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Die in France....

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  • Veynes Gap is excellent - yes, busy and fast, but there is ample provision for bicycles. The cycling just south of Veynes is absolutely wonderful. I have spent many weeks in a campsite in Montmaur getting in thousands of quality kilometers around there. I passed through Die last summer and stayed the night but didn't get a ride in.

    Perhaps street view shows it, I'm not sure. Tourist office of Hautes Alpes publishes a cycling map free of charge which has good info. Possibly available to download.
  • Veynes Gap is excellent - yes, busy and fast, but there is ample provision for bicycles. The cycling just south of Veynes is absolutely wonderful. I have spent many weeks in a campsite in Montmaur getting in thousands of quality kilometers around there. I passed through Die last summer and stayed the night but didn't get a ride in.

    Perhaps street view shows it, I'm not sure. Tourist office of Hautes Alpes publishes a cycling map free of charge which has good info. Possibly available to download.
    Will certainly need to explore that area. I've yet to find a duff road or route within a 40-mile radius of Die.

    At some stage I'm going to do a list and review of cols in the area (I'm guessing that there must be twenty or so over 1000m in the area) on my blog (see signature), starting with the wonderful (and relatively unknown) Col de Rousset - nice to have it within 15 minutes of the house: rather good for a quick evening ride.

    EDIT - a snap from the top of the Col de Rousset from last week:

    IMAG0601.jpg
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    Great thread!

    Staying in Autrans at the end of May for the Challenge Vercors. Arriving on the Thursday so looking for some decent warm-up rides for Friday and Saturday.

    Any recommendations?
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    narbs wrote:
    Great thread!

    Staying in Autrans at the end of May for the Challenge Vercors. Arriving on the Thursday so looking for some decent warm-up rides for Friday and Saturday.

    Any recommendations?
    How far do you want to go? (That's not a chat-up line.)

    I'm not so familiar with north Vercors, but you've just got to do Gorges de la Bourne, and Combe Laval. The road that goes from part-way down the Gorges road to St Agnan-en-Vercors is a lovely one. Great pity that Les Grands Goulets is closed now (too dangerous because of rockfalls), though if you're sneaky and brave, and VERY naughty, you might find a way from the southern end. And even if you don't fancy going as far as Die via the superb descent down from Col de Rousset, go through to get the view from the top.

    Another snap, from Gorges de la Bourne, in August:

    DSC09855_22-08-2013.JPG

    I was quite glad to be going up it, rather than down.

    To be honest all the roads in the Vercors are stunning (if you're lucky with the weather - it can be very cold and wet up there), so get one of the IGN maps (there are a couple of Vercors-specific ones) and just wend your way round the place.

    There are quite a few routes listed in my blog, but they are all starting from Die, which might be a little far from Autrans, I suspect. My Die/Pont-en-Royans/Gorges/Villard/St Agnan/Die route was a fairly tiring 80-miler. I think Autrans would have added another 20 miles to that.
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    Thanks Brian, very helpful.

    This is the route we're doing on the Sunday - http://www.sportcommunication.info/web2 ... trophee=57 so we might head up the Col d'Herbouilly and back round via Combe Laval on the Friday and look for something similar the following day.

    I know the Bourg d'Oisans side pretty well so really looking forward to seeing this area.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    narbs wrote:
    Thanks Brian, very helpful.

    This is the route we're doing on the Sunday - http://www.sportcommunication.info/web2 ... trophee=57 so we might head up the Col d'Herbouilly and back round via Combe Laval on the Friday and look for something similar the following day.

    I know the Bourg d'Oisans side pretty well so really looking forward to seeing this area.
    Both of the routes look really lovely - they cover a lot of the ground. The Col d'Herbouilly was one I missed on our Villard route, so will be one to do sometime. And you're probably used to it, but I've left Die when it's been 30C+ in August, spent two or three hours wet and cold (10C) up the plateau, and then come back to 30C back down off the plateau. So go prepared! I hope you have a great time!

    Incidentally, the new tunnel that bypasses Les Grands Goulets leads to a wonderful descent to Pont-en-Royans. And from the point of view of pacing, if you're heading up the hill from Vassieux to Font d'Urle, it's a long drag - once you reach the first col, you've got another 200m of ascent to go, as the valleys on the first col are to the left and right, not behind and ahead!

