5 days in the Maritime Alps...I have a plan but would love some feedback/ideas!

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Bussy, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Bussy

    Bussy Bussy

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    Long time lurker, turns trip planner and eventually day trippin poster.

    I know August is a long way off but since I don't get as much time to ride as I would like, I have to make sure that I milk the planning phase!

    I have a 5 day pass from the wife and can't wait to explore some of the high passes in the French Alps. I am based in Switzerland.

    Here's my plan: 5 days, 1590kms, ave. 320km/day.

    Day 1:
    [​IMG]
    Day 2:
    [​IMG]
    Day 3:
    [​IMG]
    Day 4:
    [​IMG]
    Day 5:
    [​IMG]

    Hit me with your local knowledge, advice, routes, pictures, I am all :ear
    #1
  2. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    This being August, I assume that you will have made advance reservations for the daily stops - your daily distances will make for fairly long days and accommodations could be thin if you don't have a place waiting for you for the night.

    You might also wander over to the Alpine Roads web site and post there in the Forums.

    Between here and there, you should get a goodly amount of info.

    What you do have looks good - you'll hit most of the major passes and roads. You will miss a few, the Vercours with the Col de Rousset and the Col de Turini; but there's always next year :wink:
    #2
  3. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    August will normally have excellent,hot weather....If it were I,I'd stop off in Chamonix and take the cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi,sit and have a coffee and take in the splendid and superb views of Mont Blanc (4.8kms alt)and the surrounding ranges.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aiguille_du_Midi#Cable_car


    :D
    #3
  4. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    From his route, it looks like he's based near Montreux. If so, that's only about 85kms from Chamonix and he can get there anytime.

    Every time I've been through Chamonix, the weather has been bad - low clouds. I couldn't see spending the time and money to look at the tops of clouds. :huh

    One of these days, though, my lock is bound to change. :D
    #4
  5. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    I'm sure your luck will indeed change...sounds like you have the same kind of luck I have!!!...ho hum...
    :D



    .
    #5
  6. Bussy

    Bussy Bussy

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    Thanks for your input...

    As for accomm, yes I have booked places that offer free cancellation on booking.com, just in case! I'm not one for just turning up, if I did that I would never cover the same distances, would waste valuable bike time.

    Also means I can modify my plan.

    I think Col de Rousset might be for another year but Col de Turini is not far away and was on my list of 'regrets' for this route. What do you think MichaelJ, is it worth to re-route for Turini? I would probably have to sacrifice or at least modify my Day 2 loop to make time and shift things around so I had an extra half a day in the 'deep south'.

    As for the Chamonix cable car, I've never been up there and looking at the pics it is definitely now at the top of my list for a Sat/Sun afternoon trip.
    #6
  7. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    Yip..if you get the weather IMO it'd be a shame not to spend a morning there,and then ride on. You get to look up at the summit of Mont Blanc(only a further 1 km up) you can also walk out through an ice tunnel and see climbers setting off for the peak.

    :D
    #7
  8. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    It would add almost 150kms to your loop south from Isola, and that would be a ride over the Col, turn around and ride back sort of thing.

    I'd tend to hold off on that for another year and include the Col de Tende (old road - if you have a suitable bike and/or skills)
    #8
  9. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    I'd take a serious look at your planned mileage, I've a feeling you're overdoing it if you want things like breakfast, lunch and dinner in daylight.
    #9
  10. Bussy

    Bussy Bussy

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    Good advice MichaelJ. I will add Col de Tende to my 'regrets' list for this trip. To your question on my bike/skills, I have a Tiger 1050 which for sure could handle the road but my skills with regards to dodgy tarmac / gravel are poor to say the least. I have done a few trips around Europe (day trips, 4 or 5 day trips) but have only been riding for 6 years. I've riden a few gravel roads in Malaysia (used to live there) but on an Aprilia Pegaso Strade 650 and not blind switchbacks. When I look on googlemaps streetview, the Italian side of the Tende looks a bit scary on the blind swithbank front, in case of cars coming the other way. The French side looks more open. I will for sure, ride more, prepare, visit Turini and Tende another year...thanks for the tip :thumb

    To catweasel, 300km per day is very achievable and my days 2,3,4 are all more or less bang on 300km. Days 1 and 5 are a bit longer but Day 1 (350km) I will be keen and fresh and Day 5 (375km) I will be homeward bound and somehow I don't count the 35km from Martigny to Montreux :wink:

