The Wisdom Group
If you gather a bunch of recreational cyclists together to participate in a bike trip to the Tour de France, you will encounter a broad range of skills, strengths, ages, and experience.
summit of the short
The next day was potentially a long one, 118 K if you thought you were Performance Group, including two big Cols. The first climb was the famous Luz Ardiden, where Lance was pulled from his bike in 2003 by a kid with a tote bag, only to get mad and get back up and motor up the mountain and into the yellow jersey. The second was Hautacam, short but steep. The Sportif Group could skip the climb to Hautacam, and ride directly back to the hotel after Luz Ardiden, for a daily ride of 83 K. The ride to the start of Luz Ardiden was exhilarating, no doubt because it was mostly downhill. The climb itself was hard, but it afforded me a chance to think this whole trip through. I had paid money for this trip, right? I should only have a good time, not a bad time, right? I shouldn?t have to put up with this burning in the legs and the lungs, right? There should be another Group, right? It will be called the Wisdom Group.
Of course I was at the back of the Sportif pack, but again there was another guy with me, a different guy, maybe in his late thirties. He was probably jet lagged also, or worse still, suffering from the heartbreak of traveler?s constipation. But at least I wasn?t alone, and I did not need to sag. So at lunch in St Sauveur, at the base of Luz Ardiden, the Wisdom Group was announced. The important part was that you could join the Wisdom Group for a day or for just one moment, and go back to your Performance or Sportif Group at any time. A few participants joined the Group right there and passed on the second climb of the day, the Hautacam, and they were Wise. A few joined later that day, and rode the van back to the hotel, and they were Wise.
The next three days offered a number of riding and climbing options, including the Col de Soulour, the Col de Marie