Bike Lodging Catered chalet – Marmotte Ride June 2016

Bike Lodging Catered and Self-catered chalet Les Deux Alpes/Alpe d’Huez.

Bike Lodging are pleased to announce that they are formally taking over the running of the Chalet Grand Rochail in Bourg d’Arud/Venosc and will be running great value catered and self-catered holidays for road cyclists and mountain bikers.

The chalet can officially take up to 14 people, however with other properties next door, has the potential of even larger groups. In fact the property has 14 bedroom and space for up to 34 people. Catering will be managed by our professional chef, who can offer a taylor made catering experience, including Bed and Breakfast, Half-Board as well as the option for a return from ride refuelling pasta buffet.

The region is particularly popular with road cyclists and the chalet sits in the valley close to the start of the climb to Alpe d’Hues at Bourg d’Oisans. Other popular rides include the Col du Glandon, and the Col du Galibier, with events such as La Marmotte, the Alpe d’HuZes and the Tour de France when it comes to town.

Mountain bikers find themselves just a couple hundred meters from the bottom of the Venosc downhill track and gondola link to Les Deux Alpes, which in the summer remains open until 20h. This lift gives you access to the huge Les Deux Alpes Bike Park and some of the best down hill tracks in the world.

We still have availability for the weekend of La Marmotte 2016

For more information about this chalet, or any other bike friendly properties, don’t hesitate to contact us at enquiries@bikelodging.com

 

La Marmotte – Bourg d’Oisons – Alpe d’Huez

This year La Marmotte cycling event from Le Bourg d’Oisans to Alpe d’Huez will revert back to its regular route over the Col du Galibier

gf-marmotte-iconIn 2015 damage to the Tunnel du Chambon meant the closure to the road between Bourg d’Oisans and the Col du Lautaret/Col du Galibier which subsequently forced a revised route of last summer’s La Marmotte event. Since then a temporary road has been constructed which has unofficially reopened access to this valley. This is a small road, suitable only for cars and small trucks, but contrary to local sign posting, is open to the general public. This spring will see construction start of a new tunnel to permanently replace the original Tunnel du Chambon. It is widely rumoured that the temporary road will then become a cycling only route, meaning that cyclists will no longer have to use the many dark and dangerous tunnels on the original road to the Col du Galibier.

So this year’s Marmotte will once again start in Le Bourg d’Oisans and head over the Col du Glandon, along the Maurine Valley, over the Col du Telegraph and the Col du Galibier, before finishing on the 21 hairpin bends of Alpe d’Huez, a total of 174km.

Living room.500k copy
Living room with free wifi

Due to popular demand, Bike lodging have taken on a large chalet for this long weekend and will be offering a four night catered package. Longer trips are also possible. We will be hosting the chalet and providing half-board catering, as well as a large early breakfast on the day of the race.  We also have a two bedroom chalet with its own private hot tub next door, which may be rented separately, or with the half-board catering package in the larger chalet.

For more details on this chalet or any other available properties in the area do please get in contact enquiries@bikelodging.com.

 

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Tunnel du Chambon – Alternative route to open October

Update 25th November 2016 – Temporary road now open – Tunnel du Chambon

It has been a long time coming, but the temporary road to replace the collapsed Tunnel du Chambon is now open. There are various restrictions in place. A new permanent tunnel on the original side of the lake is scheduled to be started spring 2016.

http://bourgdoisans.com/noewp_telechargements/!/dl_id/152/titre/route-chambon

The proposed route on the opposite side of the Lac du Chambon looks set to be ready by October

Construction of the new route around  Lac du Chambon

In April 2015 the Tunnel du Chambon linking Grenoble and Le Bourg d’Oisans to La Grave, the Col du Glandon, Briancon and Turin was closed due to the unstable mountain directly above. Since then, this popular cycling and ski tourist  route has been closed to all traffic. This closure resulted in the change of the routes for both the Tour de France and La Marmotte.

In July a temporary new route was agreed upon to be created on the opposite (left hand) side of the lake on an existing walking/mountain bike trail. However work on the new route is slow in places thanks to a large cliff band that sticks out into the lake. 20-30 construction workers are working to create this new road, which will primarily be one way with traffic lights for local traffic. Special measures are being discussed to cater for tourists and cyclists during holiday seasons. Completion of this new road is estimated to be by the end of October 2015.

This however is just a temporary solution and a more permanent route is being discussed.

