Monthly Archives: September 2012

Velo Ferrata

Most people imagine life as a Chamonix bike bum as a daily routine of getting up, selecting a bike from a quiver of top end steeds, being carried to the top of the hill by train/tram/chairlift/gondola or helicopter before ripping down on the finest rocky/rooty/buffed trails known to man then finishing the day quaffing fine wine with nubile bike groupies.  Alas the truth couldn’t be more different.

Sometimes we have to pedal up the hill first.

Then there’s also the exploratory rides, where we go looking for the mythical perfect trail…. Acting on a couple of tip offs and a … [Read full post]

Tricot treat

There’s definitely an autumn feeling in the air. Meeting in town at 09.30 we were all wearing jackets and looking for the sun. Our ride for the day was more of an autumn objective too, less about maximum vertical on the lifts and more about getting out into them thar hills. As Jan said, it felt more like going ski touring than biking. After a tip off from Tom that the trail down from the Col de Tricot was every bit as good, if not better, than the map suggested, we thought we’d give it a go before the weather … [Read full post]

Sentier des gardes-gardee par des arbres….

I’d kinda thought that all the damage from Aprils fohen storm had been chainsawed out the way so, with a couple hours before work this morning, decided I’d have a quick blast down the Sentier des Gardes track from Brevent.

I’d not been down there this summer, and hadn’t spoken to anyone else who has, but wasn’t expecting any problems….

…..It’s not been cleared since the storm, there’s trees across the track throughout which really kills the flow, and some sections have got very interesting if you out-brake yourself into them! Plenty of other tracks to go at at least.… [Read full post]

A bit of peace & quiet

September has started and Chamonix has emptied! Overnight the population of the valley has halved and, conveniently, the weather has stopped thinking it’s winter and moved on to cool mornings, low 20’s during the day, blue sky and bright sunshine. All in all perfect bike weather.

This week is probably the best of the year to visit Chamonix to ride the classic steep & technical trails that it’s famous for as the lifts are still open, the bike ban is over and you don’t have to stop all the time for walkers. After a week off the bike, I wanted … [Read full post]

Singletrack heaven: La Thuile

With the best trails in Chamonix busy with walkers and trail runners, a (nother) road trip was in order, this time through the Mont Blanc tunnel to La Thuile. The trip’s an easy 45 minutes (if you don’t get stuck in traffic….) and stress free once you’ve found the chairlift (look out for the “bikers welcome” sign on a café, and turn next left!)

A quick summary if you just want to look at the pictures: if you’re on a DH bike, best to stay on the main road till you hit Aosta, then ride Pila, or keep going over … [Read full post]

Ultra! (wet)

I’m not really sure what the trail conditions are about Chamonix at the moment, for the last week everyone’s been too busy with the 4 Ultra Trail races, either working, supporting or competing. Using my powers of deduction however, I can predict that biblical quantities of rain + the first of the autumn snows = fairly grim conditions. So if you’re heading out, best pack spare brake pads, spare shoes, spare waterproofs and a spare sense of humour for the slippy trails. Those living in the valley will resort to the usual spare liver techniques until normal service is resumed.… [Read full post]