The descent was the start of a very impressive day

Marcus Groeneveld

#RoadToBEAT blog by pioneer Marcus Groeneveld about his Alpe d’HuZes

After months of looking forward to it, June 1 finally arrived. For my two friends and me it was the first time we had ridden down in the dark in the early morning at four thirty, behind the motorcycle, along the candle-lined road. The descent was the start of a very impressive day.

At 5 o’clock we could ride up for the first time. The legs felt good, and we tried to keep our heart rate low to save as much as possible. After a little less than an hour and a half, we reached the top, and, surrounded by the noise of family and a thousand spectators, we quickly started the second climb; we would see them several more times that day.

Each climb had its own story, or, better said, every climb had thousands of stories. During the climb, we tried to connect with other participants, because in the end you all do this for one purpose, but everyone has his or her own personal motivation. The story that made the greatest impression on me was the story of Sophie, a girl of 8, who climbed the mountain with her father. On the back of her bike she had a picture of her mother, something that you should never have to ride for at that age. Having seen such a thing, you are no longer concerned with your own physical condition. Every time you fly up!

Throughout the day the weather was really nice. However, during our fifth climb, a huge cloudburst hit. At turn 7 we were stopped because a motorcyclist had been struck by lightning. No one was allowed through, and we all tried to take shelter in a big army tent. The organization quickly provided assistance for people who became chilled. In the end we were taken to the top in buses. A big disappointment. No finish and no end to a special day. Personally, I found it very aggravating.

After months of focusing on it, I felt like I had not been able to finish it for my mother. That’s why we rode up a sixth time the next day, with her especially in mind. We stopped at the church at turn 7 and reflected on our wonderful adventure, which eventually raised more than €12,000 for those who need it so much – thanks to BEAT.