I chatted with one of our partners today who suggested that the ferry on Lac Chambon is once again in operation and that they are letting cyclists use this service to ride up the Col Du Galibier from Le Bourg d’Oisans.

Information and image thanks to La Marie de Mont de Lans

Image of the temporary road being constructed on the left hand side of the lake

Impressive storms hit Alpe d’Huez days before the Tour de France comes to the region.

Just two days before the Tour de France is set to pass through the valley and four days before the final mountain stage on Alpe d’Huez, a huge storm has broken the 6 week long heatwave causing multiple mudslides and closed many roads in the area. Local authorities are already out trying to clear the roads. Its yet to be seen if there has been any serious damage to the Tour de France route.

    Mud slides between Bourg d'Oisans and Venosc close the road in 2 places - Photo by Daan Goos
Mud slides between Bourg d’Oisans and Venosc close the road in 2 places – Photo by Daan Goos

In April, damage to the Tunnel du Chambon and fear of a huge mudslide from the hill side above forced the closure of the tunnel and road between Bourg d’Oisans and the Col du Lautaret/Col du Galibier. The road remains closed today and has resulted in the change of the route for the final mountain stage of the Tour de France which will now pass over the Col de la Croix du Fer, rather than the Col du Galibier on the way to Alpe d’Huez this Saturday. All work on the tunnel has stopped until nature takes control and this part of the mountain finally collapses. Hopefully this storm will trigger the predicted rock slide, so that work on repairing the tunnel and road can start again.

Update – Wednesday 22nd July. The sun is shining again and the clean up is underway for the many landslides in the area. The road to Venosc and La Berarde is open again, but there are set of traffic lights in place as local authorities clear the roads of debris.

Mudslide blocking the road to Venosc and La Gerarde
Road cyclist picks his way around the mudslide on his way to La Berarde

 

 

 

Tour de France – Alpe d’Huez available hotels and accommodation

Bike Hotels Tour de France – Stage 20 Alpe d’Huez

Tour de France on Alpe d'Huez
Tour de France on Alpe d’Huez

So the Tour is well under way and making its way south. Next week sees some spectacular stages in the Pyrenees, before heading to the Alps for the third week culminating in the final mountain stage finish up the twenty one hairpin bends of Alpe d’Huez. Such is the popularity of this stage, that spectators keen to reserve the best places on the famous climb have already claimed their place on the hill with the intent to stay there until the stage on the 25th July. By this time the numbers of cycling fans lining the route is the topic of much speculation, but some estimates are for up to 1 million, but more realistic figures are for around 400’000 people.

Those lucky enough to be following the Tour with camper vans can benefit from the relaxed rules about camping on the side of the road. However those looking for last minutes beds in the region will struggle at this late stage.

Thanks fully Bike Lodging still have a couple of interesting available options within a short ride of the Alpe d’Huez climb as well as a couple of other stages earlier in the week.

La Danchere Lodge – A great value option in a charming hotel at the entrance to the Ecrins National Park. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens with a public bar, which are one of the nicest places to relax even during the busiest weeks in the region. Half-board prices are from €75 per night with a minimum stay of 4 nights.

La Danchere Lodge
La Danchere Lodge

We have a selection of other places available in the Bourg d’Oisans/Alpe d’Huez region, so do please get in contact for other options.

Bike Lodgingenquiries@bikelodging.com

8 July 2015 update to the Tunnel du Chambon and the impact on the Tour de France.

8 July 2015 update to the Tunnel du Chambon and the impact on the Tour de France.

The latest on the Tunnel du Chambon is that work on the tunnel has totally stopped, since they expect the side of the mountain above to fall at any moment. Small sections of rock have already fallen and some people are camped up high on the far side of the reservoir hoping to witness the collapse of the mountain. Access to the path on the far side is strictly closed and the ferry service has been stopped due to the fear of waves that would be caused by the rockfall. Local residence below the dam have been warned to keep doors and windows closed in the event of warning sirens, in the unlikely event that a wave could flow over the dam and flood villages downstream. A helicopter service has been put in place available to locals trapped on the far side in the case of emergencies.

The area of unstable rock is about25 – 30 meters deep and 600k to 1 million cubic metres. Since April it had been moving between 5 to 10 cm per day. More recently it been moving at 12 cm to 15 cm per day.  Since 2nd July a  section of 100k cubic tonnes has been moving at 25 cm per day which is looking like the first area to slide. Small sections of the mountainside have already started to slip into the reservoir.

