Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4

    Riding the French Alps in mid-late September

    Hey, I'm going to be soloing France in mid to late September. This is exciting, I hear it's got some of the best riding in Europe!

    However... I've found that almost all of the lifts shut down by late August, and that there aren't any more guided tours by then. That leaves me in a bit of a pickle.

    Does anyone have any advice for a lone rider in the French Alps in the off season?
    Specifically:

    1) Is this too late in the season? (I've ridden the Canadian Rockies later in the year than that, so I don't see why it would be.)

    2) Is there anywhere I should seek out or avoid?

    3) Should I suck it up and get accommodations and a map, or is there a good way to find a guide without breaking the bank?


    Edit: I should mention that I'm more than willing to do some climbing. I know the lifts are mostly shut down by this time of year, but I'm mostly a cross country kind of rider anyway. Work won't kill me.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    41
    These guys http://www.bikevillage.co.uk/dates_prices_booking.htm do guiding up until 25th September if it's any help. i think they do a lot of climbing, but also do van uplifts to take a lot of the pain out of it. They are in Les Arcs, which is very well known for it's endless technical singletrack. You could possibly get very cheap digs in the area and hire a local guide, but Bike Village are very highly regarded (As are Trail Addiction, but i think that they close for business in mid September)

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkFu
    These guys http://www.bikevillage.co.uk/dates_prices_booking.htm do guiding up until 25th September if it's any help. i think they do a lot of climbing, but also do van uplifts to take a lot of the pain out of it. They are in Les Arcs, which is very well known for it's endless technical singletrack. You could possibly get very cheap digs in the area and hire a local guide, but Bike Village are very highly regarded (As are Trail Addiction, but i think that they close for business in mid September)
    This looks great, I appreciate it. I'll definitely do some inquiry.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by Caribou
    This looks great, I appreciate it. I'll definitely do some inquiry.
    No worries . I hope you find what you're after. I am going there myself on Friday for a week. I've got a bit of guiding booked with Trail Addiction. Really looking forward to it, i've never heard a bad word said about the riding in Les Arcs, other than that without a guide you'll miss all the best stuff.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    Its not to late in the season, actually maybe better then in the hot summer.
    Lifts close due to end of tourist season.

    If all fails, get a gps, and download some tracks and go ride.
    I will do that in the same period in the same area... I have a month the time and a car...

    Maybe we even can meet

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by leov
    Its not to late in the season, actually maybe better then in the hot summer.
    Lifts close due to end of tourist season.

    If all fails, get a gps, and download some tracks and go ride.
    I will do that in the same period in the same area... I have a month the time and a car...

    Maybe we even can meet
    It sounds like most of the companies that do "vacations" close for the same reason. I called a few that claim to do late September tours, and they've all canceled due to lack of interest. (Including BikeVillage!)

    So unless something else comes up, I may indeed be looking at the hostel+a map route.
    And yeah, hell, while this thread is here, anyone in that area that feels like getting together for a ride in the September 18-28 range, well hey, I'll be riding.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    I just booked the 18th till 25 by Bikevillage, maybe the will get enough people...

    If this fails I will try to book a room for 2 weeks in Champchella, the Dutch owner is a biker, and organizes a lot off raids, daytrips etc. That gite is all year in function, even mid winter.
    You will get gps tracks and maps at the desk. They know the area very well.

    For if you interested
    http://www.gite-labergerie.com/ No english version, but you will see their email.

    This area is more laid back then the north of the Alpes. And more south means normally a little better climate.

    For meeting: problem is a bit the area is so big But if you have an area picked out, let me know.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    Bikevillage closes after the 18th...
    I can go the week before, and then travel 200Km so that I can do at gite labergerie a 7 day trekking. mmmh planning is never my best skill...

  9. #9
    chips & bier
    Reputation: eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,359
    If you're headed for the Brianšon / Champcella and have a GPS I'd be happy to provide you with a bunch of XC trails...

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    Hi Eric, just got some emails from the Champcella guys, so it looks like I can use the tracks. Thanks for the offer. Will contact you when 100% sure.

    Caribou, there are enough 50 Euro a night hotels with rooms free.
    Checked campings, and many closes 30th september.

    And if you can expand your tour a few days, you can visit de Roc d’Azur.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    ERic, yep I am going to Champchella, to do part of the Chemin du Soleil trans alp, the new North section, Grenoble start. End with a week before to explore more. So tracks are welcome, will send you a pb.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by leov
    Hi Eric, just got some emails from the Champcella guys, so it looks like I can use the tracks. Thanks for the offer. Will contact you when 100% sure.

    Caribou, there are enough 50 Euro a night hotels with rooms free.
    Checked campings, and many closes 30th september.

    And if you can expand your tour a few days, you can visit de Roc d’Azur.
    I've definitely been looking at getting a room in the Champcela as an option. The fellow from the link you posted said that their tours are booked, but riding with gps is totally appealing too. I'm inquiring as to whether they have room rentals available for that period.

    I was looking at just hosteling in the Les Gets-Morzine area, renting a bike and doing cross country, but the weather seems pretty touch and go around there, and most of the reviews of the trails I found focused on the lift access stuff, which will all be closed.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    Yep, I got a last place in the tour due to a cancellation.

    So your not bringing your own bike, that restricts you a bit to more bike orientated areas....
    One thing about mountain weather, it changes quickly too. So unless youre real unlucky you will have good days too in Les Gets, its only september, not mid winter

    Maybe Chamonix is something to do, they have put more trails there. So less dependable on lifts.
    http://www.chamonix.com/mountain-bike,35,en.html

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    122
    im spending 2 weeks in Les Arcs with trailAddiction from 20th Aug to 3rd Sep 2011. Are any of you guys going next year ? It will be my first time riding mountains! :-)

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    57
    Not sure, it wil be Les Arcs or the Italian side of the Alps this year. Or both
    Trailaddiction sounds good Have fun.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •