On August 6, 2017, we began a 6 day mountain bike trip with Alps Mountain Bike Guide Company starting in the amazing, adorable, adventure wonderland of Chamonix, France and ending in Zermatt Switzerland. The trip was tough and included lots of steep climbing and hike-a-bikes and super technical descents, but it was super fun. The weather not always kind or forgiving, but the scenery, food and little towns that we would have never visited otherwise were awesome! Apologies as this post is not full of bike porn pics (because being one of the slowest ones in the group meant that I didn’t have much time to stop and take bike pix), but mostly scenery, buildings, etc. BUT as soon they’re up, I’ll add links to Dave’s GoPro footage of the mountain biking for the day here:
AND, you can also check out my super cool “relive” video using this link:
….and here’s what happened, and what we saw on Day 2:
We started the day with an INCREDIBLE lift ride on the Verbier ski lift up super high….the lift ride was amazing and gorgeous. We then traversed along the mountainside on a fairly flat singletrack trail, riding through BEAUTIFUL wildflowers on the pass of the “Croix de Coeur”….
It was COLD so I was trying to work hard pedaling to keep warm, so I was pretty proud of how well i was hanging with the rest of the group.
I should also mention that I was the weakest climber of the group. even after training all summer on our teeny hills and then going to the mountains every other wekeend (sometimes more often) to get REAL climbing training in. I was much improved compared to 2015, BUT still the weakest climber in the group. Fortunately, for me, there was another woman there who was about my speed, generally speaking. I was usually faster on the downhill, even though she was a stronger climber. It was nice to have at least someone closer to my speed.
…AND I was actually on antibiotics for an ear and sinus infection, and they weren’t working that well. I was feeling much weaker than normal, and kind of had “PMS legs” (sorry guys, it happens) to boot.
Some of the singletrack was on this teeny ledge which was so SUPER scary, because if you did fall, there was nothing to catch you and keep you from going many, many yards down the side of the mountain. It was definitely an adventure!
Then came lots and lot of the climbing and the climbing on this day was SO TOUGH!!!!! AND some parts were soooo ridiculously steep and long that we had to hike our bikes up.
We rode everything, from gnarly singletrack, to jeep track, to hike a bike, to riding through incredibly adorable little villages…I seriously can’t wait to see the Go Pro footage!
I’ll never forget being at a traverse and our guide pointing to, what looked like, an impossible peak, saying that we were going there next. We LAUGHED, we totally thought he was JOKING!!! or out of his MIND.
Based on my Strava, that hike-a-bike was a 1,600′ elevation gain over 0.9 miles. NO JOKE!!!!!!
Then more technical downhill to get a shuttle to the town of Evolene, for those of us who were done for the day. There was another hour long (or more, for me!) climb required to get to the top of “Sex Pey” before descending down to Evolene, so roughly half of us took the shuttle, and some of us rode all the way to Evolene. The guys who rode got back late, whereas those of us who shuttled were able to shower and explore the adorable and interesting little town. The architecture of the town was so unique, as most of the houses were wooden in the front and stone in the back, or vice-versa, depending on the direction that they were facing. I can’t remember which direction the wood sides faced (South?) and the stone sides faced (North?), sorry. I even tried looking it up-impossible!!!They also had some beautiful painting techniques on the stone part of a lot of the houses that are unique to Evolene. Get ready for tons of pix from there: