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 with walkers it’s difficult to get any real flow.

Aig Posettes

If you want to stay in the valley, there’s still plenty of trails open for bikes, enough keep anyone visiting busy for a few days at least. The Chamonix Bike Guide has written an excellent summary of these trails here:

As for the other option, trying some new trails, well, why not? Here’s some links to some bike friendly uplift within 1hr (well, 1hr ish) of Chamonix. Should keep us busy for 2 months…..


Portes du Soleil:

Grand Massif:

Portes du Mont blanc:


La Thuile:



And if you’re not wanting to spend the money on a lift pass (you spent it all on the Chamonix pass?) then a bit further afield is Saas Fee and Tignes, both with FREE uplift this summer!


  1. Posted on 5th July 2012 at 20:35

    Worth noting the free uplift is only if you are staying there. And Saas I believe does not allow bikes on the cable cars.

    • Posted on 5th July 2012 at 20:56

      Yup, for the free Saas Fee lift you need to have accommodation in the town, however this can be anything from 5* hotel to camping so not a great outlay. I believe you receive a guest card much like Chamonix’s Carte d’hote which gives visitors to the valley free public transport with their overnight accommodation. The main Saas Fee lifts don’t allow bikes, however the Kreuzboden lift in Saas-Grund does. I’ve not ridden in the area, so any tips from those who have greatly appreciated!
      As for Tignes, much like lunch, it’s not entirely free either. I think you have to fill in a questionnaire. Will post more information once I have first hand knowledge.

  2. Posted on 11th July 2012 at 11:15

    How’s Combloux? Its on my list to hit this summer seeing as the lift pass is only €12 for the day. Big bike worthy terrain or is it mixed?

    Vallorcine is so great at the moment its worth riding lot before they close it down at the end of August, even if you have to push back over the col to le Tour, and then maybe if a few more riders hit the new top section of le Tour it might actually flow, or this being to optimistic?

    • Posted on 11th July 2012 at 22:50

      Unfortunately I’ve not been over to Combloux yet, I’d planned to go this week for the “MB Week” which coincides with the trails and lifts opening, but didn’t get the time, next week hopefully. Speaking to a few folk who did the enduro race there at the weekend they didn’t think the trails needed anything more than their 160mm trail bikes.

      Lift passes outside of Chamonix seem amazing value, Combloux/Megeve 12.50, La Clusaz 16.20 and the whole Grand Massif 17.50!

      Couldn’t agree more about Vallorcine too, rode it before the lift opened and it needed a lot of work, the change in just a few weeks is amazing.