As an impact of this road closure Stage 20 of the Tour de France on the 25th July between Modane and Alpe d’Huez no longer passes over the Col du Galibier, but via the Col de la Croix du Fer.

Tour du Plateau d'Emparis - Bike Oisans
Tour du Plateau d’Emparis – Bike Oisans

Many people booked into accommodation in La Grave or Briancon hoping to see the Tour de France on Alpe d’Huez, have been asking about the possibility to bypass the tunnel my mountain path or track. As mentioned before, then path along the other side of the reservoir is closed and this is being strictly enforced by local police. The quickest road route is via the Col du Galibier and the Col de la Croix du Fer. However there is a very long, but beautiful option above the tunnel via the Plateau de Emparis. This track is unpaved, generally used by walkers and mountain bikers and will take a long time, but is spectacular. Details of this route can be found via the following link under Tour du Plateau d’Emparis – itineraire 4.

Studio available La Marmotte – Bourg d’Oisans

Studio
Studio close to Bourg d’Oisans available for La Marmotte

Due to a last minute cancellation, our own studio attached to our beautiful stone home close to Bourg d’Oisnas, has just become available from tomorrow (Sunday 27th July until 5th July) the week of La Marmotte. We have cut the price to just €400 for the week, or €65 per night with  minimum of 3 nights reservation. The studio is just along the valley (9km) from the start line of La Marmotte in our pretty hamlet called Les Gauchoirs, which is a commune of Le Bourg d’Oisans.

Studio bedroom
Double or twin beds

The studio has a double or twin beds, TV, with freeview English language television, wireless internet, a kitchenette, separate shower room, table chairs, sofa, outside furniture, BBQ and access to our secure bike shed and workshop.

If anyone were interested in a last minute entry to La Marmotte, we may also be able to help here.

IMG_1502
Self-contained studio on ground floor of our family house.

If you’re interested in booking this studio, or have any questions, please get in touch on enquiries@bikelodging.com

Tunnel du Chambon closed. Revised opening dates, ferry and new road

8 July 2015 update to the Tunnel du Chambon and the impact on the Tour de France.

The latest on the Tunnel du Chambon is that work on the tunnel has totally stopped, since they expect the side of the mountain above to fall at any moment. Small sections of rock have already fallen and some people are camped up high on the far side of the reservoir hoping to witness the collapse of the mountain. Access to the path on the far side is strictly closed and the ferry service has been stopped due to the fear of waves that would be caused by the rockfall. Local residence below the dam have been warned to keep doors and windows closed in the event of warning sirens, in the unlikely event that a wave could flow over the dam and flood villages downstream. A helicopter service has been put in place available to locals trapped on the far side in the case of emergencies.

The area of unstable rock is about25 – 30 metres deep and 600k to 1 million cubic metres. Since April it had been moving between 5 to 10 cm per day. More recently it been moving at 12 cm to 15 cm per day.  Since 2nd July a  section of 100k cubic tonnes has been moving at 25 cm per day which is looking like the first area to slide..

As an impact of this road closure Stage 20 of the Tour de France on the 25th July between Modane and Alpe d’Huez no longer passes over the Col du Galibier, but via the Col de la Croix du Fer.

Tour du Plateau d'Emparis - Bike Oisans
Tour du Plateau d’Emparis – Bike Oisans

Many people booked into accommodation in La Grave or Briancon hoping to see the Tour de France on Alpe d’Huez, have been asking about the possibility to bypass the tunnel my mountain path or track. As mentioned before, then path along the other side of the reservoir is closed and this is being strictly enforced by local police. The quickest road route is via the Col du Galibier and the Col de la Croix du Fer. However there is a very long, but beautiful option above the tunnel via the Plateau de Emparis. This track is unpaved, generally used by walkers and mountain bikers and will take a long time, but is spectacular. Details of this route can be found via the following link under Tour du Plateau d’Emparis – itineraire 4.

The closure of the Tunnel du Chambon in April, linking Bourg d’Oisans to the Col du Lautaret and beyond, has sparked widespread discussions amongst the locals and cyclists planning to visit the region, such as when will it reopen, are they building a new road and can cyclists use the ferry to bypass the tunnel?

