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Biking the French Alps

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 





I just returned from an excellent trip riding the French Alps.  We stayed at a chalet in Meribel, which had great views and is centrally located, but necessitated driving down the valley to get to most of the rides.   Day trips included Meribel to Courchevel and return, Col de Madeleine, Albertville to Annecy (flat day), col du Telegraphe and col du Glabier, Col de L’iseran, Alpe d’Huez & col de Sarenne,  and col du Glandon, col de la Croix du Fer and col du Mollard.  Great riding, outstanding food and good friends.


It’s quite fun to do a big climb and find a café with wonderful food.  The restaurant at the top of col de Madeleine, for example, was outstanding.  Col de Sarenne off the top of Alpe d’Huez was an unexpectedly gorgeous ride although the road was a bit bumpy.  My favorite climb was col du Glandon starting from Saint Jean de Maurienne (via la Chambre), which has long valley views and fields of wild blueberries at the top.  My favorite descents included col de L’Iseran and col du Mollard.  L’Iseran because it is fast and flowey, and Mollard because there were few other vehicles.   Total climbing for the week was about 39,000 feet.


BTW, I tried out some new wheels on this trip – Enve 3.4.  This is my first time on all carbon wheels.  They worked great on the descents – no braking issues – and they have exceptionally stable and precise wheelset.  


Here are some pics....


Bombing down col de L'Iseran from 2700


Photo: Rode col d'Iseran as part of day 6. Easier climb with a fun decent. Val d'Isere is an amazing area - would love to ski here! Tomorrow will not be easy - the plan is to ride Col de la Croix de Fer and Col du Glandon



View down from near to the top of col du Glandon






Near the top of col de Madeleine


Photo: Rode col de Madeleine today, bit of a grunt, but great ride and fast downhill. Pic is looking down from the col. Easier ride planned for tomorrow



Up Alpe d'Huez



post #2 of 5

That is quite the trip.  Thanks for sharing. 

post #3 of 5
Nice. I've been twice, both times in conjunction with le tour...I did the alp on game day, riding thru the Dutch section, for a moment I felt like I was an actual rider...drunks, in your face, yelling, pouring water on you etc...
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

One of our group put together a video of the riding in the Alps.   Like an impressionistic artist (think Monet) his video provides a great feel for the riding, culture and experience of biking in the Alps.  Although a bit long, Paul did a great job on the video.


Here's the link....





post #5 of 5



We biked out of Saint Jean de Maurienne and liked it so much we returned in the winter.  Just up the road is an amazing long gondola which takes you from the highway to the back entry of the Trois Vallees.  Affordable, and gets you up high ahead of the morning traffic.

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