Morzine – Road biking

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  • Morzine – Road biking
  • Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    I’d like to cross the Pyrenees, BasqueMTB do an organised version.

    Were you thinking of staying in one place? Could do worse than round where I live (west of Madrid, quite a few decent cat1 climbs in the mountains here) for 3-4 days, then take a train somewhere else for a few more… Edit: not sure about the social aspect, though!

    jet26
    Member

    Ideally was thinking of staying in one place just then it’s simpler but open to suggestions.

    have ridden in Majorca previously but no organised trips in June and ten days of dinner for one every night might get a bid tedious!

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    You want to speak to these people. I’ve stayed with them (mountain biking), they are delightful and know the area well. They are based just outside Les Gets (5 min walk to town and on the Morzine side). Rob (owner) has done quite a lot of road biking and when we were last there they had a couple of roadies staying too

    Blue Ridge – Les Gets

    Premier Icon Stu_N
    Subscriber

    Morzine is a good location for road stuff. The main D902 is pretty busy but you dont need to use that much. You have Avoriaz (Cat1), the col between Morzine and Abondance (Cat 1), the Encrinaz (probably a 2 but neve been used in a big tour AFAIK), Joux Plan (HC from Samoens end, a true Big Col), the climb through Sommand (Cat 1) very loval. There’s lots of lovely riding in the Vallee Verte too (area W of Morzine between Lake Geneva and the main valley to Chamomix); not massive climbs by alpine standards but plenty of them. If you want to go firther afield the Aravais is doable too and the road to Flaine. That should work you over for a week without too much repetition.

    Don’t think anyone does specific “road”trips but Carl and Sian who work for Flow will set you straight for route ideas if you go with them.

    jet26
    Member

    Thanks Stu/jambalaya. I think the Morzine sportive is on June 23 so may try and tie in with that and ride it.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Was out in Morzine with the road bike 3 or 4 years ago. Lots of stuff to do, from really big loops over big cols to smaller, easier stuff in the valleys for rest/recovery days.

    I think Stu has covered all the major ones we did. The Joux Plan really was a bit of a monster, really great descent back in to Morzine too.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Just to repeat what I wrote on another thread.

    I hate the climb up the Col du Joux Plane, I did it on my road bike last year and lost pounds of flesh to the horsefly’s, it was a **** nightmare, worst experience on a bike ever.

    Although without the horsefly’s and maybe a bit of a cooler day, it could have been a very challenging but nice ride.

    jet26
    Member

    Had my eye on Joux Plan to samoens and then back over from the other side.

    Lap of lake Geneva sounds a good (if long) flat ride too.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    The tourist office has a little booklet with about 10 recommender rides iirc.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    ust to repeat what I wrote on another thread.

    I hate the climb up the Col du Joux Plane, I did it on my road bike last year and lost pounds of flesh to the horsefly’s, it was a **** nightmare, worst experience on a bike ever.

    Although without the horsefly’s and maybe a bit of a cooler day, it could have been a very challenging but nice ride.

    Interesting that, when we did there were no insects of any sort to bother us. The Col de la Ramaz on the other hand…. The lower slopes through the trees were awful for the little bastards.

    dashed
    Member

    Check out Ride Morzine – Phil is a top chap and well into his road biking as well as mtb.

    jet26
    Member

    As above – anyone been? is it any good?

    Want to go for 7-10 days in June to get some big miles/hills in as training for the Etape/other stuff.

    Probably going alone so fancied chalet type set up then there’s people to chat to in an evening.

    Anyone been? Anything good? Or other suggestions?

    Cheers

    phil.w
    Member

    Lap of lake Geneva sounds a good (if long) flat ride too

    Will you have a car with you?

    If not it’s a couple of hour round trip just to the lake and back.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    It’s good…but in my opinion there’s better places for purely alpine road. The problem with Morzine is it’s in the northern alps which generally gets worse (wetter) weather than further south.

    Bourg d’Oisans would be a more traditional choice for many from many countries. You have the Croix de Fer, Ornon, Alpe d’Huez, Lauteret, Les Deux Alpes, Col des Sarennes, La Berade, Galibier, Lauteret, Glandon etc….

