The Wisdom Group

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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.

the Col de Peyresourde, and the Superbagneres ski station.   I am sure there were some Performance riders who did every K and every
  There were some Sportif riders who rode and climbed more than they had expected.   But most important, there were some riders from both groups who saw the Wisdom at the right time, and passed on a climb, or skipped the long ride back to the hotel, or just changed Groups in mid stream.   I actually convinced the twenty seven year old guy to get into the van at the top of the
d?Aubisque, because he was cold, hungry, and saw the wisdom in not riding the descent in a cold fog.   After all, he had already conquered the damn thing.



The best day for me included the stunningly picturesque climb of the massive Col du Tourmelet, with viewing of the Tour de France at our rendezvous spot just short of the summit.   There was a great lunch waiting for anyone who made the 18 K climb, which was everybody in every group. There were sandwiches and beer, sodas and chips, salads and deserts.   Then that other tour swept through, the Tour de France.   The Thomson tour followed quickly with a short hard push over the summit and a long and sweeping descent to the
village of
Ste Marie de Campan
.  Both groups were then to climb the medium difficulty
d?Aspin, and make a final long descent to our next hotel at St Lary.



As the founder of the Wisdom Group, I had to set an example. I chose to ride the sag wagon from Ste Marie to the top of the
d?Aspin, skipping the climb itself.   I got my bike back out of the van at the summit, rejoined my tired Sportif colleagues, and made the long descent through postcard perfect landscapes and villages. Two terrific descents in one day, and only one big painful climb.   That seemed Wise.


If Thomson himself sees things my way, there will be a new Thomson Bike Tours trip next year, called ?Famous Descents of the Tour de France?. No climbing necessary. Great hotels, great food, great scenery, and open only to members of the Wisdom Group.



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