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

 

Beautiful new chalet in Oz-en-Oisans

Beautiful new chalet in Oz-en-Oisans

Introducing our newest property to feature on the Bike Lodging website. This stunning modern chalet sits in the perfect location for your mountain bike holiday. Oz-En-Oisans has 2 gondola which link to the heart of the Alpe d’Huez lifts system and the Mega Avalanche.

In the monthly magazine Mountain Biking UK, Oz en Oisans was named – ‘One of the most fun, yet advanced downhill trails on the planet.’ What more could you ask for right on your chalet doorstep!

Bike Lodging – Specialists in Bike Holidays France

DC Custom Velos

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DC Custom Velos

Introducing our new favourite bike design company. DC custom design has been created by Daniel Cox, who after years of tweaking, mending, designing, buying and selling bikes has finally decided to take the plunge and open his talents up the commercial world. 

Good luck Dan from us here at Bike LodgingImage

Les Deux Alpes – Venosc Downhill mountain bike track set to open 12th – 26th April 2014

The downhill track from Les Deux Alpes to the valley in Venosc is due to open this Saturday the 12th April until the 26th. The track always rides well at the start of the season after a winter under the snow, although the full pre-season preparation will not take place until May and June, ready for the official summer opening on the 21st June. 

A MTB pass for the Venosc gondola and the DH track will cost €10, but those with a valid ski pass wImageill also be able to use the lift. 

Some locals who couldn’t wait for this opening have been spotted on the trail, relying on an uplift back to the resort.

The Venosc bike trail has been around for over 10 years now and over the years have evolved into a very well respected down hill track. It’s now wider, faster and after a huge redevelopment in 2013 now has loads more features such as table tops, gap jumps, redesigned berms and north shore. 

Venosc provides the perfect location for groups of mountain bikers looking for somewhere to stay out of the busy resort. It is a picturesque medieval village with cobbled streets, great bars and restaurants and a lovely open air swimming pool to relax in after a hard day on the bike.

For information on accommodation in Venosc, check out the Bike Lodging website.

French rider Vincent Pernin shows how the trail should be ridden.

 

Portes du Soleil – Multi Pass 2014

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To enhance their popular summer season, between 7th June and the 7th September the Portes du Soleil offers an unbelievably cheap multi pass for over 50 activities activities as well use of the entire lift system. For as little as €2 per day (or less with consecutive days passes) the pass offers you:

  • Unlimited use of all 21 chairlifts and cable cars (not eligible with bikes)
  • Local inter resort shuttle busses.
  • Road trains
  • Many swimming pools and swimming lakes across the area.
  • Cultural and tourist attractions such as Museum.
  • Certain Ice rinks (excludes skate rental)
  • Tennis courts
  • Mini-Golf

The pass gives you the freedom to get the best from the resort and gain access to many of the lakes, mountain peaks and fantastic walking trails that make up the area.

The pass is only available for guests staying in certain properties signed up to the multi pass scheme, so be sure to ask before booking your property.

To find properties who have signed up to the scheme visit us at Bike lodgingPortes du Soleil.

The Chamonix Bike Book – Mountain & Road Bike Routes around the Chamonix Valley

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Bike Lodging – Chamonix

Bike Lodging

Bike Lodging

Bike Lodging, specialists in bike holidays. Alpe d’Huez, Chamonix, St Maxime,

PORTES DU SOLEIL – MTB AND THE PASSPORTES DU SOLEIL

 

Register for Passportes du Soleil

During the summer months, this region linked by 24 lifts covering 12 mountain villages makes up the largest connected mountain bike area in the world.  With over 650km of marked trails, 10 specific downhill track and 4 expertly desi

gned bike parks, there is something to challenge every level of mountain bike rider.The area is most famous for the 80km Enduro mountain bike event called the Passportes du Soleil, which in 2013 saw 6500 competitors take part. The route uses 15 of the 24 lifts, passes through both France and Switzerland, and has 6000 meters of descending and thanks to the use of lifts, just 1000 meters of climbing. It is designed to take riders to all corners of the massive area and showcase the variety of terrain and trails that the area has to offer. Locals line the route and provide support and a number of food stations many of which offering a selection of local produce. The event is open to riders of all different levels with a number of optional sections to make the course more or less challenging.

In 2014 Les Gets will be the host village and the event will take place on the 27,28 and 29th June. Fingers crossed for better weather condition than in 2013.

