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drive down to alps then ride

john_smithjohn_smith Posts: 85
edited September 2007 in Tour & expedition
I'm thinking of trying to do a cheap week in the french alps. Planning to drive down from london so I have a car with me and able to go to different areas once there. Looking to take a week down there riding around 5 days around 4-6 hours per day to get some decent training in.
Few things I'm not so sure on which hope people might be able to advise on based on their experience.

Not sure if to go for it in next 6 weeks before gets too cold or wait until march/april next year?
Any suggestions on accomodation? I was planning on staying in hotel/b+b as prob going down on my own (unless anyone fancies free car seat and split costs on a cheap apartment)
Suggestions for routes/rides? I was prob going to pull a few routes such as alp d'huez from motionbased or as have a gps. However any suggestions on routes/cols worth riding please advise. Have memory map so can trace routes in.
Any other info, tips or recommendations

Thanks for help


  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    John do it in the next 4 weeks or so, no chance will you have of getting over major passes such as Galibier/Madeleine/Croix De Fer etc in March/April....christ, your sometimes lucky if those high passes are cleared from snow by mid June!

    There are so many parts you could choose from....Around Grenoble is Alpe De Huez/Galibier/Madeleine etc a tad farther away you have the Izoard/Vars etc...another direction take you to L'Iseran,La Plagna,Courcheval etc....a great website with great advice is :-

    The guys a gem, and he is a very helpful chap indeed...ask him for advice!

    BUT if you do go there...maybe a worthy excursion would be the 2hour drive away of that is a very special climb...

  • that website is great and looks like an endless amount of rides worth doing. thanks for the help.
  • Don't miss Glandon/col de fer adn teh 'backside' of Alp D'huez which loops you back to te main road and a lovely whizz back to Bourg. Lovely area but Ventoux is great too as it stands alone and has lots of stories attached. HAve fun!
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Don't miss Glandon/col de fer adn teh 'backside' of Alp D'huez which loops you back to te main road and a lovely whizz back to Bourg. Lovely area but Ventoux is great too as it stands alone and has lots of stories attached. HAve fun!

    but what about the Galibier or the Iseran, the 2 highest Alpine climbs? The Aravis or the Colombier?
  • hello john smith, if you want ideas check out my slideshow in tour & expedition named
    Cycletouringjoe: Cycling Venice to London Via Stelvio Pass
    Anyhow about 200 miles or so from Calais in the directions of the alps I stayed in the dutch lady's place for 16 euros, for 2 people, it did have 2 bunk beds, so sleeps 4, and a little kitchenet and a table with 2 benches, also a little porch with tables and chair. A big garage to chain up your bikes in. her websiteis, it will give you all the info you will need. If you go tell Beatrice, the boys who cycled Venice to London send their warmest regards.

    good luck, if you are going to do this it has to be now, I cycled through North France and it was already cold, first time i came back to the UK and thought how lovely and warm it was after a hoilday.... :lol:
    I just tried her link it did not work so she speaks english, tel no 0033329851179 & e-mailis [email protected], post code for campsite is 55110 Romagne-sous-Montfaucon,Fr
    hope it helps
  • Hi John, just back from the Alpes and a had superb time. Had two weeks of superb weather, warm and sunny every day except Tuesday when we returned home. Speaking to locals they said weather is normally good at this time of year, though you do get a couple of wet days every two weeks or so.

    As regards accomodation: no problem at this time of year, plenty available and a cheaper rates than summer. Most hotels charge a room rate, so works out expensive if on your own though. Hostels or gites cheap if dont mind sharing with others. We camped a few nights which was fine but a bit cold at night. After end of september a lot of place start shutting for season, so would go sooner rather than later.

    As places to go would reccomend Bourg d 'Oisons. My holiday was primarily a walking trip but drove down to Bourg for a couple of days and hired bike. It really is a cycling mecca surrounded by epic Tour climbs. I cycled the Croix de Fer and then Alpe d 'Huez which was amazing. Met loads of other cyclists from all over the world. The tourist office have a booklet with 30 routes which would highly reccomend,cost is only 10 euros. Is also a couple of bike shops in town if need any spares etc.

    Another place I have stayed is Grand Bornand at foot of the Colombiere , a really beutifull climb. Lots of really great cycling and at lower elevations so might be warmer later in year. Cols Aravis, Croix Fry and Saises all nearby as well .

    Hope you have good trip, Dave
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