A Tour of Our Own

Riding the French Alps: A Tour of Our Own

Flying into Geneva, Switzerland, I could barely stand the excitement of my upcoming trip in the French Alps last summer.

I have cycled the Alps many times before this with my Belgian friends, plus one from Canada–all men–but this time was going to be different. I brought along my bike mentor and close friend, Louise. This trip would be extra special, indeed.

Louise got me to serious cycling when I was 21 years old and it changed my life-I’m sure many would say the same about their start in cycling. She also turned me on to bike touring.

Now, Louise is in her seventies years old and is still a full-time ski instructor and avid cyclist, so I was thrilled when she committed to going to France with me. We trained all summer, riding the passes of Mount Rainier in Washington State and riding on weekends locally. By the time August rolled around, we were trained and ready for our alpine adventures.

After driving from France to Switzerland, meetyou we headed down to the small village of St. Jean de Sixt, where we would base ourselves for the next week and ride a different “col” or climb every day. From our family run hotel, the view from our wood-shuttered windows featured a mountain sunset every night as we ate dinner of food and wine from the region.

Our day would start with a breakfast of croissants, Ciberseguridad en Colombia chocolate rolls and fresh baked baguettes with homemade jams and coffee, lots of coffee. My friends, Marc and Michel, who both Louise and I met at decade ago on bike trip in Spain, had route maps and cue sheets for the days’ rides. Half the fun was discussing the route!

On our weeklong stay, we hit the major climbs in the region, Maui waterfalls many of which are often chosen for the Tour de France. Some of these climbs included: the Col de Aravis, Col de Columbiere, Col de Saises.

Each of these climbs has their own charm. For example, the climb up the Aravis is wide open with tons of hiking trails and cheese making factories. At the top, you’ll be treated to a beautiful view of Mt. Blanc and cows with their bells ringing in the distance. On the Columbiere, which becomes notoriously steep at the top, you’ll see goats, cows and horses, clinging to the sides of rocky hillsides. On the Saisies, you’ll switch back and forth through meadows and farms with Mt. Blanc in the distance, and at the top, The Wedding Planner reach a ski town and resort.

By car, we explored around the larger towns of Annecy and Chamonix–all within an hour drive. You can take the same back roads that you bicycle to get to these places. In fact, by car, you’ll discover even more small roads and little known climbs.

A Trip for Women Only

I was so inspired by riding my own pace with one of my best girlfriends, viproza that I decided to recruit a few other gals and start my own tour based out of the Chamonix Valley in France.

Part of what made our experience so great was that we were prepared. For this tour, I have a recruited USAT Triathlon coach and physical therapist/athletic trainer to create a 12-week training plan with thee teleseminars and email access to a coach. This luxury tour includes sag support, juoksuhirmu one 1-hour massage massage and gourmet food and wine served by our hosts in a mountain chalet.


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