Joseph Giret QC

Haute Route Day 6: Climbing The Col

I have been picked up by the Haute Route ‘Broom Wagon’ having got to the top of the first of today’s Cols (Col De Varse) just outside of the cut off time; my choice was “get in or you are on your own – no water, food, medical, team support, mechanical support – your choice” so once more, both on my knees and sobbing like a child (its called exhaustion and a feeling of failure) I got in. As I write we are picking up more and more people. Looking out of the window the road leading up to the Col de la Bonnette looks sooooo beautiful its a pity not to be out there. But today was not meant to be – I can’t say why – I prepared well, rode to my limits and not beyond, and then suddenly – “boom” – no strength left. Believe it or not I was screaming out loud in pain with the effort on the final few kilometres, so I knew then that my riding today was over. I am personally disapointed but the main thing is really this;- I have ridden with the pride of knowing that I am giving strength to Parkinson’s people, and my lows are their lows, and my good days are their good days. Parkinson’s UK have been riding with me in my heart, and even in this ‘wagon’ I have pride for this organisation – I am but a grain of sand in this mountain of an organisation. I hope to be allowed to start the final stage that arrives in Nice tomorrow – as with all things tomorrow is another day, and we shall see; another day, another mountain, another challenge, and another day fighting for life and for happiness.


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