Car free cycle path. Le Bourg d’Oisans – Allemont

Annecy - Albertville car free cycle path
Annecy – Albertville car free cycle path

One of the highlights of visiting the lake and mountains around Annecy for a cycling trip is the 45km paved road which links Annecy to Albertville. The road starts along the banks of beautiful Lac (Lake) Annecy and largely makes use of sections disused railway. The paved road is closed entirely to motorised vehicles and creates a safe family friendly alternative to the busy roads in the area.

Those visiting the Oisans region, no doubt attempt on the Alpe d’Huez, will almost certainly have experienced the dangerous long straight road into Bourg from the Grenoble or Allemont direction. This extremely busy section of road is the main artery through the region on the way from Grenoble to Briancon and onto Italy. Things have improved slightly over the years with the creation of sections of bike lanes.

Existing trail running close to the busy road section from Bourg d'Oisans
Existing trail running close to the busy road section from Bourg d’Oisans

However, out on an early season mountain bike ride this morning, I was reminded of how simple a solution there is to the problem. On either side if the local river ‘La Romanche’ are raised flood barriers both with smooth gravel roads, which are already popular with mountain bikers and walkers. I would hope there would be little resistance if one of these were paved and turned into the purpose built, car free cycle path that the areas so desperately needs.

These paved roads would not only link the two major valley towns of Le Bourg d’Oisans and Allemont, but also around Lac du Verney and the lakes created from former quarries east of La Vert.

Lets hope the powers that in Bourg and Allemont be sit up and take note of the success of the cycle only roads around Annecy.

Property of the week – Hotel BAB Venosc/Le Bourg d’Oisans

IMG_4846Hotel BAB Venosc/Le Bourg d’Oisans

Located just 8km along the valley from Le Bourg d’Oisans and the start of the climb to Alpe d’Huez, you will find the hugely popular cycling business, Hotel BAB. Its one of the oldest and original cycling hotels in the Alpes, pioneering the idea of a _DSC0655return from ride pasta buffet. Their shady public bar area strewn with cycling memorabilia from over the years is a popular meeting place for cyclists from all over the world. Over the years famous and regular guests have donated cycling jerseys to be hung with thousand of others in their simple bike museum. 

IMG_1680The rooms are basic, but clean, with new beds and plenty of hot water. Thanks to new passionate owners and exciting new kitchen staff, the hotel is being transformed from a popular cyclist meeting place into one of the top cycling hotels in France.

IMG_1732Evening meals are usually a chalet style set 3 course menu created by their talented kitchen staff. Fine wines, international beers and great coffee are available from the bar.

During major cycling events the team often provide their own feed stations, vehicle assistance, or just cheerful support along the way. For those deputing for home or for a crack of dawn ride, thy are alphotoways happy to offer an early breakfast. For those needing a little TLC after a day in the saddle, the hotel provide a post ride leg massage service.

Half-board prices range from €69 – €80 during the summer. Cheaper prices are available to larger groups and for winter clients wanting to ski Les Deux Alpes.IMG_1986

For more information on this or any other of our properties, contact us at info@bikelodging.com

L’Étape du Tour 2015 in La Maurienne Valley

Etape du Tour 2015On the Sunday 19th July the 2015 edition of L’Étape du Tour will be held in La Maurienne Valley. This region known as the worlds largest cycling area will also feature in 3 stages of the Tour de France. The event mirrors the 142km 19th stage of the Tour de France between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and La Toussuire-Les Sybelles.

Registration for the event opened on the 6th November 2014. Details can be found via the following links. L’Étape de Tour

Cycling in La Maurienne Valley

Under a week until the announcement of the route of the 2015 Tour de France

IMG_2069
Alpe d’Huez

With just under a week to go until the official announcement of the 2015 Tour de France, this is a great time to get your provisional booking in with properties in the Alpe d’Huez region. It is looking almost certain that the tour will come for a stage finish on the 21 bends of the Alpe d’Huez during the third week of the tour.

Bike Lodging Alpe d’Huez

 

Bike Lodging referral from Maarten Alfrink at Auberge La Douce Montagne

ldm-wm02Maarten Alfrink – “Bike Lodging.com is one of the many web portals where hotels and other accommodation providers can feature their businesses. For the hotelier it is often difficult to make a choice whether or not to use such sites. It is essential these days to promote a business with such sites and we have chosen to push ourselves through bikelodging.com because personal contact and service with the owner is excellent. In addition, the site has the choice of registering your property for free and paying a commission percentage for confirmed bookings (no bookings no pay) or take out a subscription (fixed annual fee) where all enquiries come directly to the business. Complete freedom for the hotelier or accommodation provider! We are very satisfied with it.”

