Skip to main content

Bay

Boarder shred fest in the steeps

A bit close for comforts, the story of the day for not just Shane, all of us!
Normaly my posts mention International boarders and the trails that take me between these lines.  Today was slightly different.  Everyone knows that the Swiss Canton of Valais is full of great trails, and until today I thought that it's neighbouring Canton of Vaud was full of bad drivers, Freddie Mercury statues (Montreux), vineyards and a whole heap of money!

However right on the boarder of Valais/Vaud is Bex.  That's pronounced 'bay' in French, not Becks like Posh n Becks for you vrai Anglais.

It doesn't matter what Canton your in, in Switzerland public transport is top notch, and seeing as this place is near a ski town, the all-day travel card for mountain bikers is not actually too expensive at 28chf (€25). 

A little research revealed a whole host of trails, but luckily Timmy was on hand to guide us today which was really nice for me to not have to think about navigation.  Timmy is Fabian Barel's long lost brother...  When he tell's you to, "open your eyes" on a certain section of trail it means either get off and walk, or hold your breath and hope the berm at the bottom catches you.

First up was the old Maxi Avalanche course from the ski town Villars which was a mix of superb fun singletrack with fireroad climbs.  These ruined the flow of the trail, but for a mass start race like the Maxi Avalanche would be great for testing fitness, allowing overtaking and stretching the field out.


After lunch back at the van, for the second lap off the train we checked out the Gryon trails.  Fast, rooty, flat out corners had us all grinning, but little did we know what was in store.  Remember, it's still early season, most trails haven't seen much traffic yet and are still covered in last autumns leaves.  Also remember that even though it was 25.C, it did rain a few days ago so under the leaves is a slippery layer of mud.

We dropped in to some of the longest sustained chute sections I have ever ridden, with greasy corners with almost non existent catch berms.  Hold your breath and hope as you surf down, weight back, heels almost dragging into the ground trying to get as much grip as possible. Luckily after we all got through this there was some great flowy, old school DH style trail and then the loop back through the vineyard back to the train stop.
AND REPEAT for another lap, fast roots, slip, slide, slip some more and then flow!

Wayne in survival mode in the steep woods

Vaud's not all that bad!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere 3751m

One of those pure adventure days *warning mega photo post*Ali-venturing as it's been known by over the summer.  When Ali from trailAddiction gets grand idea's in his head it always leads to hike-a-bike. Read here on DIRT Mag about a previous mission, its the highest rideable peak in the alps!
A special team was organised:  A top ten finishing team from the Bivouac Enduro, Mael and Max, Ali, myself and Fred the mountain bike mechanic from Mavic. All keen, all stupid?
And then my alarm went off at 04:30.  Time to eat and drink as much as possible.  I hadn't been up this early since ski touring in refuges last winter.  In my tired state I did subconsciously know how to load the bikes onto the trailer, it's easy after doing it everyday all summer.  We drove up towards Val d'Isere, then turned left up a singletrack road.  It was around 6am, and it was still pitch black. Slowly the sun began to rise: And the hike-a-bike continued and turned into carry-a-bike, but with the su…

That time in February when I forgot my gloves and didn't get cold hands...

Seasons are changing in the mountains.Its been the shortest "off season" that I have known.  It's been growing shorter over the last few years but riding into the the new year was something I have not done since I lived in the UK.  The skiing season is getting shorter and more temperamental.  We shouldn't have been riding dry trails in Aosta Valley on the fitth day of the new year.  We did, and we had a blast thanks to the generous hospitality of the locals.  Read more about inter season on Lorner's blog here: http://www.lornecameron.com/2017/the-longest-autumn/
With skiing stoke low I went for a ride in Servoz.  Now picture the scene, its the twenty something of February 2017, at 1000 metre altitude and I can't find my gloves in my riding pack.  I suffer from cold hands at the slight hint of mild air.  In winter you will find several pairs of thick gloves in my backpack, even in spring or autumn there could well be two pairs in my riding pack.  However on thi…

Provence Posing

Early spring road trip with Team NL
The Dutchies had work to finish before they'd start the mammoth 14 hour drive from under the sea to herb filled mountainsides.  Work for us guys in the Alps is more seasonal & temporary, as it is for some Easyjet pilots which meant that the native English speakers left for 'The South' a day earlier.
Digne les Bains was the rendezvous location for Saturday night but this meant going so close to Gap and Lac Serre Poncon. The lure of a trail in the Haute Alpes (the northern most department in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur Region) was too much. 3 of us wild camped lake side with giddy excitement for what lay ahead. Rob & Ben knew each other from ski touring & paragliding, but had never ridden together, nor had Ben ever met team NL.  Rob and I briefed him on the impending fun.
In the morning, a classic was called upon to give Ben his first taste of Southern singletrack. Mont Colombus, and a few hours later after spinning up we h…