French Alps rides?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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Enda Marron
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Location: Belfast

by Enda Marron

Go to St Jean de Maurienne and either camp in Le Camping des Grand Cols campsite, or if you wish to hotel it try Hotel Europe which is across the road from the campsite.
IThis is an excellent base as you will have access to Telegraph, Galibier, Glandon, Croix de Fer, Le Mollard, and the Madeleineas well as routes to all the surrounding ski stations.
I used it as a base to do the Marmotte route which got me Alpe D'huEZ ALSO

by Weenie


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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

Just did Alp d'Huez today. Will still be in the "alps" for another week. Posting from iPhone in a bar while getting hydration = beer. Will post a lot more when I'm back home in about 1+ week. I understand what you seem to want, which is ultimately whTnim doing right now.

Dalai
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

Thanks for the tip enda marron. :thumbup:

Looking forward to reading more about how your trip went dgasmd. :D

sawyer
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Location: Natovi Landing

by sawyer

I understand the need to bag the trophy climbs. Bourg is a depressing place, but yes, you've got all the climbs you mentioned nearby. Note that the Galibier and Lauterert/Izoard are a hell of a long drag away, some of it through tunnels. But perfectly doable.

Near Annecy, I base myself at Talloires on the east side of the lake. A stunning place. Right at the the foot of the Col de Forclaz and roads over to the big name climbs like Colombiere.

IMHO you'll have a nicer time basing yourself in a great place with amazing climbing nearby rather than a dreary place with a few big name climbs.
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

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Danton
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Location: Aix-les-Bains

by Danton

sawyer wrote:Near Annecy, I base myself at Talloires on the east side of the lake. A stunning place. Right at the the foot of the Col de Forclaz and roads over to the big name climbs like Colombiere.

IMHO you'll have a nicer time basing yourself in a great place with amazing climbing nearby rather than a dreary place with a few big name climbs.
I'd give identical advice but would add that you can still bag the legendary climbs. The Colombiere, Saisies, Joux Plane, Morzine-Avoriaz, Cormet de Roseland are all in riding distance from Annecy/Talloires.

Dalai
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

sawyer wrote:Bourg is a depressing place


Care to elaborate sawyer?

Really only there to use as a base. Will be out riding during the day and have no interest in going out at night. I expect to be pretty exhausted and asleep early! As long at there is one place with good coffee and a well stocked supermarket I'll be happy enough for one week...

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Danton
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Location: Aix-les-Bains

by Danton

Dalai wrote:
sawyer wrote:Bourg is a depressing place


Care to elaborate sawyer?

Really only there to use as a base. Will be out riding during the day and have no interest in going out at night. I expect to be pretty exhausted and asleep early! As long at there is one place with good coffee and a well stocked supermarket I'll be happy enough for one week...

You'll find a good supermarket, the Casino, on the road out of town towards Alpe d'Huez. As for coffee, there are lots of cafés. And a big bike shop.

It is just not a scenic town, it is pretty ugly. A practical base, but I feel that if you are travelling all the way to Europe then you should add some old world charm too!

Dalai
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

Thanks Danton. In my previous life I have spent quite a few months in France rock climbing - many weeks at Ceuse near Gap, a few weeks at the Verdon Gorge, a month climbing at Buoux staying in Apt and over four weeks bouldering at Fontainebleau (all in the one trip 8) )- so have experienced some of the more beautiful places in France. :thumbup:

I would only be in Bourg for a week and then I plan on moving a couple of valleys north to around Annecy / St Jean de Maurienne as recommended for the second week...

sawyer
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Location: Natovi Landing

by sawyer

Yes, I am with Danton (who has exceptionally good taste obviously) ... Bourg has a very "hemmed in" feel to it, sitting as it does between the massive hulk of A-D on one side and the Ecrin massif to the south east, yet despite the proximity to the mountains you don't really get nice views of them. It has a rather dark, depressing feel to it. That said, as Danton commented, it's practical in the sense there are plenty of cheap places to stay nearby (a few campsites also) and it has cafes, supermarket and a bike shop.

Despite it being a climb up the hill I'd actually rather stay either in A-D or L2D than Bourg - being high up they are a bit nicer - though still just ski resorts.

In the area I do like La Grave further up the road the Lauteret, it has a lovely old world family run hotel (the Castillan) from where you can sit on the terrace (or by the pool) and watch the sun set on La Meiji glacier over a beer. :beerchug:
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

Dalai
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

The Castillan hotel does look good. Is La Grave accessible by public transport and does the hotel have secure bike storage?

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Danton
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Location: Aix-les-Bains

by Danton

Dalai wrote:The Castillan hotel does look good. Is La Grave accessible by public transport and does the hotel have secure bike storage?

A lot of the buses from Grenoble stop in Bourg d'Oisans... but here's one that doesn't:
http://www.vfd.fr/horaires/ler-35/brian ... oble-ler35

Only it is once a day from Grenoble to La Grave in the evening Monday-Saturday, in the morning on Sundays.

sawyer
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Location: Natovi Landing

by sawyer

yes, it has secure storage and/or they let you store in the room. relaxed i'd say
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:


Dalai
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

Thanks dgasmd. Was a great read! :thumbup:

by Weenie


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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

BTW, something specific to Dalai that I did not mention in my post. If this is the first time you are going to Europe/France, doing some more than biking is definetely in order. However, what I have found from past experience in addition to this recent trip, is that you won't do both well in a single trip. If you go with your significant other, they'll be bore to tears waiting for you to come back from hours of riding, and at the same time, you'll be feeling guilty and bad for them for not being able to do anything while you re enjoying yourself. If they do go to do stuff while you ride, you'll be missing out on the stuff they are doing too. In other words, you will end up doing both poorly and not enjoy it as much. I had the benefit of already having done one, the sight seeing.

If you are going by yourself, it is a different story. You can get up early and head out the door by 7-8 AM, ride until whenever, come back, shower, and spend the rest of the day doing other stuff. That will become extremely tiring in a couple of days, so your vacation will turn into a chore. The conclusion is that you have to define ahead of time what is it that you are doing with your time while there and be realistic about time and such.

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