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Die in France....

briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
edited June 2018 in Tour & expedition
Sorry, couldn't resist the topic title, as....

I've just discovered that some friends of mine have a house in Die in the Alps. Here.

It looks good for cycling, but does anyone have experience of this area?
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  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    Who would want to cycle when you could be drinking Clairette? (We like the Tradition!) A very lovely area of France worth discovering.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    mz__jo wrote:
    Who would want to cycle when you could be drinking Clairette? (We like the Tradition!) A very lovely area of France worth discovering.
    I'm guessing that it's a less well-known area for cyclists/tourists, as it doesn't seem to throw up much on Youtube or Google. I see there's the Col de Rousset, but it looks like the are plenty of other roads and areas to discover, and if we had a van could get to more famous climbs quite easily, I guess, should we want something more challenging.
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    If you go over the Rousset, I recommend a circuit from Vassieux, westward to Leoncel, NE to St. Jean-en-Royans, then SE towards la Chapelle-en-Vercors, but before reaching there, then turn south back to Vassieux. Lots of small picturesque cols and small empty roads. About 90 km/2600(?) m.

    It’s about 30 km from Die to Vassieux, with about 1000 m climbing from the Die side and 350 m from the Vassieux side.

    By closing the circle earlier, you could also shorten the circuit in a couple of places, down to about 65 km/1900(?) m by skipping Leoncel, down to 35 km/600(/) m by skipping both Leoncel and St. Jean-en-Royans (although then you’d miss riding the Combe Laval, east of St. Jean-en-Royans).

    6058304091_fca8bed2fa.jpg
    6058294231_5ef37159bf.jpg
    6058294289_2ff5c6e03c.jpg
    6058294349_7d04441daf.jpg
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    Ooh, thanks for all those ideas ... the photos are spectacular, but I wouldn't be anywhere near the edge of the road or going very fast!!

    Fingers crossed I can get something sorted for next year! Looks like a great area to explore, away from the normal cycling destinations.
  • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
    Awesome pictures!
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    Do I recognise the jerseys of the Club des 100 Cols in one of the middle pictures?
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    mz__jo wrote:
    Do I recognise the jerseys of the Club des 100 Cols in one of the middle pictures?
    I think you’re right.

    The photos are from one of the FFCT ‘brevet montagnard’ events.
  • Woohoo, I've just found out I can borrow the friends' house at Die! So now into planning mode .... especially trying to work out the best time to go to fit round my teaching, and to get the best chance of decent weather ... early June, perhaps, in the school half-term?

    Anyway, I'm jolly excited. It's going to be different from Devon.
  • Die is awesome.
    Apart from the Vercors to the north you've got some fantastic cycling south of the Drome river too.
    Check out the Col de Chaudiere up past the Trois Becs near the town of Saillans.
    The Col de Pennes from the west is also a toughie.

    Have fun
  • craigenty wrote:
    Die is awesome.
    Apart from the Vercors to the north you've got some fantastic cycling south of the Drome river too.
    Check out the Col de Chaudiere up past the Trois Becs near the town of Saillans.
    The Col de Pennes from the west is also a toughie.

    Have fun
    Thanks - fun is the major part of the plan!!! I'll be printing off this thread once we get into the detailed planning stage and poring over it with the friends who should be going with me. I'm going to get super super excited .... it's only eight months away, and I'm salivating already.

    I saw the pupil's parents in person last week, and they said "We wanted to give you something to say thank you for all you've done for him, and when you asked about borrowing the house, we thought, 'perfect!' ". Aww, shucks! Aren't people nice sometimes?
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    Right - full steam ahead. Dates fixed, three, probably four riders, so have seven days of cycling to fill. Will probably do Alpe d'Huez one day, possibly Mont Ventoux another, definitely a Col de Rousset circuit another. Any other experiences or ideas still welcome. It looks like a really nice mix of terrain round there, so want the mix of rides to reflect that! Not long now...... :)
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    craigenty wrote:
    Brilliant - thanks! I'll download the gpx and save that one!!
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    Right, it's all happening the week after next. Four of us going. Planned rides:
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1206160 (thanks Craig - 74 miles, 11,000ft of climbing)
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1206226 (75 miles, 14,000ft of climbing)
    plus (I hope) Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux, if we've got any legs left.

    Might do something less ambitious on the other days! Sadly we'll miss all the Diamond Jubilee celebrations...
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    We're here now, and having a totally wonderful time. Stunning countryside. Did the Col do Rousset yesterday (nice to ascend and descend) but just popped up to Chapel en Vercors and back, as the weather was poor. Today, a quite outstanding 80-miler: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1270629. Some of the descents were totally breathtaking, especially the one into La Charce, and the valley back north from Saint-Nazaire-le-Désert.

    Tomorrow: Alpe d'Huez. It has to be done.
  • mickisupmickisup Posts: 295
    I would be interested if you knew of any places to hire bikes by the day in that area? Looking to go there at the end of August but wanted to take train via Paris and spend 3-4 days riding etc. Any suggestions?
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    mickisup wrote:
    I would be interested if you knew of any places to hire bikes by the day in that area? Looking to go there at the end of August but wanted to take train via Paris and spend 3-4 days riding etc. Any suggestions?
    Sorry, dunno about that, though there is a local club that we saw out: http://www.ccdie.fr.st/ [email protected] tél.0684617024. I'm sure they'd point you in the right direction. Oh, there was one at Malaucene, at Ventoux, but that's some way away.

