Mixed conditions


It’s not been a great few days on the bike, but what’s the saying, “a bad day on the bike is better than a good day in the office”? Something like that.

First off, Robbie, Lorne & I headed up to the Chalet du Glacier des Bossons for one of my favourite wee tracks in the valley which, for one reason and another, I’d not had a chance to ride this year.

Danger? Robbie laughs in the face of danger.... photo by Lorne Cameron

Arriving at the top of the chairlift, having been enthusing about the descent all way up the road and firetrack climb, there was a “Danger” sign and a fence blocking the path, which didn’t bode well. After once again failing to ride the super-tech entrance we discovered why.

Robbie on descent

The track had been well and truly hammered by the spring Fohen storm and there were trees down all over. At first I thought it could make a nice project and a few days work with a saw could clear it into a cracking VTT track hidden from walkers, but by about 1/2 way down there’s just too much damage.

Lorne on one of the less ridable bits

To finish it off, the final section now has logging work! The riding between fallen trees was still good, but not worth the hassle. to cap it off I had a comedy over the bars in thick leaves at the end of the trail which left me undamaged but with some expensive dings on the bike. Ho hum.

Brevent re-opened on Saturday, which is good news for encouraging laziness, unfortunately winter also made an appearance and by Saturday evening the snow was lying on the ground in town.

Chilly, but pretty

Still keen to get out and do something, I went for a short spin in the snow. The loop up on forestry roads by the Mont Blanc tunnel access road and down past the Cascade du Dard is one of the great little loops around Chamonix perfect for when you’ve only got an hour or so, or just don’t want your toes to get too cold (does anyone make a weatherproof pair of skate shoes?).

I always find the worst part of going riding in less than perfect weather is actually getting out the door, and sure enough 5 minutes in I’d got used to the temperature and was enjoying spinning along without overheating and looking about at the valley in it’s first snows for the winter.

The forestry roads which let you avoid the main road up to the Mont Blanc tunnel aren’t continuous but even with a few short sprachels between paths you can ride almost all the way up, keeping the feet out of the snow!

Fresh tracks!

As for the descent, apart from one short section after the bridge at the top, it’s a pretty mellow bit of singletrack without too much rock or root tech. Helpful with an inch or 2 of snow on the ground. Bit of a lack of photos as it was a little chilly to be hanging using the self timer, and it was nice just to be out in the peace and quiet that comes with a covering of snow.

The forecast is for warmer temps during the week, so there should be a return to normal service soon.

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