Tag Archives: Brevent

Unintended consequences/Chamonix Bike Ban

Chamonix's most photogenic corner. No can do in July and August.
Why the Chamonix Bike Ban doesn't really make much difference to summer biking in Chamonix.

Yeah, but what’s the best descent in Chamonix……

Picture this: Another one of Chamonix's top trails, it just didn't make the cut though...
What are ten of the best mountain bike descents in Chamonix? Well it might be these....

An interlude.

Up above the (cold in the shade) streets and houses.

It’s December. The day of the longest night to be exact. Eleven days before the end of the year, and we’re riding our bikes.

As a lefty-liberal-pinko-socialist who will talk at you for hours on why capitalism will fail as it doesn’t obey the 1st or 2nd laws of thermodynamics, it’d be expected of me to launch into a rant about global warming and how it’s all our fault here.

But it’s christmas, you’re saved, I’ll be nice and no bother. Anyways, December is often a poor month for snow, often warm, often dry. Mibbies not so often good for … [Read full post]

Techy treat

4th November Aig des Houches: Banger of a shot courtesy of Lorne and much wheelie practice.

You into religion much?

I’m not sure why I put in the question mark, I don’t care in the slightest and it’s not relevant.

What does matter is that the French like a bit of Catholicism and just can’t get enough of their saints. Hence, all saints day is ‘something’ here, and we get a holiday.

Presumably we should be celebrating all those lucky souls who’ve made it to heaven, and all those the next day who’re stuck in purgatory. Instead we put on fancy dress* (c’mon, tell me bikers aren’t going to look back at what we’re wearing in … [Read full post]

The joy of Sixt

Start with a strong shot, end with a strong shot, Lorne descending from Col d'Anterne.

This week it has mostly been autumn.

Autumn is not a bad thing per se, the trees go a pretty colour for example. Holiday season is over so the hills are quiet. Everyone’s jobs dry up along with the tourists so we have more time to ride. These are all good things (except when rent/chainreactioncycles still needs paid)

No, the problem is it gets cold and the lifts are closing. You want to make the most of each lift before it shuts, but there are only so many good weather days to do it on. You want to make the … [Read full post]

Greatest hits

Sometimes it's easier just to miss out bits of the trail completely

Even if you’re far too core to lower yourself to buying a greatest hits album, I’m sure at Christmas an aunt will have remembered your obsession with Cliff Richard and got you a copy of “The whole story” (I googled it)

Before you got the greatest hits though, you’ll have listened through albums, heard singles on the radio. Over time the songs became kind of familiar, a bit too familiar. They lost the urgency and freshness they once had and worse, you can even grow to hate them.

I end up listening only to a select few tracks, the best … [Read full post]

Open for business. Still.

Wheeeeeeee(lie)

With the lift closing for summer at the end of September it seemed there was 2 options. Ride up the hills for once, or leave Chamonix until the lifts opened again for the French ½ term break. I chose the latter.

Back in town almost 4 weeks later and the leaves have changed colour but otherwise it seems to be business as usual for riding. Only the Brevent lifts have been opened mind, so if you don’t like steep techy rock sections and/or fast flowy but narrow singletrack, then tough I guess.

With the upper section of Brevent running this … [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]

This ‘n’ that

After a spring of moaning about the cold and snow, the sun’s come out and it’s got dry and hot. So instead now everyone’s moaning about it being too hot and dry. On the plus side, the +30 degree temps, blazing sunshine and a bit of warm rain has put a fair dent in the snowpack and things are starting to get a bit easier to ride up high.

Conveniently most of the valley’s lifts have opened for the summer season now, which has saved us from having to actually exercise in the heat, instead we can just enjoy a … [Read full post]