    It's just awesome cycling there. To have a centre from which we could get to Alpe d'Huez in under 3 hours, Mont Ventoux in 2 hours, plus loads of completely stunning routes locally, is just perfect. There are plenty of flat roads too, if you avoid the cols (though you'd be mad to do that, as they are all good, and really quiet), if you just want to get in some easier miles. And there are hardly any British people there - lots of Dutch - so it doesn't feel at all 'touristy'.

    I can't wait to go back!
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    knedlicky wrote:
    If you go over the Rousset, I recommend a circuit from Vassieux, westward to Leoncel, NE to St. Jean-en-Royans, then SE towards la Chapelle-en-Vercors, but before reaching there, then turn south back to Vassieux. Lots of small picturesque cols and small empty roads. About 90 km/2600(?) m.
    Thanks so much for this. Actually we went Die - Col de Rousset - Vassieux - Combe Laval - St. Jean-en-Royans - Leoncel - Blacons - Die. A fabulous 100-mile route, even though we spent half of it in cloud and were cold and wet for lots of it. Can't wait to do it again another time in better weather! But it was still stunning.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    Just had to post this photo, from Combe Laval - if you zoom in, you can see my riding partner coming round the corner. If you're ever anywhere near the place, it really is not to be missed!

    DSC08342_10-06-2012.jpg
  • GotteGotte Posts: 494
    Oh man, that looks wonderful. I could quite happily die in Die.
    Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough.
    Not that I Live in Sough, but you get the the point.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 5,148
    Gotte wrote:
    Oh man, that looks wonderful. I could quite happily die in Die.
    There aren't many places in the world I'd rather live than where I do. I think this might be one of them. Can't wait to go back. Food and cycling paradise. And sun.
  • Sorry, a thread resurrection, but having got to know the place much better, this is really cycling heaven. If you don't know where to go in France, you'd be hard-pressed to beat it. Just been down there again (er, I seem to own a house there now), this time on the train (Eurostar/TGV to Valence), and I can't wait to go back again. Hardly any Brits (loads of Dutch), and not really that many road cyclists at all. Given the quality of the riding (the sublime and barely known Col de Rousset is on the doorstep), the fact that it's halfway between Mont Ventoux and the classic Alpine climbs, I can't think why it isn't swarming. Still, I'm very happy it isn't, as it leaves the roads nice and empty...

    Anyway, to give you a taste of the scenery in February:

    diepanorama.jpg

    Perhaps I'll see a few of you down there this year now?
  • Looks superb Brian..................

    Anyhow, just popped in to say hello to a trumpet player from a tuba player :D
  • Looks superb Brian..................

    Anyhow, just popped in to say hello to a trumpet player from a tuba player :D
    Bet you don't cycle to gigs though...
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    this is really cycling heaven...I seem to own a house there now...Perhaps I'll see a few of you down there this year now?
    Open house?
  • knedlicky wrote:
    this is really cycling heaven...I seem to own a house there now...Perhaps I'll see a few of you down there this year now?
    Open house?
    I'll put the kettle on.
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    I've got a week tour in June starting in Grenoble working round Cols de Glandon, Galibier and Izoard before making our way up to Die and the Vercors for 3 days and then back to Grenoble - I was really looking forward to it before you resurrected this - now I'm salivating! :D
  • pdstsp wrote:
    I've got a week tour in June starting in Grenoble working round Cols de Glandon, Galibier and Izoard before making our way up to Die and the Vercors for 3 days and then back to Grenoble - I was really looking forward to it before you resurrected this - now I'm salivating! :D
    Do ask if you need any ideas, though it sounds like you know the area already. Too many highlights to mention, but if you want to keep salivating, the Col de Grimone is a good 'un, if it's reopen by then - closed at the mo because of falling rocks. The view below is looking east back towards Col de la Croix Haute:

    DSC09888_22-08-2013.JPG

    PS - might be around 2nd week of June, if that's the same time. One lump or two?
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Thanks for the offer - when I've sorted my routes I'll post them up for approval.. The basics are that after the Izoard we are staying in Gap and riding up to Die from there. Staying two nights in Die so one day circular ride from Gap and next day riding back to Grenoble to pick car up. We are credit card touring and very very light.

    Looks like we may miss the offer of tea - we are leaving Grenoble on 22nd June.

    The picture above looks like fantastic cycling country - can't wait!

    Paul
  • pdstsp wrote:
    Thanks for the offer - when I've sorted my routes I'll post them up for approval.. The basics are that after the Izoard we are staying in Gap and riding up to Die from there. Staying two nights in Die so one day circular ride from Gap and next day riding back to Grenoble to pick car up. We are credit card touring and very very light.

    Looks like we may miss the offer of tea - we are leaving Grenoble on 22nd June.
    Ah yes, alas, too late for me. Gap is one of the places I'd like to include in a ride sometime - I was thinking about catching the train to Briançon sometime, and riding back from there. One ride I've definitely got planned is Die-Valdrome-Serres-Col de Cabre-Die. The Cold de Cabre should be a stunning descent - as yet I've only been up & down in in icy conditions, so was taking it extremely steady. I'm not sure how busy the main road from Gap gets though - not too bad once this side of the Col, but it was quite busy in Veynes last week.
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