Cycling in the high mountains. Alps, Dolomites, Pyranees etc

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  • Road trip down to Annecy and then Bedoin area starting in mid week.

    Any recommendations for routes (route files?), plus general things worth checking out for family holiday success?

    Still hoping to have a crack at les cingles, subject to getting a couple of big rides done near Annecy as warm up.

  • Cinglés ? yup did it in June 2018. My best day ever cycling. I did the classic and in my eyes recommended version of Bedoin, Malaucene, Sault.

    Started at 7 a.m. and finished about 4 p.m.


    Obligatory video

  • I was there a couple of weeks ago. Amazing offroad stuff too but if you've just got a road bike, take in the Gorges de la Nesque, stunning scenery and gorgeous tarmac.

    The outdoor municipal pool is very nice (but you will need speedos) and pretty much necessary after a roasting hot ride! I guess the family are too young to take in some Provence wine tasting?

  • I've been in Denmark the last two months and am going to be down in the south of France for two weeks in early July. I'm planning to ride Ventoux and the Tourmalet. I have my steel Serotta with 35mm lightbicycle carbon rim brake wheels. with me in Denmark at the moment. I've used these wheels a lot in the Lake District and they got pretty scorchio descending some of the more lairy climbs there but obviously the south of France is considerably more lumpy. Is it madness to descend Ventoux and Tourmalet on these/is it worth getting my partner to post a set of alloy wheels I have at home over in advance? She could also bring them with her on the plane when she comes to visit though it's quite a faff obviously.

  • The climbs of the Lake District tend to be steeper, so you can't just let go of the brakes in the way you can in the high mountains. Are you someone who's on the brakes all the time, or do you tend to carry more speed and only brake when you need to?

    I'd risk it myself, it's not like you'll be racing so if the rims get hot you can always stop and take in the scenery whilst they cool down.

  • Don't really remember any sketchy bits on Ventoux, wide roads and mostly long straights between the hairpins. I'm a bit of a cautious descender around here in the narrow steep lanes, as there is always the chance of a car or cattle on a blind corner, but the fact that you can see the road in front of you for miles is amazing. I'd imagine it's the same for the Tourmalet, ,

  • Conversely I found the Bedoin section a bit dull, with not much to look at, and was glad I started and finished the day on the Malaucene road.

  • Cheers Andy. Yeah I’m on and off the brakes, I’m pretty light so gravity works less viciously on me than bulkier riders.

    Likewise @Kurai, thanks for the intel

  • I'd imagine it's the same for the Tourmalet

    It is. No really prolonged hard braking on either.

  • Do you have any tips on getting there? Or to that part of the Pyrenees in general? Having looked it up, I'm quite taken by the idea of going for a week in the summer, but can't work out the best way. I want to avoid flying if I can, but it seems like there aren't a huge number of other options.

  • Overnight train to Tarbes once Eurostar start letting bikes on again. The sleeper train is such a great way to travel; leave Paris at 10pm, sleep well, wake up in the Pyrenees.

  • Thanks, this is very useful. So getting to Paris with the bike is currently the only obstacle while Eurostar are still not accepting bikes? It seems that bikes on the night train from Paris to Tarbes is fairly straightforward to sort.

  • Has anyone tried the bag a bike up and put it on the eurostar?
    Really brings back the use for couplers.

  • I've only done eurostar + metro + sleeper with a snowboard bag. No such restrictions there

  • It's silly huh. If you can take that then why not a bike in a bag.

    I think of jammy's bike in a breifcase. I'd like one tbh.

  • You'll be waiting in vein, so make alternative plans. A ferry and then trail from Lille might be an option. Or a tgv station to the west.

  • Like this

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  • They x-ray luggage, so it's highly probable that a) they'll see it contains a bike and b) point out that bikes are currently allowed. It's a high risk strategy to try and disguise it. It's be easier to get the train to Dover, ferry to Calais and then a train from there to Paris.

  • this is what triggered DBAD ;)

    if its under 85cm, they wont care

    i even tried this once, denied, walked to Eurodispatch

  • Is there a reason why they're not allowed on the train though. Surely if they're in a luggage box of normal size then well yeah they'd be jobs worth's you're right.

  • they are saying bikes that fit inside 85cm dimensions are fine

  • Amey on tourmalet.

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  • i considered taking the brompton at one point

  • We flew to Toulouse and picked up a hire car. Not even close to environmentally friendly, but it was six years ago. I couldn’t say what the train service in to Luchon is like, but it is still an active spa/ski town so I’m sure there’ll be decent links.

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Cycling in the high mountains. Alps, Dolomites, Pyranees etc

Posted by Avatar for amey @amey