Monthly Archives: July 2012

2 shades of grey

There’s a few techniques used locally to deal with the bike ban. You can ignore it, you can give up on the mountain bike, you can stick to the man-made trails and you can go elsewhere. You can also have a look at the Arrete du Maire, try and find a loophole, and hope for the best.

The arrete lists 12 exceptions to the July & August bike ban, most of which are listed in the official Chamonix bike map (which you can also get a paper copy from the tourist info and bike shops around town) but there’s 2 … [Read full post]

First chair, last col – Les Portes du Mont Blanc

Tuesday seemed to be a popular day for getting out of Chamonix. Groups were heading to Pila, La Thuile and the road cols of the Aravais. True to our Scottish roots, Lorne & I chose to make the 45 minute drive to the area with the cheapest lift pass, the Portes du Mont Blanc. 12.50euro for a day pass still represents a fair outlay in Irn Bru mind, so we were there for the 1st bin and rode till they closed the lifts on us.

So what was the riding like? Very different to Chamonix. A break down of … [Read full post]

Le VTT et les Vaches…

Whilst bikes seem to be getting discouraged in some areas of the valley, they’re looking more and more welcome up at Le Tour.  There’s some sort of link in the alps where the more suitable the terrain is for cows, the more bikes are welcomed.  After all, Morzine is known locally as the mountain for the cows.

As the trains aren’t running from Vallorcine this summer (more information here: if you’ve not already heard)we had to wait for the Vallorcine gondola to finally open at the start of July before the full potential of Le Tour could be enjoyed … [Read full post]


The bike tracks at Flegere were never going to win any awards or become cult favourites but they still make for a good workout in quality surroundings, so I was pretty disappointed to find out that the bike racks aren’t going to be put on the Index chairlift for the rest of the summer. The liftie didn’t think it was the end of VTT above 1900m, but certainly we’ve lost the 2 tracks that drop the 700m vert from the top.

To make matters worse, there’s been forestry work about 1/3 of the way down the remaining bike track and … [Read full post]


Pop culture has it that the Chinese have the same word for crisis as opportunity (they don’t, but it makes for an easy intro to the blog if we pretend they do). The idea that a forced change, whilst unwelcome, can be for the better. It’s much the same just now in Chamonix with the start of the July & August bike ban. No one wants to stop riding the trails they enjoy, but it’s good to be made to think outside the box a little and try some new places too. That and the trails are generally that hoaching … [Read full post]