One of the great things about bikes is the opportunity to visit new areas and get a taste for the riding in them. Last week saw the Lapierre 2014 launch in Chatel and the chance to stay on for the 10th Anniversary Pass’Portes du Soliel, an 80km MTB randonée through the mountains. With two days to choose from to do the circuit we decided on the Saturday.
Saturday dawns and after a week of low cloud and cold temperatures, the Alps has decided to add a bit of torrential rain to the mix. Trails that were slowly drying and now hub deep in mud in sections which kinda ruins the flow of bikes if not run-off water. I’ve not really packed for the weather with only an emergency merino base layer for insulation, wearing everything I’ve brought; long sleeve merino base, long sleeve top, gilet and full goretex jacket, I’m regretting not packing a full face helmet for the extra insulation.
A drop into Morzine is extended while we hunt out warmth, coffee and a pair of googles so that we can at least see where we’re heading in the driving rain.
British conditions for British riders. On the plus side it’s keeping the lift queues to a minimum although the longer chairlifts are pretty brutal, long lengths of time spent shivering and wringing out gloves.
The main plus side is that the amount of water spray is stopping too much mud gathering on the bikes and there’s a hint of traction once the tyres dig deep enough into the gloop to bite.
A ride that feels much better in retrospect. I’ll be back next year to try it in more typical 25°c, dry and dusty conditions.
How was your weekend?