Tunnel du Chambon
Tunnel du Chambon

On the 10th April the Tunnel du Chambon was deemed to have an extremely high chance of collapsing and was immediately closed, with initial reopening dates suggested for early July. More recent surveys have shown that up to 100 000 m2 or 250’000 tonnes of rock are shifting around 10cm everyday, threatening collapse the entire tunnel. As such the reopening of the tunnel is very much in doubt, but the authorities hope to have a solution in place prior to the opening of the ski season in December.

Chamnon alternative routeOne of the solutions put forward, is to build a reinforced structure within the existing tunnel. However the extent of the problem has forced the local authorities to sign off on a new road on the south side of the lake, which they hope to have built by the winter. Whether they intend to build and maintain two roads up the valley, or to concentrate their efforts on building one reliable route remains to be seen.

Revised route for La Marmotte 2015
Revised route for La Marmotte 2015

The consequences of this for cycling tourism is that the only road leading from Le Bourg d’Oisans towards La Grave, Col du Lautaret, Col du Galibier and Briancon is essentially cut off. This has already lead to the rerouteing of La Marmotte Granfondo and almost certainly the  penultimate stage of the Tour de France from due to race from Modean to Alpe d’Huez over La Galibier on the 25th July. La Marmotte will now return to the Alpe d’Huez valley via the Col du Mollard and the Col de la Croix de Fer. The Tour de France is very likely to follow suit.

Kevin from Cycling Ascents taking the ferry around the Chambon
Kevin from Cycling Ascents taking the ferry around the Chambon

One of the most talked about topics amongst locals and cyclists planning a trip to the region, is the possibility of using a ferry to bypass the tunnel and get to up to the Col du Galibier. The ferry has been provided for locals stranded on the La Grave side of the tunnel to access shops and schools in Bourg d’Oisans and Grenoble. However I recently spoke to Kevin from Cycling Ascents in Bourg who, last week with some of his cycling clients, successfully used the ferry without a problem and achieved one of the most magical climbs of the Col du Galibier, thanks to almost zero traffic. However he went on to add that yesterday (21st June) his guests were turned away and told that “that due to the risk of a rockfall into the reservoir they weren’t taking anyone with bikes – only locals on business.

So officially, for the moment, the ferry is not an option for cyclists. However pressure from business owners in La Grave, at the Col du Lautaret and the Col du Galibier, that are experiencing a catastrophic effect to their trade from the closure, may force some changes here in the future.

With all this in mind, the Oisans region still has more than enough routes to keep every cyclists satisfied. Including amongst many others, routes to the following places. Col du Galibier, Col de la Croix de Fer, Alpe d’Huez and the Sarenne valley, Les Deux Alpes, Col de La Morte, Col d’Ornon and La Berarde.

double size 432x278mm masterBike Lodging is based in Le Bourg d’Oisans and helps cyclists find and book bike friendly accommodation such as that of Cycling Ascents. We still have options for La Marmotte, the final week of the Tour de France and for the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon.

Tour de France changes to Alpe d’Huez stage 20 – Tunnel du Chambon

As expected, the route for stage 20 of the 2015 Tour de France from Modane to Alpe d’Huez has now officially been changed due to the closure to the Tunnel du Chambon. Rather than passing over the Col du Glandon, it will now climb the Col de la Croix de Fer. Details on the official Tour de France website.

Revised route profile for the Tour de France 2015 Stage 20 from Modane to Alpe d'HUez
Revised route profile for the Tour de France 2015 Stage 20 from Modane to Alpe d’HUez
Tour de France on Alpe d'Huez
Tour de France on Alpe d’Huez

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Lodging still have some accommodation available close to the Alpe d’Huez during this week, such as the Chalet Chardon in Venosc which sleeps 5 people for €800 for a week self-catering. We also have a 3 bedroom apartment in central Bourg d’Oisans for €1100. For details contact enquiries@bikelodging.com.

Tunnel du Chambon open Sundays to Cyclists!

Tunnel du Chambon - Cycling
Tunnel du Chambon – Cycling

It is being suggested that the Tunnel Du Chambon may be open to cyclists every sunday, during the current closures, so that cycling tourism can get from Le Bourg d’Oisans to La Grave and the Col du Lautaret. However the report suggests that this will only be from 10am until 12pm. I guess this will have to be a fast ride up and back, or perhaps do the Marmotte route in reverse.

If this is the case, it would suggest that it might also be possibly for the tunnel to be opened to cycling traffic for events such as the Marmotte and the Tour de France (should repairs be delayed), although no suggestion has been made.

More information to follow as it come to us.