    Having said that, I agree it is quite intense. I don't get anywhere near as much time as I would like to ride, so when I get a few days to myself, I like to make the most of it. I have a couple of rules that make these longish days more achievable: early nights, early mornings, eat and leave before 8am, 4 hours of riding before lunch allows for more stops and generally more relaxed afternoons/early evenings.
    #10
  11. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    I really don't remember the Italian side of the Col, other than it being nicely paved. The French side (after the turn off from the main road) is "paved" for about the first half and then reverts to gravel. I don't recall it being overly nasty. I was on a 1200GS, but my dirt skills are pretty poor. It should be readily do-able on any bike with wider handlebars and "normal" front end geometry - i.e. not kicked out like a cruiser. This was as of 2008.

    I'd definitely go up the French side rather than down. I'm MUCH braver going uphill :D
    #11
  12. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    Aren't we all! :D
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  13. ptr

    ptr Elefant-Tamer

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    try http://alpenroute.de. of course, it´s in german, but you may find any destination in the ´index´ by name or in this map http://alpenrouten.de/regions.html?region=21.


    you´ll get information about current driveability, height and grade of difficulty. roads in the whole alps are covered, mostly pictured, and more comprehensive than alpineroads.com.

    if you need more information (perhaps also in gravel roads), you may contact me.

    cheers

    btw: the old tende-road (french side) now is closed for any traffic!
    #13
  14. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    That truly sucks! :huh

    When did that happen? Is it permanent?
    #14
  15. ptr

    ptr Elefant-Tamer

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    right!


    [​IMG]

    end of the year i got the info, that french authorities would plan to close the road for all motorized traffic. the last comment on alpenrouten.de, dated 04/08/2013, means: of course closed this time of year and after this harsh winter. older posts mention nothing. so: let´s have a surprise :)


    i think it wouldn´t be a big loss. the really nice stretch are the mountain ridges on the left and right, parts of the via del sale.
    #15
  16. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz ...

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    The usual seasonal winter- closure only, by the looks of it.
    Can't find anything more than that through all the German/ Dutch/ French speaking bike and outdoors forums.

    http://alpenrouten.de/Tenda-Colle-di-Tende-Col-de_point500.html
    #16
  17. Bussy

    Bussy Bussy

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    Ok, so now we have complete clarity on the situation with Col de Tende, we can re-focus our attention on my (me me me !!!) trip :deal

    The only part of the trip I would really consider to change is the 'loop' on Day 2, which is there to take in Alpe d'Huez and to have 2 goes at the Galibier. This could be forgone to take in say, Gorges du Verdun later in the trip, or some of the roads south of Grenoble. Any opinions on the relative merits...?
    #17
  18. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    :hmmmmm

    I wouldn't make a trip to the Alpe d'Huez again, unless I was passing by anyway. The appeal is to bicycle riders. As a motorcycle destination it's a nice ride - although a bit crowded at the top.

    I'd opt for the Vercours area SW of Grenoble - the Col de la Machine, Col de Rousset, the Gorges de la Bourne (see below)

    [​IMG]

    and the Combe Laval, along with a smattering of smaller passes can make for a busy day or two. And no crowds.

    If you're interested, PM me with your email address and I'll send you Google Earth KMZ files of the passes that I've hit (each captured at the pass hohe) as well as the GPS tracks of my last half-dozen rides (broken into daily segments).
    #18
  19. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    +1

    This is not your 'overrun by tourists' area, and let's keep it that way!:D Which roads/passes? This is where the Michelin maps, or equivalents, are essential, run the green highlighted routes. East and northeast of Valence.

    The Gorges of Verdon are okay but it's too far for you if that's all you want from that area.
    #19
  20. Bussy

    Bussy Bussy

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    So here's an alternative...I could trade in my Day 2 loop to include a run through Vercours.

    [​IMG]

    Then Day 3 I have to get back to Jausiers to continue most of my original Day 3.

    [​IMG]

    I am sacrificing some time on Col d'Izoard on my way North to South (still will ride it on way back South to North) and miss out Alpe d'Huez, Cols Glandon and Croix de Fers and second run though Galibier. In return I get almost a whole day riding in the Vercours including Col de Rousset and the Gorges de la Bourne.

    Both days are about 330km so have added a bit but I still think this mileage is ok.

    This must be better...don't you think? :clap
    #20