Sunday, 10 August 2014

Where do guides from Beaufort ride on their day off?

In Beaufort of course, and they show off what they can to their visiting friends!

Two friends of mine made the one and a half hour drive from Chamonix Valley into the Beaufortain.  I insisted that they came early so that we could get on the 9am bus (!) and make the most of the day.  The bike buses are great over here, but if you don't plan it correctly you can easily loose large chunks of the day.  Another reason a helping local hand is so useful.

From the top of Mont Bisane it was time for 18km of descending all the way to Albertville.   When I say all the way, I'm forgetting the 300m of vert 3/4 of the way through.  It's so worth it though, the trail features everything you can think of in a package that was related to "Servoz woods" by Tom H.  We made it down with about 25 minutes to spare and 'boshed' down some cans of coke whilst resisting the temptation to eat kebabs and instead opting for Tarte Beaufort's.  When in Rome you know!

Roller-coaster rollers

Tech climbing

little teapots

Down here!

After lots of deliberating about what to show my friends for the afternoon we settled on classic Col de Pre trails. A hot pedal followed by some creative bike packing saw us climbing the last section into the woods.  At the trail head we, well Wim, chatted with some old locals about mountain biking in the area.  We all dropped in and they loved seeing us disappear off down the rocky trail.  Gloria was getting her flow on now! Super lekker! Whilst others over shot corners.

We were not done after the flow show as we all had a little bit of energy left.  And also guides still have work to do on their days off.  It was time for me to ride a new trail too!  Pink Eye.
Top Tip-  Never ask guides where trail names come from...

Always climbing to be done
 After a short climb we ate some madeline's, talked about deep-frying chocolate bars, and we talked about trail names...  This trail we were all about to be shown was not super long, but it was lots of fun.  Grassy meadows, rocks and roots and even a waterfall. But best of all, it finished right into Beaufort town, near the bar!

Gloria ordered a huge Hoegaarden beer, cos Colorado girls aren't just good at mountain biking, but they are also good at beer drinking!  Happy trails to you my dear!
Pink eye delight

Pink eye delight part 2

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Magnetic tree's and more...

  1. an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.

    As well as characters that feature idea's of grandeur we've had some great tree leaning sessions.  There's one tree in Areches that just seems to pull everyone in!  Once your around it though, it kicks you out into some great fast riding...

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Story of the summer

Once it was like this:

Chamonix-meteo.com says:
PRECIPITATION : scattered from noon - possible thunderstorm - changing to continuous and locally heavy rain in the evening.
PRECIPITATION : becoming moderate in the first part of the night - probably continuous until dawn.
PRECIPITATION : continuous and moderate in the morning - changing to showers, fairly heavy in the afternoon.
Very uncertain...

Hopefully by Thursday we can get back to ever classic Massif views rather than views of muddy bikes, brushes and dirty shorts:

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Once a week treat

A journey of utilising a small village chairlift that is only open for one day a week

Over here there is a lift that is only open on Tuesday, so when the weather plays ball it's time to get up and gain some easy height to access two of the very best trails around all of the Alps.

A bit of pushing straight up a piste and a traverse around the hillside lead us to a col with breathtaking views back across the Beaufortain and Massif du Mont Blanc.  In the other direction you could see south into the Isere region.  Somewhere below in the clouds was Albertville where we'd eventually finish off for the bus ride home.

The trail from the col traverses across aplages on singletrack before hitting a gravel track that skirts the hillside for several kilometres linking up all the local farms and huts.  This is cheese country after all.  It's by one of these farm's that we cut off up through a field to find a trail head that just begins out of nowhere when looking on the map.  It's strange, because it's an amazing undulating balcon of a trail.  It is however about 1 hour from the lift station.

another ribbon of delight
After traversing, don't miss the turn downwards into the some of the tightest swtichbacks around.  You must do this section to then be rewarded with the choice of two amazing trails.  These really are some of the best around, many people who've been down rate them as the best, topping les Arc, all of Destination X and even topping the best in Europe according to one guy.
Fast tick, loam tick, flowing corners tick, technical sections tick, long, hell yeah!

The two trail's converge 4/5 of the way down and end in a small village which then requires an 8km flat road ride into Albertville to get the bus home.  The descent is usually so well received people are not bothered at all.  There is also a nice water fountain at the bottom to cool off and re-fill bladders with.  

After the excitement of that for one day only I had to put up with trails and views like this in 30.C temperatures:

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Its not actually been a bad week to be injured

As far as injuries go, the wettest week in the alps isn't a bad one to miss


Before the constant rain and mist enveloped us we rode some great trails:

And then this happened, snow down to 1800m:

And as you can "follow" in my instragram I've been cooking up perfect Savoyard winter food to keep warm:

Today I've been getting back up to speed in the mist and remnants of the mud.  There is talk of it getting up to 30.c by the end of the week.  Could it even be dusty trails with enduro goggle set-up?

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ridgelines rule!

They are generally so good, you don't want to stop for photo's, but when the views are so good you must try once or twice:

Monti Bianco from the Beuafortain
Massif du Mont Blanc from the Beaufort-Areches