It was one of the most exhilarating experiences on my last climb up the Alpe d’Huez. A young Dad was pulling his son behind his bike all the way to the top. I passed them about half way and had a chat and told him he had my utmost respect. Being not as fit as I should have been, I was struggling without any encumbrances at all.
I continued to make my way up and at one point I met a lovely Dutch couple who were walking up. We chatted for a while, (they did of course speak perfect English), and then I said my goodbyes and headed off up to turn 10 or whatever it was. As I have said my pace wasn’t great and I am slightly ashamed to admit that the Dutch couple appeared at the top only slightly after I did!
That is all forgotten at the top though when the sense of relief and exhilaration at reaching the top overcomes any fatigue you might be feeling.
There are any number of different nationalities at the top all enjoying the sunshine and a beer or two. It feels a little like the end of the Tour de France when you get polite applause and the occasional rude comment thrown out.
The nicest occasion was when the Dad appeared with his son. Everybody in the area stood up and applauded and patted him on his back. What a great achievement. I just hope his son in future years appreciates what his Dad did for him that day.