Tag Archives: Servoz

An object in motion remains in motion unless…

If you look hard enough in the trees, somewhere 15 mins from the centre of Chamonix, you too can find the BC porthole.
Spring. New shoots, new growth and new trail building in Chamonix.

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]

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Rider's head partially cropped, blurry background, partially focussed, photographer about to be hit by bike. It can only be a MBUK cover from the early 90's

Forgive me if my memory is a little hazy, I’m casting my mind back 20 odd years here, but I think the first bike magazine I bought was some long bust title called MTBtrail or MTB rider or such. I forget exactly, but the title’s not important.

The contents included an article on converting your bike from 3×6 to 3×7 (and whether you needed 7 gears at the back and perhaps that it might cause the bike to be too fragile and anyway you certainly don’t need 8 gears, that would be crazy). There were some words on rides you … [Read full post]

black and white

It's not winter yet dammit.

10 minutes from the front door is one of the only bike friendly uplifts running in the alps and from the top of the Brevent gondola an embarrassingly large number of trails work their way down the sunny side of the Chamonix valley.

So obviously we dingied that and went and pedalled up a hill for 1200 meters.

Last summer I injured my thumb and couldn’t ride. Instead I had to run about trails with a branch in my hands making bike noises. One of the trails I found looked like it would make a grand wee ride, if a … [Read full post]

Seven days and counting

Singletrack, boulders, sunshine. All good.

Summer’s here. Skies are blue, temps are high, taps aff etc.

Eager to enjoy the weather before it turns (another side effect of being Scottish, you can never, never learn to trust the weather to stay good) Spence and I headed out for an easy(ish…) day to check out a new trail and see where the snow level had got to.

I try to avoid the lift accessed trails when the lifts aren’t running (seven days till they open) in favour of more esoteric trails so I’ve spent a lot of the last month riding above Servoz. Today was no … [Read full post]

Last train to cold*

A balmy summers day ride, if you're from the north east.

Winter’s turned up again in Chamonix, only this time she’s brought her luggage and it looks like she’s staying for a while.

Normally the easiest way to escape her clutches is to head down the road to Saleve, only a quick glance at the website showed they’ve closed until the end of March for works. Valley trails under our own steam it is.

Down the valley and past Vaudagne the geography of the valley changes from the granite boulders and steep coniferous lined slopes around town to mellow slopes with deciduous trees and loamy ground, perfect for the icy conditions.… [Read full post]

Melt. Freeze. Cycle.

Ah, the birds are singing, flowers poking through the grass. It must be spring, and so the bike has been dragged out of the cave it’s languished in for the last 4 months of winter and I’ve been back in the saddle.

Of course, this being the mountains, no sooner had the sun come out and the snow melted then it started to dump with snow in the valley and the big skis came back out of the locker again. This pattern will be set to continue for the next month or so, but at least it means we get … [Read full post]

Known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns

I grew up riding in Scotland and sometimes, just sometimes, I can really miss the riding there. Don’t get me wrong, Chamonix trails are ridiculously good, who wouldn’t want to be quickly whisked up 1000m to ride off on trails, almost every one looking and feeling like it’s from a movie, all in great weather. Or at least great if you’re Scottish.

But despite this, or perhaps because of this, I miss having to ride up singletrack roads, fire roads, push up muddy sheep tracks and, when all else fails, just sprachel straight up the hill with the bike all … [Read full post]

Escape from the valley

The trails straight above Chamonix are amazing, but generally steep and tech, with roots and rocks abounding. After some pretty wet weather had passed through it seemed a better idea to ride some more flowing singletrack whilst the rocks and roots dried out. We headed down the valley past Vaudagne and out to Servoz to start the long road climb up to the Lac Vert car park. The views help take your mind off the legs and the promise of a rest at the fountain in the middle of the road at Le Mont keeps you going. Alas, the fountain … [Read full post]