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Showing posts from June, 2014

The 101 is actually 104!

Or so we think..It's a lot of switchbacks to count whilst descending 1500m in one hit..We started out on the official Dev Albertville Trail which itself starting from the resort of les Saisses is an amazing 18km trail, but we turned off to find something a little different to the often fast paced trail.  Me and Will did our best to count all the switchbacks.  Some were 5 metres a part, other's were linked between smooth traversing balcon-sections allowing you to get your momentum up a bit.  We only walked one, number 73 (incidentally the department number the trail is in) and sessioned about 4 others.  Besides that we endo-rolled our way around the rest.  What a challenge it was.
Once at the bottom we finished on the Val d'Arly road that is still closed to traffic after last years rock fall.  It was quite surreal riding down the road that is so slow when cars are on it in peak winter for summer months.  "Like going to a school in summer holidays" is how Will descr…

Classic Enduro-ing

Somewhere between La Plagne and Bozel is one of the best trails in the world! With a bit of enduro style van assistance we made a great start onto Spider Pig for what felt nearly endless tight switchbacks.

Then it was time for the big climb, at midday, in the bright sunshine fuelled by tasty cake and some egg mayo baguette.  We all took our pads off and supped on our bladders to try and get motivated to start the ascent.  Too begin with everyone was full of enthusiasm, making jokes, chatting rubbish and ringing our enduro styled bells.  It only took a few switchbacks before we were all a little more subdued and beginning to get into a rhythm for the hour long climb.
We were nearly at the top when one of the group suffered a near ride ending mechanical breaking his pedal body away from the spindle.  At the top many zip tie's were used to try and hold the pedal back onto the cranks.  It ended up lasting about 200 metres before falling off again at which point a gear cable was used to l…

Still shredding in the Tarantaise, Savoie

I'm between work at the moment so though I have been riding amazing trails around Les Arc, La Plagne and southern Beaufortain I've not had a chance to get much blog material.  There is stunning singletrack in the Savoie!

Last Chamonix ride for a little while?

Loriaz as good as ever!

Somewhere above Cordon

1 of 4 descents ticked off the map of glorious trails above the not so pretty Sallanches

Thomas Humpage Photography

As Tom G would say here's some "dirty" editing from our Emosson ride:

Meanwhile back in Chamonix, speed!

Local knowledge vs. riding skills. Or perhaps it was the bike...Jarno from Ride with the localsasked me last night if I could show a friend around Chamonix Trails.  Despite a long day riding sweet trails in Saint Luc (read about it here)I was still keen to ride more.  I'm leaving town in a week so it was a perfect chance to tick of some great classic valley lines.

Last summer I'd shown Rich's mates around who were ex UK Downhill racers (read about that here) and admitted defeat to faster riders.  Today ended up being the same.  It was still a superb day out in the mountains.  No doubt about that!

Chris drove up from just the other side of Geneva and met us at Servoz train station where we loaded his car up with our bikes.  From there I directed him up to Flatiere.  This cheating enabled us to miss the first big climb and get descending sooner.  I was eager to show Chris some of the best trails around.  He is the Product Manager for Kona Bikes and was in Europe for work.  Chr…

Saint Luc, Valais, Switzerland

In a small hard to reach valley there is a real gem of bike-friendlinessIt was a long drive, but the girls did us well!  We'd only seen a few cars on the hairy, Verdon Gorge-esque road up to the ski resort village of Saint Luc.  The road up was stunning and the views into the steep sided gorge were worth the drive alone.  We'd come to bike, and upon pulling into the carpark we were greeted by a lack of parking spots.  Is it going to be too busy today? The funiculare train only runs every 30mins at weekends.

The bike park was so busy that they were running the funicular constantly meaning very little que time.  Not that 30 minutes is that bad, but it meant we kept going and going all day long.

Another reason we kept going lap after lap was that the trails were so good!  The Swiss bike park's always seem to have a good setup and are alwats so well looked after.   Despite constant funicular access it was not that busy, everyone was out having fun, stopping on the side of the tr…

Exploring the Emosson Dam, Valais, Suisse

Following the contours in search of more goods
First though we had to earn it.  We made good time up the 8% road from Finhaut to Emosson Dam.  A road soon to be a stage finale for the Criterium du Dauphine (the pro road racers warm-up for le Tour.  The rule is: you win Dauphine, you win the Tour.)

I'd spied a great looking long trail that hugged the contour lines from the top of the dam to above Finhaut/Marceottes.  Dan Milner had got a MBR cover shot on a lower trail so we had high hopes for great-ness.

At the Dam viewing platform There were a few ski tourers returning from Col de la Terrasse direction, but the high mountains were in the clouds all day.  Middle mountain's was the place to be today!

The trail started through super rocky high alpine terrain with punchy climbs. Short technical descents were followed by pedally sections and much hike-a-bike.  We came through a great alpine meadow full of stunning flowers.  Bread, cheese and tomato's were eaten in beuatiful surrou…