Monthly Archives: July 2013

Proper planning prevents (long climbs). Grand Massif

Could we have a barrier please?

Half way between Chamonix and the Portes du Soleill sits the Grand Massif ski area, and it’s sort of ½ and ½ PDS & Chamonix in the riding too, with Chamonix’s queues and busyness combined with the PDS’s rolling terrain and bike friendly attitude.

After scratching the surface there last year I was keen to return and explore more, with the descent from the top of the Flaine lifts at 2480m down to Sixt at about 750m being top of the to do list. Arriving in Les Carroz a quick look in the direction of Flaine was enough to guess … [Read full post]

Les Houches, So hot right now…

and loam. The track has REALLY good loam.


You might have noticed a bit of a love/hate relationship between residents of the Chamonix valley and the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc. When it involves bikes and the trails for them, then it’s often not their fault, CdMB is just the entity with a name that can be blamed for the myriad land owners barring access for tracks and other interested parties wanting to sell more of their “VTT interdit” signs.

Other times, they could probably try harder.

Well, today CdMB is in my good books. And why is that? Well readers, it’s because the long awaited replacement bike trails … [Read full post]

Les Gets. Fast food riding

I’ve got a bit of an embarrassing admission to make. I first raced MTB’s 20 years ago, I’ve ridden them on 3 continents, hit some of the finest areas and trails on earth. I’ve never been to Les Gets. Or Morzine. Or any of the other Portes du Soleil resorts.

And it’s not that I’ve had any eliteist hangups about going there, I’ve ridden at Glentress out of choice before and everything.

Anyway, a roadtrip out of town was needed and as the braking bumps were only going to get worse, we thought we’d eschew the draw of Italian coffee … [Read full post]

To the ends of the valley

But why be picky when you have trails like this

OK, it can get a bit insular here in Chamonix. The steep valley walls cut off any sight of the outside world and, as long as you’re only paying attention to mountain sports, then everything you want is on your doorstep.  It’s a bit of a change to look out of the valley occasional and be reminded that the outside world exists, but to do it twice in less than a week, madness.

To cut a long intro short, the bike ban’s started, so most natural trails are now out of bounds thanks to Arrête Municipale (n° 124/2004) which prohibits … [Read full post]

2013 Nukeproof Mega AM review

I didn’t start this blog with the intention of writing any kit reviews, but it’s been pointed out that riding 5 or so days a week in the alps for half the year gives you a pretty good chance of finding any issues with gear, and that testing gear’s a good way to blag free stuff, so with this in mind here’s some text and pictures on the 2013 Nukeproof Mega AM…

The first thing to note is that this review was done in the Chamonix and with riding in the alps, particularly Chamonix, in mind. The bike that works … [Read full post]