Mountain of Hell Les Deux Alpes 2016

Registration opens today for the 2016 Mountain of Hell Mountain Bike in Les Deux Alpes

Mountain of Hell 2016

Registration for the 2016 Mountain of Hell enduro mountain bike event in Les Deux Alpes opened today. The event which sees amateurs racing side by side with professional riders, takes place over the first three days of July with the aim to qualifying for the main race on the Sunday. This starts at 3500m on the Glacier on the upper slopes of Les Deux Alpes, before racing for 25km with 2500metres of defending and finishes in the village of Venosc, below the main resort.

Find accommodation in Les Deux Alpes for this event via the following website

Bike Lodging – Les Deux Alpes

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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Les Deux Alpes – European Resort of the Year

In November 2015, Les Deux Alpes in France was voted European Resort of the Year, at the World Snow Awards ceremony

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By Will Corder in Les Deux Alpes

Well, after a slow start across the Alps, the snow has arrived here in Les Deux Alpes we are now enjoying beautiful blue skies with perfect skiing conditions. So while you are searching for your winter ski holiday, it is worth remembering that in November 2015, Les Deux Alpes was voted European resort of the year at the World Snow Awards at the London Ski and Snowboard awards.

This award is a recognition of the fantastic variety and scale of skiing available in the resort. Although not as large as some of the interconnected resorts available across the Alps, the 220km of marked piste is more than enough for most holiday makers. If this is not enough, then included on your 6 day ski pass are 2 free days skiing in neighbouring resort Alpe d’huez, which can be reached either by a shuttle bus, or if you fancy doing it in style, but helicopter transfer.

One of the significant benefits of Les Deux alpes is the amount of easy skiing above 3000 meters, a domain that is usually reserved for the best skiers. Here even the newest of skiers get to experience that top of the world feeling and the best of the snow conditions. In the summer this area doubles as Europe’s largest skiable glacier and a world centre for freestyle skiing and snowboarding. During the winter the  Freestyle and terrain parks (slide zones) move down to more sheltered positions, dotted all over the resort and offer perfectly maintained kickers, rails, pipes, cross tracks and even an airbag to safely practice your jumps.

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2alpes-snowpark.com

For the more adventurous, Les Deux Alpe backs onto La Grave, one of the last true ski wildernesses of the Alps, which offers north face skiing from 3600 meters on terrain which is left entirely for off piste and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. This area is only for expert skiers and snowboarders and it is advised that you only venture there with a guide and full avalanche kit such as transceivers, shovels and probes. For top quality ski guiding and free ride courses take a look at the British Alpine Ski School.

Since being taken over by the Compagnie des Alpes a few years ago, much has been spent on the resort infrastructure. Most noticeably are the vast amount of snow making facilities present to keep the resort running even on the leanest of snow years. During the early weeks of both the 2014/15 and this season, when snow was sparse through out the Alps, coach loads of tourists were being shipped in to Les Deux Alps, when other resorts had to remain closed.

Polar bear
The Polar Bear – Les Deux Alpes

Once your ski day is over, the party starts, first with the daily après ski piste party at the Pano Bar at 2600m, with live DJ sets from 15h – 17h. Then its down for more live music at one of the many popular bars in the resort such as the Polar Bear, or Smokie Joes who have live acres ski music and serve their own locally brewed beers. During the later evening Smithies Tavern is highly recommended before dancing into the small ours in L’Avalanche Club.

Not resting on the accolades bestowed in 2015, this year Les Deux Alpes has addressed it’s only former negative issue by building the Jandri 1 blue run, creating a much needed easy return to resort piste option. In addition in the coming years it has been decided that Les Dexu Alpes and Alpe d’hues will build a huge gondola system which will link the two resorts, resulting on one of the largest linked ski resorts in the world.

But for now, if you were keen to discover this world class resort and were looking accommodation option in the area here are a selection of options for you.

Catered of Self-catered chalet sleeps 14+
2 Bedroom (+ mezzanine) sleeps 7
2 Bedroom Chalet sleeps 5
Studio sleeps 2

Alternatively send us an enquiry to enquiries@bikelodging.com

Apartments available Mont Ventoux Tour de France

We have two apartments still available for the third week in July, when the Tour de France visits Bedoin and the Mont Ventoux region

Froom.Mont.Ventoux.jpgNext summer the Tour de France will once again climb the infamous Mont Ventoux in the northern Provence. Chris Froome, who won this stage the last time they climbed it in 2013, will also be looking to defend his Tour de France overall winner from 2015.

The Mont Ventoux is one of the most popular cycling spectator locations for the Tour de France and the region will expect hundreds of thousands of visitors next July.

Thanks to the beauty and climate of the area, this is a popular holiday region, with hundreds of accommodation options. However when the Tour de France comes to town, beds can sometimes be hard to find.

Here at Bike Lodging, we have just received word of a couple of bike friendly apartments close to Bedoin that are  still available.

