I went for a ride with Mikey and friends (sorry fellas I will eventually remember some names) on Saturday and to say that I was blown-away by the trails I now have on my doorstep would be the understatement of the week.
The whole ride was epic – scale, views, altitude, difficulty – it was bloody lovely!
Here’s the view from the top of the lift as we were about to set-off:
I wasn’t feeling optimistic about my chances of keeping up with the others as not only had I had almost zero sleep for the previous week (as a result of us having our second child ‘Seb’ last Sunday morning) but I was also the only person there on a hardtail – all of the others opting for more sensibly capable ‘all-mountain’ rigs – not a great start!
The route started from the top of the Brévent cable-car and then climbed a little bit before we headed off to ride along the Grand Balcon Sud up (well more down than up if I’m honest) towards Argentière which lies up the valley from Chamonix towards Switzerland.
From the start the trail was/is phenomenal! Rocky, steep, rooty and in every way conceivable a really very challenging and in no small way dangerous piece of exposed cliff-edged singletrack heaven!!!
Below you can see a few (unfortunately poor quality as I only had a crappy little camera with me) shots from the trail to get an idea of what it was like:
After a long and physically knackering (don’t forget I started the ride 98% exhausted!) traverse of the valley we came to a spot with the below view:
Not too shabby – huh?
From there we dropped down further, dodged more rocks, switched many fine switch-backs and eventually ended up down near Argentière where I left the group in order to make it back to the flat at a reasonable time (Nikki had been more than generous in saying that it was ok for me to bugger off leaving her the kids) but I’m hoping not only to find out what else that particular ride had to offer but also to getting back up into the hills to sample more of the amazing riding that this area has to offer!
My full-sus bike should be here at the weekend and so I’m keen to see how I perform on a machine designed to take on this kind of terrain!
Tune in next time (assuming that evil fun-spoiling snow doesn’t arrive too early!) for more Alpine fun on two wheels…..