    Oh, to be there now - chucking it down again here in Devon, and not a col in sight either. Still, back there in five weeks.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    I've added a page of links on the blog to all of my routes from Die, here: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html - I'll be adding more as I do them. I've ridden each of the ones in the list, and there really isn't a single dull ride there.

    And just in case there are any readers from the Pro Racing forum who are interested in geology, here's a picture from La Charce:

    DSC08282_02-03-2014.JPG
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    I've added a page of links on the blog to all of my routes from Die, here: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html
    Had a look at your routes to see what ground you’ve covered and here’s two suggestions where to ride and which you seemingly haven’t yet ‘discovered’:

    To the NW, the Col de Jérôme Cavalli.
    It’s on the road going north from Gigors-et-Lorezon, lovely landscape on the south side and practically no vehicular traffic. The pass is named after a French flying ace, killed in WW2 – there’s a monument to him at the top of the pass.
    You could go to Plan-de-Baix via Sainte Croix and the Col de la Croix, and then from there do a clockwise circuit: G-et-L, C. d. Jérôme Cavalli, Col des Limouches, then (as you’ve done before) Col de Bacchus, back to Plan-de-Baix.

    To the NE, the Col des Deux and the Col de l’Allimas.
    C. d. l’Allimas is on the north side of Mont Aiguille (which you probably noticed ahead of you when descending to Clelles), and C. d. Deux is farther north again. What I like about these passes, which are also very quiet, are the distant views, especially when riding southwards. Going over the Col des Deux, you have the craggy ridge and cliffs of the Vercors massif always high up on the right. Then going over the Col de l’Allimas, there is Mont Aiguille in front, as if blocking the way and ever more imposing as you approach it.
    You could go Clelles as you did before, then on to St. Michel-les-Portes, and from there this anticlockwise circuit: Monestier-de-Clermont, St. Guillaume, St Andéol (you’ll see the ridge and cliffs becoming closer ahead of you as you approach St Andéol), Col des Deux, Gresse-en-Vercors, Col de l’Allimas, back to St. Michel-les-Portes.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    knedlicky wrote:
    Had a look at your routes to see what ground you’ve covered and here’s two suggestions where to ride and which you seemingly haven’t yet ‘discovered’
    Brilliant - thanks! Both the Clelles and Gigors routes are ones I like enormously anyway, so it'll be nice to deviate from them, and both suggestions sound good. I also want to do the cols to the west of Leoncel to take me off the plateau, returning by the roads down to Crest for a flat return. I've also got some more riding to do in the Montélimar direction, so so I'm not completely out of new routes, but I realise that spending as much time there as I am (10 weeks this year :P ) one of the pleasures will be returning to favourite destinations ... it's a good job that there are so many of them!
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    I've been out there again - no new routes this time (that'll be an August mission), but some thoughts on training: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/ ... -alps.html. The next blog posting will be on the Col de Rousset.

    Anyway, safe to say, the trip didn't disappoint. It gives me a thrill to be able to call the place home. The delight isn't subsiding with familiarity.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    Col de Rousset done now as well: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/ ... usset.html

    If anyone is in the area in August, give me a shout, and I'll race you to the top :wink:
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    65 days to go (not that I'm counting) - but so looking forward to riding this area - looks simply stunning from your photos.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,369
    You are not too far from the Col du Noyer which is worth riding.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    davidof wrote:
    You are not too far from the Col du Noyer which is worth riding.
    Thanks. I might do that by catching the train to Briançon and riding back from there. I've also got a trip planned down to Cannes to visit a friend there - I reckon 140 miles each way, so split the journey each in two, with a night's stay en route. I haven't planned the route yet, but that will give some more new roads to enjoy (even if it will be silly hot in August - one reason not to do each way in one day).
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    It's a bit late (almost two years late, in fact), but if anyone's interested in riding down to the area, I've just done a write-up of my ride from Exeter to Die (via St Malo) in 2012: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.com/20 ... -bike.html

    Writing it was really a displacement activity, as I'd rather be there than here now ... and I've got to wait till the end of July before I'm back there. Bah.

