Tag Archives: enduro

Coupe du France Enduro Series round 1, Blausasc

Is fixing bikes in YOUR garden as photogenic as this? Last chance to prep the bikes.

When I last raced DH in 2000 I remember looking at the results of the masters category and thinking that I’ll come back to racing next decade and I can get to be competitive again. It’s been 14 years, but I look through the names of the masters category and now they’re the ones top ten-ing in the overalls. No chance of being competitive there then.

So instead I looked at enduro, apparently the refuge of downhillers who were never quite quick enough, and sure enough, the start list is again filled with the heroes of my youth. Still, how … [Read full post]

Public transport: Dorenaz.

Dorenaz isn't only about steep and rocky

Generally when you think of using public transport to ride your bike, it’s looking sheepish as you trail mud through a Scotrail carriage to hook your bike up by the toilet then sit getting cold on the way back home.

Switzerland is a bit different. In Switzerland the topography lends itself more to cable cars than trains so access to many smaller villages is by publicly run telepheriques. Dorenaz is one such place where the local bus driver also sells tickets and presses buttons on a 670m height gain gondola.

As Dorenaz is at only 450m and the hill faces … [Read full post]

Last minute panic lift riding/local races for local people

Winners podium. Cham-style

“The nights are fair drawing in” I’ve heard no-one say recently, but it doesn’t change that at the end of the month, most of the alps’ lift operators start to stop putting the 50 centime pieces in the chairlift machines and going down needs you to consider getting up first.

Here’s a list of the closing dates for our nearby lifts, along with a couple of beacons of hope for us:

Chamonix

VALLORCINE: 1st Sept

GRANDS MONTETS: 8th Sept

PRARION: 15th Sept

BREVENT: 15th Sept (then Oct 19th to Nov 3rd)

FLEGERE: 15th Sept

LE TOUR … [Read full post]

Risoul Deval (turns out the deval IS in the detail…)

Across the world, the end of the ski season is marked by weird races thought up by, usually drunk, ski bums who don’t really want the snow to melt, but if the inevitable’s going to happen then they might as well have fun doing it. Hence the “Peak to Pub” multi sport carnage which takes place annually from Mnt Hutt to Cairngorm.

Risoul’s been running the Deval for 9 years now, which involves an off-piste ski from 2500m down to the resort at 1800, then a 10km ish enduro bike down to the River Durance at roughly 900m where the … [Read full post]

Singletrack heaven: La Thuile

With the best trails in Chamonix busy with walkers and trail runners, a (nother) road trip was in order, this time through the Mont Blanc tunnel to La Thuile. The trip’s an easy 45 minutes (if you don’t get stuck in traffic….) and stress free once you’ve found the chairlift (look out for the “bikers welcome” sign on a café, and turn next left!)

A quick summary if you just want to look at the pictures: if you’re on a DH bike, best to stay on the main road till you hit Aosta, then ride Pila, or keep going over … [Read full post]

Aye Grand, Massif

First things first. It’s been really hot in the alps, and dry (It still comes as a surprise to a Scot that very dry = very little grip on singletrack, but that’s basically what condition the trails are in everywhere this week.) Very little grip and you have to either be first, 6 inches off the leaders tyre or way way back to see anything. The weather has finally broken however and a few days of rain should help tack everything back up, and save us from heat stroke.

It’s also really busy here in Chamonix, so Tom, Lorne & … [Read full post]

First chair, last col – Les Portes du Mont Blanc

Tuesday seemed to be a popular day for getting out of Chamonix. Groups were heading to Pila, La Thuile and the road cols of the Aravais. True to our Scottish roots, Lorne & I chose to make the 45 minute drive to the area with the cheapest lift pass, the Portes du Mont Blanc. 12.50euro for a day pass still represents a fair outlay in Irn Bru mind, so we were there for the 1st bin and rode till they closed the lifts on us.

So what was the riding like? Very different to Chamonix. A break down of … [Read full post]