I didn't have the slightest doubt that this tour would be a success. This was my first big European tour (if we don't count my first tour in Iceland 15 years ago), but the lack of the "exotic" element, which is present in the "third world" tours, didn't bother me at all. I like to think that the childish obsession with far away places is over and that I've reached the "mature phase".
On the first day of the tour I lost my cue sheet with the directions to Beaune, the first sizable town on the itinerary of the 100 cols, and I ended on D122 instead of D972. This mistake was indicative of the nature of this tour. D972 is a major connection between the two cities, with accordingly high volume of traffic including trucks, while D122 which runs in parallel less then a kilometer away, is idyllic quiet road, winding among vineyards and little old villages as it was from other time or space. The vast majority of the "100 cols" path was like that: small, quiet roads, leading away from the traffic arteries. The path was also crossing every possible climb, but that only added to the beauty of this route. Climbing is essential to the good cycling tours. You've got the motivation to climb the pass, you celebrate the victory at the top, you have the sense of achievement and you are rewarded with the thrill of descent. All of this while riding through beautiful and diverse scenery. In this tour I was reviving these feelings tens of times per day. Frequently I was overwhelmed by the intensity of the moment, a kind of hyper-consciousness, as if I was on adrenalin drug. This was not an isolated event, an exceptionally good moment when you say "Wow, that WAS the day!" - on this tour all of the days were like that. I never enjoyed cycling so much for so long.
My 100 cols.
Totals: 4028 km, 209 h 42 min of cycling, around 66000 m of ascent and 150 cols and côtes in 29 days (no rest days). On average 139 km, 7 h 14 min, 2275 m and 5 cols/côtes per day.
P.S. I've uploaded the photos from the top of 100 cols: here.