Monthly Archives: September 2013

Two trails

Picture this

It might be the last week of proper uplift in the valley before the end of summer but it certainly doesn’t feel like the end of the season.

Les Houches is where it’s at right now and after the success of the ride from Nid d’Aigle it seemed a shame not to check out some of the other lines on the map.

The dotted red line that traverses round rather than over Mont Lachat was the first, and whatdaya know, turns out it is a quick easy way round to the Col Mont Lachat. There is one short section with … [Read full post]

This is mountain biking.

If you're going to fall, try to fall right.

You hear “Epic” describing a lot of things about Chamonix. Surrounded by deeds of derring do from alpinist, skiers, parapontists and such then as a lowly mountainbiker you really have to work to earn the title “epic” for a ride. You could try having horrendous weather to battle through, major mechanicals that required ingenuity & creativity to overcome and make it back. Distance, height gain, length of time riding are options for epic. Injuries can count too because after all, epic doesn’t have to mean good.

So why do I think this ride should count as epic? It wasn’t particularly … [Read full post]

Last chance to ride ___________

Robbie getting distracted by the view

Normally “where shall we ride today?” is a tricky question, but for the last week it’s been a bit easier to get an answer.”We’ll ride wherever the lifts are about to close”. So that’s Brevent, Flegere and Le Tour, in that order.

An alternative answer has also been “I’m not going out in that, it’s snowing”. Which is true, winter made its first appearance of the autumn resulting in a fair bit of snow down to 1700m or so and some purty looking north faces once the clouds finally lifted. It didn’t do the biking communities enthusiasm to ride any … [Read full post]

3.10 is the magic number

Ridgeline. Putting the "pic" in Epic

And why is it the magic number? Because that’s when the last tram leaves Le Fayet for Bellevue, but I’m getting ahead of myself, back to the start.

Every spring I start with the intention of riding all 10 bike friendly lifts on the Chamonix lift pass in a day, and every autumn arrives without me having done so. It’s a trickier challenge to complete than it first appears as the window to get it done is pretty small. Most of the good riding from the lifts is on trails off limits during the July & August bike ban, and … [Read full post]

Who’s way?

"Who's trail" Not a bad start to the ride.

Five weeks is a loooong time to be off your bike in a Chamonix summer! In the past bikes have given me plenty of broken bones (which did generally heal) and scars (that chicks were disappointingly uninterested in) that have kept me away from sports for longer, but 5 weeks with what is basically a sore thumb has been pretty annoying. Still, thanks to the excellent work of the consultants and surgeons at Chamonix & Annemasse’s hospitals, and the brilliant physio from Neil at Clinique du Sport (what percentage of Chamonix residents go through their doors every year?) I can … [Read full post]