 

Maarten Alfrink – “Bike Lodging.com is een van de vele webportals waar hotels en andere accommodatie verschaffers zich voor aan kunnen sluiten. Voor de hotelier is het vaak lastig een keuze te maken om wel of geen gebruik te maken van dergelijke sites. Je bij geen enkele webportal aansluiten lijkt tegenwoordig niet verstandig, evenals je overal aan conformeren. Wij logoladoucemontagnebruinblauw2hebben gekozen om ons te profileren via bikelodging.com omdat persoonlijk contact mogelijk is. Daarnaast is er de keuze tussen het betalen van een commissie percentage (nu cure no pay dus) of het afsluiten van een abonnement. Volledige vrijheid voor de hotellier / accommodatie verschaffer dus. Daar zijn wij zeer tevreden over.

 

The Chamonix Bike Book

The Chamonix Bike Book563918_183372478460595_436321282_n-1-945x629

The Chamonix Bike Book is the only book that shows bikers the best places to ride their bike on this side of the Mont Blanc Massif today.

There are mellow cruises and savage climbs, high-octane singletrack and punishing downhills. There’s flowy, techy, exhausting, panoramic, windy, foresty, gentle and there’s muddy – actually, the only thing these rides have in common is that they are all wonderful.

Look out for 7 road rides & 34 mountain bike rides, including a summary of the Tour du Mont Blanc. The full colour book has a bling waterproof cover and is printed on mountain-friendly recycled paper with eco-ink. It’s written in English.

The Chamonix Bike Book. Mountain and road bike routes around the Chamonix valley.

Chamonix lift opening dateschamonixBikeBook_logo_305_orange

Bus timetables.

Train Information for use with bikes.

July and August trail restrictions explained.

Chamonix lift passes explained.

 

 

Mountain Bike – Auris en Oisans/ Alpe d’Huez

Auris-en-Oisans MTB trail mapNestled in a sunny position at altitude, the tiny mountain resort of Auris en Oisans is a hidden mountain bike gem, located between the relative giants of Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’Huez. Technically part of the Alpe d’Huez ski lift system this small area sits alone during the summer months, but is easily linkable by bike with some thought and good navigational skills.

Technically the resort is regarded as a beginner or family mountain bike resort, with cheap lift tickets, around €10 for the day, with just one chairlift and only four mountain bike trails. However these trails don’t see anywhere near the traffic as the neighbouring resorts of Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes, so remain in great condition even towards the end of the season in late August.

What the chairlift does provide is access to a vast back country of deserted hidden trails to explore. Linking toAlpe d’Huez can be achieved by hitting one of the regions greatest little secret trails, via the Sarenne valley leading to the gondola in Huez village. Auris can be reached in the other direction via the Col de Cluy, either via a favorite cross country trail passing by the Alpe d’Huez Altiport, or even from the start of the Mega Avalanche at the Pic Blanc.

MTB AurisWhile riding with Alex Bickers, a UK mountain bike guide and owner of a local bike chalet, he was keen to spoil me with all sorts of deserted hidden trails, including one he refers to as the 21 bends of Auris, referring to the world famous 21 bends road cycling route to Alpe d’Huez . With a history of riding in Porte du Soleil and Chamonix back ground he was clearly delighted to now be living and working in an area where he pretty much has the mountain for himself and for his guests. With great knowledge of the area he is able to point, or guide you in the right direction to get the best from the region.

With a 9 seat minibus planned for the start of the 2015 season, he will also be able to offer uplifts to get to or be picked up from some of those more remote locations, as well as transfers over to neighboring resorts. Best of all, a hot tub is due to be installed for the beginning of the 2014/15 winter season.

MTB Alpe d’Huez and Sarenne Valley

 

2015 Tour du France coming back to Alpe d’Huez

the famous 21 bends of Alpe d'Huez rumoured to be used as one of the final stages of the 2015 Tour du France
the famous 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez rumoured to be used as one of the final stages of the 2015 Tour du France

The rumours are that the 2015 Tour du France will once again come to Alpe d’Huez, with a stage finish in Alpe d’Huez, possibly followed by a time trial from Le Bourg d’Oisans to Alpe d’Huez, prior to the final stage into Paris. Exciting times for the region and a particularly busy time for accommodation business owners. Here at Bike Lodging we are already seeing enquiries coming in and many of our popular properties already filling up.

Here is a link to some of our most popular bike friendly properties and businesses in the vicinity  of Le Bourg d’Oisans and Alpe d’Huez.