The Chapel apartment is €900 for the week and has one double and one twin bedroom, one shower WC, one bath WC.  Large living/kitchen plus terrace and views.
The Courtyard  apartment is €600 for the week and has two double bedrooms. One shower /WC.  Large living/kitchen and outside courtyard.

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Both have wifi and satellite TV.  Plus use of a large shared pool. Both apartments are located on a working vineyard making award wining wines.
For more information on The Courtyard House contact us on enquiries@bikelodging.com or call us on +33624123849

 

De inschrijving voor het Nederlandse liefdadigheidsevenement Alpe d’Huzes is vandaag geopend!

Inschrijvingen voor de Alpe d’Huzes 2016 zijn vandaag geopend (12-11-2016).

Alpe d’Huzes 2016

De Alpe d’Huzes verwelkomt rond de 5000 fietsers per jaar in Bourg d’Oisans/Alpe d’Huez die een poging doen de 21 haarspeldbochten van de Alpe d’Huez 6 keer te beklimmen. Het is geen wedstrijd maar een sociaal liefdadigheidsevenement wat probeert zo veel mogelijk geld in te zamelen voor onderzoek op het gebied van kanker. De Alpe d’Huzes is heel goed georganiseerd door een grote groep vrijwilligers die zorgen voor eten, medische hulpverlening, vermaak en supporters aan de kant van de weg. Since het begin in 2006 heeft men meer dan  €70 miljoun ingezameld voor het gevecht tegen kanker.

inschrijving voor Alpe d’Huzes

Voor accommodatie of hotels in de omgeving kijk op www.bikelodging.com of neem contact met ons op via ons emailadres: enquiries@bikelodging.com

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

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.

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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.

Chalet sleeps 5 available for Alpe d’Huez Tour de France week

2 bedroom chalet available for 3rd week of Tour de France
Chalet available 3rd week of Tour de France

Due to another cancellation for €800/wk, we now have available, this beautiful two bedroom chalet in Bourg d’Arud, just along the valley from Le Bourg d’Oisans and the start of the climb to Alpe d’Huez. Totally renovated in 2014, the chalet has a modern kitchen and charming living room, a double and a triple bedroom with one IMG_0885modern bathroom. It also have a large sunny terrace with views over the Ecrins National Park. The chalet is ideal for a small family or a group of friends. It is a short walk from an open air swimming pool, tennis courts, tree top adventure trail, bars and restaurants, small campsite shop with freshly baked bread and the gondola link to the mountain resort of Les Deux Alpes with summer skiing and the vast network of mountain bike trails.

Tour de France 2015
Tour de France 2015

However the position is of particular interest to road cyclists thanks to the proximity to the foot of the Alpe d’Huez and various other famous climbs. The property has just become available again from the 19th – 26th, thanks to a recent cancellation. During this week, it will be possible to ride to three different location to watch the Tour de France on three different stages. In locations such as the Col du Morte, Allemont, the Col du Glandon, the Col de la Croix du Fer and of course the Alpe d’Huez.

The price for these seven nights self-catering would be just €800.

For more information, or to make a booking, contact us on enquiries@bikelodging.com

Mont Ventoux Bike Hotel Malaucene

Hotel Malaucenne - Mont Ventoux
Hotel Malaucenne – Mont Ventoux

Introducing one of our most popular hotels in the Mont Ventoux region. The hotel sits right in the heart of Mauaucene at the start of the climb to Mont Ventoux. It’s so close, that from the hotels breakfast terrace, you can watch other cyclists set off on their climb up this famous mountain.

The hotel 18th century former silk farm has been lovingly converted into the beautiful hotel you see today. Each of the nineteen rooms has an en-suite bath or shower room and toilet. They are all individually designed with vintage furniture and items sourced from local favourite second hand dealers. The hotel most recent additions for 2015 are two modern and stylish self-catering lodges both sleeping up to 4 people, built in the expansive grounds.

The 12’000 meters gardens are sheltered from the outside world by ancient stone walls, with plenty of shaded seating beneath well established trees. There are plenty or secluded and private areas to relax and a large swimming pool to cool off in after a hot day.

Mont Ventoux

Not only does the hotel sit at the foot of the Mont Ventoux, one of the Tour de France’s most famous stages, but the region is blessed by the variety of cycling and mountain biking for all levels for all levels. Unlike some locations in the high Alps and Pyrenees, where every day on the bike is a mammoth day in the saddle,  this region has the benefit of a vast variety of cycling and mountain biking. Aside form the obvious three challenging climbs up the Mont Ventoux, there are also more gentle days trips such as passing through vast selection of fantastic wineries, the Massif des Dentelles, beautiful medieval villages such as Le Barroux and Crillon le Brave and the stunning river valley of Le Toulourene.

Louis Saint Joire and Florence, the French ‘parton’ speak perfect English and thoroughly welcomes cyclists to his hotel. They have a great knowledge of cycling and are usually on hand to offer advice for the perfect days ride.

For information about this or any other properties in the area, do please contact us on enquiries@bikelodging.com