    EDIT - you'll find the route I did from St Malo to Die on the blog page, if you're going in that direction.
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 639
    I have to say Brian, I'm even more jealous now following our visit!

    Meteo France were less than optimistic for the weekend and the constant deluge from north of Grenoble to Autrans on Thursday didn't bode well. However, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all had perfect cycling weather.

    Thursday we did a loop out of St Jean en Royans taking in the Col de la Machine, Friday we left St Martin en Vercors and looped round via the Col de Rousset and the Col de Chaux and Sunday rode the Challenge Vercors.

    Some beautiful scenery and excellent climbs. Road surfaces definitely better in the south of the area.

    Couple of images from the weekend.....

    14280599832_06647b0ec7.jpg

    14095983268_8d723e0c7f.jpg

    14255149521_14f36feab1.jpg

    A couple more here if anyone's interested!
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    Glad you had a great time (nice photos!), but let's keep it quiet, so the roads stay empty for us. Can't wait myself ... about two months until my five-week chunk of paradise.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    I'll be in residence from this coming Monday for five weeks [smug grin]. If anyone's passing through and would like a mystery tour (anything from 10 to 100 miles), do give me a shout via BR. I'll be nice and let you use my roads. [still smug grin]
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Brian - Very very jealous - I had to miss my trip after breaking my hip socket in a bike v cat incident on 8 June, but my friends went and described it as the best trip they've done, so thanks for all the advice on this thread - I built a lot of it into the routes I planned. I'm hoping to make it maybe next year providing my fitness comes back!!

    Paul
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    pdstsp wrote:
    Brian - Very very jealous - I had to miss my trip after breaking my hip socket in a bike v cat incident on 8 June, but my friends went and described it as the best trip they've done, so thanks for all the advice on this thread - I built a lot of it into the routes I planned. I'm hoping to make it maybe next year providing my fitness comes back!!
    Oh dear, what a shame for you (though I'm glad your friends enjoyed themselves!) Fingers crossed for your fitness, and maybe see you down there next year. I'll be trying to avoid cats in the meantime, so I don't befall the same fate. I'll keep the blog updated, to make it even worse for you. This summer's project is to document a few more of the 1000m+ cols near me.
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Thanks Brian - yes do keep your eyes peeled for cats - my friends actually nearly had a nasty marmotte incident on the descent off the Col de la Croix de Fer on their first day out in France. Love the blog - I'm finding reading stuff and watching the tour quite inspiring - so keep it coming and enjoy your trip.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    I'm here, and after a couple of unseasonably damp days, it's back to form. Actually, the weather here hasn't been as reliable as normal, I'm told, but the result is that everywhere is looking lush. If anyone's interested, there are a couple of updates on the blog.http://www.unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk. Seriously, if anyone's in the area, do let me know and I'll happily take you on a sensible or mad ride.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    Some serious col-bagging going pn over here... three over 1200m today, including one not even marked on my map as a col, the Col de la Haute Baume. Some spectacular views... http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.fr/201 ... eaume.html

    And I haven't even been up to the Vercors yet!
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    knedlicky wrote:
    Had a look at your routes to see what ground you’ve covered and here’s two suggestions where to ride and which you seemingly haven’t yet ‘discovered’:

    To the NW, the Col de Jérôme Cavalli.
    It’s on the road going north from Gigors-et-Lorezon, lovely landscape on the south side and practically no vehicular traffic. The pass is named after a French flying ace, killed in WW2 – there’s a monument to him at the top of the pass.
    You could go to Plan-de-Baix via Sainte Croix and the Col de la Croix, and then from there do a clockwise circuit: G-et-L, C. d. Jérôme Cavalli, Col des Limouches, then (as you’ve done before) Col de Bacchus, back to Plan-de-Baix.