Registration for the 2014 event is open from Wednesday 12th February from 9am. Further details can be found on www.passportesdusoleil.com.

Thanks to the high numbers of competitors, it is essential to sign up for the event and book you accommodation early. At www.Bikelodging.com we have a number of bike friendly properties available in the ports du Soleil area. Send us an email and we will help find you the perfect MTB holiday accommodation.

 

Mountain biking in Alpe d’Huez after the lifts have closed

Within the mountain biking world, Alpe d’Huez is of course best known for the MegaAvalanche. This three day event attracts thousands of amateurs keen to race against some of the best professional riders. Competitors start at the Pic Blanc at 3300m, beginning the race on the glacier before descending over 30km of gruelling trail to Allemont at 720m.

Climbing to mid station of DMC
When the lifts close its time to get fit and ride up to your favourite trails in Alpe d’Huez.

However Alpe d’Huez is also a world-class location thanks to the explosion in popularity of ‘Enduro’ riding. This combination of cross country, all mountain and even down hill skills lends itself to the huge sprawling resort with miles and miles of single track to explore. During the season, over 250km of well-maintained trails are serviced by a network of chair lifts, gondolas and cable cars.

Unfortunately the summer season is only limited to about 10 weeks, so once schools go back at the end of August the resort starts closing down. However this does not mean the end of the mountain biking season at all. Autumn see some of the best conditions for riding with warm stable conditions and deserted trails. Many business owners, time restricted during the busy summer season, now find time to get a little more time on their bikes.

Cross country trails around Lac Besson
Cross country trails around Lac Besson

My ridding buddy Dan from Ribot Lodge and I finally find ourselves with a little more time on our hands to go and hit our favorite trails. Granted, the high altitude trails off the Pic Blanc are no longer accessible, unless you fancy an epic slog up the service roads. However the majority of the best trails are found just above resort level and all the way into the valley.

One of our favorite inter-seasons rides has us meeting in Bourg for a pre ride coffee. Now some chose to ride the road up to Alpe d’Huez, but we prefer to catch the bus, which costs around €3 and is adapted for mountain bikes. There’s plenty of technical climbing to be done later in the day so good to keep something in the tank for then. Plus these days with both having kids, we have to have to keep our rides times down a little.

The bus drops you close to the top of the resort, where the majority of other riders chose to take one the of the down hill trails back to the valley such as the one from Villard Reculas via the Forêt de l’Ors. However here we chose to jump on the bikes and climb higher by paved then unpaved road to just past the mid station of the DMC gondola, where we hit the XC 11 MTB trail. This is a reasonably new and very fun piece of undulating single track, passing a number of picturesque lakes, ending with a fast decent to the mid station of the Grande Rouse cable car. Here you have a number of options. Continue on past the cable car on the EN7 down towards Vaujany and where there are further options to continue on down to Allemont. Alternatively change to the EN9 trail underneath l’Alpette gondola down to Oz Station (resort). However we chose to take a path that is located between these trails, which lead to just below the resort of Oz, but by a much more naturel and fun forest single track. This path is technically for hikers only and off limits to mountain bikers, but during the inter-season is totally deserted, so we never have any problems.

It starts as a high speed decent through grassy pastures, before dropping into technical

A secret MTB trail leading to the ski village of OZ station
A secret MTB trail leading to the ski village of OZ station

rock gardens, then moves into the forest and fast flowing, natural switch backs. Once in Oz station there is a short climb to bring you up to the lower part and arguably the most enjoyable section of the mega avalanche course (EN1). This is a fast section of forest trails with some high speed and technical berm corners. This trail can lead all the way to the mega finish line in Allemont, but we are usually short of time by this stage, so peel off close to the bottom in the direction of Bourg and the cars. There are trails on either side of the valley leading to Bourg along this 9km section. Both are undulating, but with little actual altitude gain. This section is a race to the cars and generally recognized as the time to drain the last of the energy in the legs.

The time it takes to complete the circuit varies hugely with your skill and fitness level, but you should leave yourself a good half-day. The bus from Bourg to Alpe d’Huez is number 3020 and 2013/14 timetable can be viewed here

Located in and close to Le Bourg d’Oisans are a number of cycling and mountain bike friendly hotels and chalets. One such hotel, Hotel Rondpoint is ideally placed close to the bottom of the road to Alpe d’Huez and offer the possibility of an uplift service to the resort for mountain bikers.