    Best road biking trip I’ve had to date though has been based from near Barcolentte S. of Briancon. Bonette Restfond, col d’Allos, and lots of others whose name currently slips my mind. Alpes Provencale scenery. Another option would be the S coast…but it’s starting to be holiday season shortly.

    Loads of options, I would never think of going to Morzine specifically for road biking. But depends on thiks such as airport destinations etc.

    I live near Grenoble and to date this spring the weather has been awful by normal standards. I encountered white fluffy stuff at 660m 3km from my house on Saturday…

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    I did this last year.

    I was based in a chalet in St Jean D’Aulps (about 5km’s out of Morzine). Think it was ~£30 per night B&B.

    Did a bunch of stuff which Stu has pretty much covered except to add the Col du Corbier (a cat 1 which was in the Dauphine last year I think) which you can also pick up le Grand Taillet on the way back (a nice ~60km ride). Beautiful scenery too.

    My favourite ride was Col de Joux Plane – Samoens – Muessy – Messy – Col de la Ramaz – l’Encrenaz (you could always finish up Avoriaz if you want a hard day 😉 ). To be honest the Joux Plane is much better done from Samoens IMHO but la Ramaz is better done from the Messy side… I’ve done it both ways and the Ramaz descent is better than the Joux Plane so maybe best in opposite direction after all Its about 100 km’s.

    We also did a day trip to the Alpe which was a long drive to ride 60-odd km’s!

    I loved it and would be heading back this summer if I wasn’t so unfit (and heavier than last year) 🙁

    I never had any bother with insect life (did Joux Plane x 3 and la Ramaz x 2) but last year was generally cooler than usual I think.

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    phil.w – Member

    Lap of lake Geneva sounds a good (if long) flat ride too

    Will you have a car with you?

    If not it’s a couple of hour round trip just to the lake and back.

    Its also in Switzerland, so don’t forget your passport… :mrgreen:
    My mate got stopped without his I think!

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    re lake Geneva you don’t have to ride all the way round, you can take a ferry, eg Nyon -> Yvoire but lot’s of options, which if you are planning on riding to/from the lake from Morzine might be worthwhile.

    Also I did Destination-X with Trail Addiction last year and there were lots of roadies out in/around Areches-Beaufort, in fact way more roadies than MTB’s there.

    My mates who’ve done etape have tended to favour Mallorca for training (although in May before it gets too hot) or around Annecy and then Provence which allows you get in Ventoux.

    Good luck with it all

    Yeh, loads of good riding. Try http://velovation.co.uk/

    jet26
    Member

    May drive down then can head elsewhere for a day if I fancy it and could then take the mtb too and ride off road – assuming there’s some good wheels on the ground all day epics? Like riding up just as much as down these days – not really a lift/dh type

    Premier Icon Stu_N
    Subscriber

    The hardest day I have ever done on a bike was Samoens – Joux Plan – Morzine – Avoriaz – Morzine – Encrinaz – Taninges – Samoens. Only about 100km but with 2,500m of climbing and apart from the last pull up the valley (which was into a strong Fohn wind) there was no flat whatsoever. You could add another dimension to that by going up to Samoens 1600 before the Joux Plan if that sounds too easy. 🙂

    Another possibility for pain is the “small” climbs around Cluses; there was a stage in (I think) 2010 that used the loop of road through Arache, down to Cluses then up through Romme; from there you can drop back into Cluses or go over the Col d’Aravais proper. Once you’re over that there is a massive descent back down through Grand Bornard and Petit Bornard to Bonneville that is about 30k of downhill with a couple of small climbs.

    Other tips
    – there is a minor road from Pont des Gets heading S on the opposite side of the gorge to the main road that is really nice as a descent and much more pleasant than the main road as a climb.
    – the Vallee Verte, lovely as it is, is really quite undeveloped – you can struggle to find things open for food/ drink even in peak season.

