The Wisdom Group

News & Results

10/9/2006| 0 comments
by Allen Parsley
Sportif riders before mountain experience had coalesced them into the Wisdom Group.  Author is third from left.
Sportif riders before mountain experience had coalesced them into the Wisdom Group. Author is third from left.

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
with my jet-lagged new friend, and I made it back down to the hotel in plenty of time for a cold 1664 before dinner.


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.  
!!!??   I had it.   If I did not make it to the top of Luz Ardiden, but turned around and went back down short of the top, that would be Wise. If I got into the sag wagon after lunch, and skipped the long uphill ride back to the hotel, that would be Wise.   If I chose to stay at the hotel tomorrow and soak up some rays and a few glasses of 1664 at the pool, that would be Wise.   I felt so good about my invention of the new Group that I made it to the top of Luz Ardiden, no problem.



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 Blanc, Col d?Aubisque, the Col du Tourmelet,

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