carried away…

I’m suddenly transported on a 2km climb to reach the Moyenne Corniche. Nothing in comparison to what is actually awaiting me next.

Riding on the Moyenne Corniche, I’m just surprised how many cars are actually on the road. A few hundred meters away, I turn right on a small road and leave traffic behind.

As they said, the route goes through houses, it is a tiny little road where you wouldn’t even imagine seeing two cars passing at the same time. It’s been 18km into the ride as my bike computer tells, and it is only starting,I can see some serious business coming up : the gradient is ghastly : over 100 meters only, it goes from 14% to an unbelievable 21%. I am giving this everything I have, I am dreaming I’ve got one more gear, I try to shift, but no, no more possibility to make it easier.

Cadence drops dramatically as my heart is pounding like it never did before. It is so steep that my bike wants to rear, I’m just zig-zagging from side to side for a few meters. I reach some recess as the road “flattens” out with what feels like a nice and gentle 13% gradient. And I let my thoughts build up on the belief that it will remain just like that up to the Grande Corniche. I lift my head up. Instantly this hope vanishes into thin air. The grande finale is a 19% wall, short enough to be less hard than the first one, long enough to remind me not to count meters of elevation before they are climbed.

I need a whole kilometre to come back to my senses. For sure, I can’t imagine that the guy who just passed me with a slight grin on his face was coming from the same road. At least I hope so ! There is a nice chill in the air to announce a beautiful riding moment descending back down.

Adrenaline rocketed high just as needed. I put my hands on the drops and flow downhill on these roads I know by heart.

Back on the port, some divers are unloading their boat, we wave and share a “Bonjour”. There is no need to say more, passionate people understand each another without words.

Further Riding