    To the NE, the Col des Deux and the Col de l’Allimas.
    C. d. l’Allimas is on the north side of Mont Aiguille (which you probably noticed ahead of you when descending to Clelles), and C. d. Deux is farther north again. What I like about these passes, which are also very quiet, are the distant views, especially when riding southwards. Going over the Col des Deux, you have the craggy ridge and cliffs of the Vercors massif always high up on the right. Then going over the Col de l’Allimas, there is Mont Aiguille in front, as if blocking the way and ever more imposing as you approach it.
    You could go Clelles as you did before, then on to St. Michel-les-Portes, and from there this anticlockwise circuit: Monestier-de-Clermont, St. Guillaume, St Andéol (you’ll see the ridge and cliffs becoming closer ahead of you as you approach St Andéol), Col des Deux, Gresse-en-Vercors, Col de l’Allimas, back to St. Michel-les-Portes.
    Darn it, where has the time gone? Of all your suggestions I've only got round to Col des Limouches (ascent only - it must be a great descent), and someone else mentioned Col de Noyer in the Dévoluy area, which was absolutely spectacular. With just a week to go, time's running out this time. There will always be more to do, I guess. Back in October, if all goes to plan.

    http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.fr/201 ... uches.html
    http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.fr/201 ... 1664m.html
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    knedlicky wrote:
    Had a look at your routes to see what ground you’ve covered and here’s two suggestions where to ride and which you seemingly haven’t yet ‘discovered’...
    Ha, I've used one of your routes for inspiration. Hmm, it's got a nice nittle sting in it! I've done a post in your honour...
    http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.fr/201 ... licky.html
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    knedlicky wrote:
    Had a look at your routes to see what ground you’ve covered and here’s two suggestions where to ride and which you seemingly haven’t yet ‘discovered’...
    Ha, I've used one of your routes for inspiration. Hmm, it's got a nice nittle sting in it! I've done a post in your honour...
    http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.fr/201 ... licky.html
    Thanks for the honour.
    Apart from the circuits I’ve suggested in this thread, I hope you don’t forget the route I mentioned in my pm, the Route des Ecouges (from the Gorges de la Bourne through Rencurel and over the Col de Romeyere, and then the amazing descent down from the Canyon des Écouges to St. Gervais, having a look at the old closed-off road hugging the cliff face before setting off on the descent).
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    knedlicky wrote:
    Apart from the circuits I’ve suggested in this thread, I hope you don’t forget the route I mentioned in my pm, the Route des Ecouges (from the Gorges de la Bourne through Rencurel and over the Col de Romeyere, and then the amazing descent down from the Canyon des Écouges to St. Gervais, having a look at the old closed-off road hugging the cliff face before setting off on the descent).
    Aha, thanks for the reminder. I've got two riding days left this time, so I'll see what the weather's like... forecast is for strong winds, and the circuit for this from home is either 88 miles there-and-back, or 113 miles returning on the flat via Chabeuil/Crest, which is pushing my limits in this terrain. The Canyon des Écouges is mentioned in Paddy Ashdown's excellent new book on the Vercors Résistance, so I'd like to visit it anyway.
  • Right, home now to the flat, cool, grey place in Devon. Blog reasonably up-to-date, with revised lists of cols and routes, with links to descriptions/gps route maps. If you're in the area, or planning a stay in the area, they might be of some help.

    Cols: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/p/cols.html
    Routes: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html

    Next back in late October, if anyone's in the area and would like to meet up for a ride.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    Down here again, and apart from one day of rubbish weather, it's been pretty much wall-to-wall sunshine, though cool at night. But in shorts and short sleeves by the afternoons.

    A new road for me was the D135 from St Nazaire-le-Désert to La Motte-Chalancon - four cols for the price of one, and the surprise at Chalancon. Breathtaking. The colours at this time of year (including sky of blueness I've never seen in the UK) are wonderful. A few more blog posts at http://www.unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,132
    Hmm, a week down there, and the first ride of the year, surrounded by snow: http://unanglaisendiois.blogspot.co.uk/ ... -2015.html

    Actually, it was really nice to do some walking for a change, though I slightly screwed up my left knee.

    Anyone heading in this direction this year? Give me a shout and drop in for coffee, if I'm home. If you're coming down for the last week of the TdF you'll be near my front door.

    Oh, and for a taster of the scenery this week:

    DSC02154.20141231blog.jpg
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