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Mountain Passes and small roads

infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
edited April 2009 in Tour & expedition
Hi

Mrs P and myself are cycling from Annecy to Nice and back again at the end of june and we're currently planning the route.

In Grindelwald, where we tend to ski, there are lots of small routes over the mountains that are suitable for cycling but dont really feature on road maps.

We're riding on road bikes with 23mm or 25mm tyres (pro race 2/3's).

Does anyyone know of any "secret" ways across the alpes as we'd prefer to do the whole journey on small roads.

Pete
www.tomtracks.com
Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Not a clue but my word, am I jealous!
  • psmiffypsmiffy Posts: 236
    Not enough roads for them to be secret - when you get there you find the passes are mainly small roads anyway - cayolle et.al.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    Le grand randonnee 8). I would first buy a Michelin Road atlas 1:200,000 (1cm = 2km). It shows every road in France, the OS, of road maps. I love looking at mine, planning routes......Annecy to Nice a beautiful ride through stunning mountain scenery arriving at the seaside. It is so far and so many places you could visit cycle through, up or down that you will have to plan it yourself as only you know what you are capable of and what you like. However you should cycle the following: Col de la Croix Fer, Alpe-d'huez and the cols Telegraphe and Galibier, then to Briancon then D902 up and over then Col 'Izoard then drop down to Barcelonnette following the D902 joining the D908 climbing the col d'Allos, D955 to St Andre then Castellane into Alpes-Maritimes, then the fabulous Gorge du Verdon France and Europe's Grand Canyon then due East along N85 down hill to D2 taking back road via Col de Vence and Vence dropping into Nice. There easy. Half the fun of a journey/tour for me is planning it yourself and then doing it. The sense of achievement is great. Then you are cycling back :D . If you want the ultimate take a ferry from Nice to Bastia on Corsica late afternoon/evening so when you are about 5 miles off coast the sun is setting on the coast and Alps behind turn orange, copper and pink , absolutely stunning then return early morning to see the sun rise on them. The Mediterranean is stunning, it is something in the air that gives the blue skies and soft light especially spring early summer.

    If you don’t fancy the above climbing then take an ‘easier’ route further west of Grenoble and Gap to Sisteron into Provence then Draguignan east up to Frejus, St. Raphael, Cannes and Nice.

    Have a nice time as the scenery is breath taking. Travel light and take a sufficiently low gear to get over all those cols. Should take you about 3 days........
    8) 8) 8)
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    Hi Everyone,

    I just thought I'd add a point or two :)

    We've done this before but it was twenty years ago (doesn't time fly?)

    Our problem, the last time we did it, is that there are so few small roads you inevitably end up on the occasional main road for a few kilometers or more.

    We are just exploring the possibilities of avoiding main roads altogether .... if it's possible?

    Pete
    www.tomtracks.com
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    I think you are on to a loser.

    Apart from the standard passes, most small roads either don't go through or turn into footpaths. There will be some exceptions but not many.
    eg the Col de Parpaillon as an alternative to the Col de Vars (not that I'd recommend it on 23c tyres), or taking the Col de la Moutiere through to St Dalmas as an alternative to the Bonnette.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    What map(s) have you got?
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I am so jealous!

    Anyway, what might help is that over the last few years, I've noticed a lot of cycle lanes being laid down beside the busier routes through the alps. For example, Annecy to Le Grand Bornand has a very neat looking cycle path and there is one going in up from Briancon to the foot of the Galibier.

    In any case, I have always had a lot of respect from drivers on those roads.

    I am even more jealous just thinking about it. :(


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • wakemalcolmwakemalcolm Posts: 633
    Pete
    Have you tried the Cicerone guide to touring in the French alpes? There's a grand traverse route in there that might be worth a look.
    Enjoy!
    ================================
    Cake is just weakness entering the body
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    to answer the last two questions:

    We've got the Michelin 1:200,000 one that covers all of the alpes, several Michelin 1:150,000's and all the IGN ones.

    When we go I'll also have TomTom on my phone. Though I only use that if we can't work out which tiny road to go down.

    And secondly, I've never seen the Cicerone traverse route, where does it go?

    Pete
    www.tomtracks.com
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    http://americanbicyclegroup.wordpress.com

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
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