I'm staying just North of Foix in September. Anybody know this area?
Ideas for places to go mountain biking in France
Munge - we went for 3 weeks last year (door to door, stopping a day on the way out and back) so had a few more days than you. We also took in Lake Guarda for 3 days, so if you took that out too you would have a similar amoutn of time to us. I ought to say I quite enjoy the driving in the Alps, so was happy to tour aroud in our camper, drive over famous cols, drink coffees, speak bad French etc. Our itinery was pretty much this:
3 Days at Venosc - 1 day chilling out and buying kit after the drive, a day at Deux Alps and a day on the via ferrata.
Drive to Bourg St Maurice (Les Arc) via a days riding at Valloire
3 nights at Bourg St Maurice, so 2 days riding at Les Arcs via the funiclar to the lift stations. Rode Black 8 on the day we left to drive to Chamonix
4 nights at Chamonix, 3 days riding (Trient decent, local valley stuff then a day around Les Houches / St Gervais). Quick trip up to the Midi before breakfast on the last day (you may as well as it's now including in the expensive lift pass)
3 Nights at Lake Garda - very nice riding, plus a beach which is always good.
2 Nights at Sauxe D'Olx - day riding the resort
3 or 4 nights at Allemont to ride Alpe D'Huez and do some climbing, before heading home via Annacy and a stop in Ypres for some proper lagers.
Fantastic trip and not too expensive if you camp and do some of your own cooking, buy beers in shops etc. Tempted to do something similar this year, although heading further east or north is tempting too.
AGent do you mind if I PM you for a bit more info/guidance! That is VERY useful and would be great. Thanks.
Yeah, go ahead. I spent enough time on research to share around!
Cool I will e-mail you this evening when I get home from work. Thanks a lot.
email in profile, or use my singletrack name @gmail.com
Out of interest, how was Sauxe D'Olx, would it be worth a side visit from Montgenevre and if so, how long would it take to get there.
From what I unnderstand, the riding is more flowey singletrack than full on downhill stuff. Is this right?
Are all these alpine suggestions relistic in early May? many ski resorts are open 'till end of April...
Most resorts shut completely through May and June. This is when many of the people who run the businesses have their holidays, so they are real ghost towns.
Near Perpignan, sun, sea, top trails. Never ridden the exact area in the video but there is absolutely loads just inland from the med.
Depends on where you are going, LEs Deux Alpes the lifts are open on 18th June and beginning of June for lifts in Chamonix. To be fair the MTB Europe book with Rowan Sorrell so far has been realyl useful, if not making it a tad more complicated as he mentions places I had never even thought of!
Yep, lift opening dates vary a lot. Chamonix opens early, presumably because of the amount of walkers.
Sauze D'Olx is described a "flowy" and an intermediate venue in that MTB Europe book I think. I find it hard to categorise trails as "full on DH", "Freeride" etc. I'm certainly not good at DH, eg in terms of being able to ride a course like Fort William in under 5 minutes and I dont do jumps particularly or ride a 8" travel bike, but I could ride it and clear it all on my LT2. But, there's plenty of what you might call XC stuff around Chamonix that I wouldnt clear and would challenge anyone to ride at speed!
Anyway, Sauze had lots of riding in the trees, a bit like a more extreme version of the Welsh trail centre descents. Some of the new trails were new and not really bedded in. There are plenty of "black" obstacles, though all avoidable. I liked it, different to the french resorts with cheaper lifts.
What made me smile was the way ALL of the local riders clocked off at lunchtime for huge BBQs and beers, the lifts stop for an hour. There definitely isnt a rush for the first lift after lunch either unless you're a UK rider! Also, most local riders are male, the WAGS spend the day sunbathing underneath the lifts.
Dont know how far it is from the other resorts, but it was only an hour from Briancon and near Bardonecchia (sp!) (but a difficult trip if your Bongo is spurting coolant all over the road.....)
Right, having had a look at the Mountain Biking Europe book, Bourg Saint Maurice / Les Arcs, Chamonix, and Livigno in Italy look perfect. I'm going to Sierra Nevada in September anyway, and having the book confirms it will be everything I hope it will be.
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