    I’d say the road riding is as good as the MTB for variety; not been far south but central alps seems to be big, committing loops whereas Morzine area you can to a degree at least mix and match.

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    hardest day I have ever done on a bike was Samoens – Joux Plan – Morzine – Avoriaz – Morzine – Encrinaz – Taninges – Samoens. Only about 100km but with 2,500m of climbing and apart from the last pull up the valley (which was into a strong Fohn wind) there was no flat whatsoever.

    Ouch, sounds like a tough start! Which route did you go up Avoriaz? I went up the main road and down the lake road through the goat village. Never tried it in e opposite, looked steeper!

    Oh and jet, its probably teaching yer grunnie to suck eggs but make sure you have low enough gearing, 14-15km of continuous climbing is tough enough. I found 34×25 was good up to ~15%. My mate managed with 39×25 but he’s pretty fit and barely weighs well under 70kg…

    john_l
    Member

    Stu pretty much has it – don’t forget the Colombiere as well though 🙂 we’ve based ourselves in Arache a few times & there’s also good mtbing around Flaine if you have the choice.

    jet26
    Member

    Thanks all for suggestions. Thanks metal for heads up. Got 34×25 on the best bike and 34×28 on the winter bike so hope should be ok – Peak District climbs to thank for that.

    Think may give morzine a go – don’t mind repeating rides – just want lots of hills to ride up and somewhere to get good coffee and food on the chill days.

    chief9000
    Member

    Lap of lake Geneva sounds a good (if long) flat ride too

    Its very flat. 176 km in all.

    Premier Icon Stu_N
    Subscriber

    Metalheart – just went up and down the main road into Avoriaz, didn’t think to try the Joux Verte.

    And in the above I have mixed up Colombiere (which i have ridden) and Aravais (which I haven’t). Colombiere is lovely and can do on quiet roads, the Aravais puts you on the Chamomix – Albertville N road for a bit which put me off.

    hels
    Member

    I spent 3 months out there once with a selection of bikes. The Ramaz was always my favorite, although a bit scary if you don’t like exposed roads with about 1000 metre drops and a foot high fally aparty wall between you and certain death. But as I recall it had the best cafe at the top.

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    hels: I don’t recall la Ramaz being terrifying form a drops perspective. I do remember panicking after entering the tunnel on the descent with my shades on and not being able to see a damn thing! In the opposite direction it’s weird the way noise travels along it. There was a guy in front of me and god knows what he was doing, but it didn’t sound good… 😉 mind you I probably didn’t sound too heathly at that point myself.

    Jet: the 25 should do you fine, just avoid Le Biot and Mt Evian, waaaaay too steep for me. The 28 will let you climb trees!

    thebiglad
    Member

    I can highly recommend “Ride Morzine” as a company and their chalet has just been refitted to a very high standard. As for the road riding it is excellent, not only are there several cols within a days riding,there is also the option of more rolling rides further down the valley

    jet26
    Member

    Cheers biglad – have contacted them and some others. Anyone used reach4thealps? Lots of glowing reviews it seems online.

    Appreciate Morzine not as many options as Bourg but looks good and can do some mincing xc mtb too whilst there.

    Quite fancying a double or triple Joux Plan to get the legs going. Anyone out there in June??

    justatheory
    Member

    The tour passed through there one year. The chalet where I was stayed on my ski holiday was where Team Sky stayed, they had a signed jersery on the wall and a photo of Wiggins, Boasson Hagen, Geraint Thomas et al. Company is called RideandSlide and the chalet is called Chalet Guytaune. Really nice place.

    olibramford
    Member

    Jet26: My dad and I run a Morzine-based road biking holiday company, called Forever Morzine. We’ve got an extensive range of the best tried and tested local routes, with gpx downloads. We also run a Route d’Avoriaz time trial competition, and offer optional day-excursions, if you wanted to bag some climbs that are a little further afield.

    Our guests eat dinner together in the evenings, so you’ll definitely find other passionate cyclists to ride with. Our guests also have access to heavily-subsidized bike hire. We’re based in the centre of Morzine.

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