A nice morning in Jausiers and after breakfast I had a long easy downhill ride to Barcelonnette and then the road is rather flat with some downhill sections to Lac de Serre-Ponçon. Here a photo ahead after leaving Jausiers. I met a few cyclists going up in the morning, but none who went down like me.
At the roadfork at Lac de Serre-Ponçon, it was climbing time again up along the south side to the viewpoint where this photo was taken by the turn-off for the route Napoléon down to Nice. I was going down the other side as I planned a little detour before joining the Napoleon road.
There is a small turn-off up the mountain with sign showing 20%, which is rather unusual for being in France. It was only steep for a short stretch though. After taking the wrong road later despite looking on my offline maps several times in Pocket Earth on the iPhone, I eventually got on the right road to Col de Charamel (1242m) (there are actually two possible roads up there from the north I later realised, but I had taken off earlier on yet another road).
Here at this little pass and now the road choice was easy and there was not much descent or climbing to get to the next pass – Col des Fillys (1322m).
Here at Col des Fillys looking ahead to the south.
Here looking back and one could almost glance Lac de Serre-Ponçon from here far below to the north now.
Another view south a little further down the road from Col des Fillys where I also met a single cyclist coming up. It is a rather easy climb from the south too.
I went a little along the Napoleon road to Seyne where I stopped at the main grocery and bought a ready-made sandwich, yoghurt and coca-cola. Then I climbed a little steep road up above the village to a little pass recognised by Club des Cent Cols called Le Coulet (1261m) and took this and the next photo from there (or nearby).
The above photo was taken in the direction of where I was heading next – Col du Fanget (1459m), while this photo is looking south in the direction the Napoleon road is going and the mountains separating the plains here from the Col d’Allos (2247m) road on the other side.
The climb from the north up to Col du Fanget (1459m) is really much easier than the climb from the north, so felt a little like cheating, but it was not easy to plan to cross this pass from the south given where I came from now. (Had planned to climb from the south side another year.) This was now also the highest pass not yet climbed, shared maybe with another one.
I met a big group of cyclists at the top coming up slowly from the hard south side and one of them was nice to take a photo of me.
The last part up here from the south is quite spectacular as it surely does not look like one could even thinking of building a road here as the terrain is very steep and awkward. The road is climbing desperately up here and it is also not a prominent Alps pass road so not built so well, but it is still a good road. After the steep section one soon comes down to a choice of two roads and I followed the road down to Digne-les Bains which now becomes very nice and not steep at all, but it is a long way down there.
I stopped at the first village down the road called Barles where there was a curious café run by an old woman. I got a coffee and a glass of water, but coffee was exactly all they had to sell and no mention of anything else. Nice place. (Maybe they served dinner later in the day as there was an old fashioned kitchen behind.)
The road had some quite nice sections on the way down to Digne-les-Bains as seen here and above.
I think I stopped at McDonalds outside Dignes-les-Bains for a burger and coca-cola before continuing down a busy road with a dangerous separating elevated asphalt edge toward a walking/cycling section, not unlike what cause me to break my leg in Liechtenstein last year. Got a bit in a worse mood there, but was soon off the road and on my way up to Pas de Bonnet (886m), which was a nice and good road. The road got narrower and less good on the other side.
I then turned off up on the next climb on a nice lonely road to Col de l’Hysope (1232m) where this photo was taken.
The road only descends a couple of metres and then enters the woods on the way to the highest point of the road which is at Col de Fontbelle (1304m), which offers no views at all.
Also a photo of the pass sign at the recreational area at the top here.
I stopped along the road westward after Authon at Briançon (1233m), which very much also looks like a pass, but without a proper pass name.
Now the views starts to get much better again and this is a very nice road down to Sisteron. Unfortunately I was close to smashing up with a car driver driving on the wrong side of the narrow road, but he turned over some metres before crashing with me. Lucky there. I turned out not to be the last incident for the day though. Maybe because it was Friday afternoon … .
Looking back a last time a bit before the low pass Col de Mézien (814m).
Here was the last photo for the day after Col de Mézien and a first glimpse of Sisteron down below. Sisteron was a busy place this evening. I stopped for a lemon soda and then decided to continue out of the city despite that I was not certain I would find lodging ahead, but I needed to get ahead and try to stay on schedule as I had a long day the next day too.
I took the short-cut road over to the road going west toward Mont Ventoux, that I planned to climb the next day. As I cam down on this long valley road there were polices waving and a car crash. I looked a bit angry at the police and just continued – just what to be expected I thought. And if I was not right enough on this, after only a kilometre a car came driving above 100 km on the small road and almost down in the ditch on my side – cannot explain how I managed to stay on the bicycle and avoid be run over, but I was damned lucky again. Maybe they would all pile up on each other where the police had stopped. French car drivers … .
I found a good and cheap hotel in Les Omergues and had dinner there. Only problem was trying to get some signal on my cell phone and no Wi-Fi here. I got a weak signal when walking up the road a bit.