Home Forums Upcoming Events Grande Alpe

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Author
  • #21713

    Q: What are you doing?

    A: At the end of June I am riding from Geneva to Nice across the Alps

    Q: That sounds easy starting at mountains & riding to the coast must be all down hill?

    A: Essentially – apart from some small bumps in the middle called the alps – about 15000 metres of climbing

    Q: How long will it take

    A: 6 days & about 110km a day

    Q: Well thats less than a sportive so no problem

    A: Well with the climbing equivalent to 6 preselli angels in a row

    Q: You are OK on the flat, slow going up hill & rubbish going down hill – discuss?

    A: True I will suffer

    Q: Any famous mountains

    A: Most of the alps that have passes over them

    Q: Go on describe each day


    day 1 116km 2779m ascent

    day 2 112km 3340m ascent

    day 3 132km 3089m ascent

    day 4 127km 2351m ascent

    day 5 114km 2700m ascent

    day 6 111km 1400m ascent


    for those into technology you can follow on twitter on #ridingtherga

    details of cols

    day 1

    37km Col de Gets 900m

    80km Col de la Colombière 1613m

    105km Col des Aravis 1486m


    17km Col des Saisies 1432m

    62km Cormet de Roseland 1968m

    112km Val d’Isere 1930m


    18km Col de l’Iseran 2764m

    105km Col du Telegraphe 1566m

    125km Col du Galibier 2646m


    0km Col de Lauterat 2058m

    47km Col d’Izoard 2360m

    99km Col de Vars 2019m


    33km Cime de la Bonnette 2860m

    37km Col de Raspaillon 2513m

    107km Col St Martin 1500m


    28km Col de Turini 1604m

    59km Col de Castillon 800m


    …day 3 looks like a whole bundle of laughs.. #madbastards more like.

    Good luck!

    Sweaty Eds

    Sounds amazing, mate.

    Are you going as part of an organised group or did you arrange it yourself? Are you cycling on your own or with mates? How are you carrying your stuff? Which bike are you using? Will you post the photos up when you get back? What’s twitter?


    ….”sounds amazing”…

    What an (flat) earth has come over you Sweaty?

    Sweaty Eds

    It must have been the Bwlch mate, I haven’t been the same since.

    Maybe that was to do with whatever Clover put in my cocoa mind….



    I go to Bristol on train tomorrow stay at a mates

    Then both of us cycle to Bristol airport carrying all our stuff & soft bike bags

    Fly to Geneva

    Mail bike bags to Hotel in Nice

    Meet up with rest (8 of us – organised by my cousin)

    We all carry all our own stuff in rucksacks or handle bar bags (absolute bare minimum of stuff 1 lot of cycling gear, each, we wash it every night – waterproof coat, sun cream, pain killers, base layer, t shirt & shorts)

    Everything to save weight – cut hangle off tooth brush use toothpaste for cleaning teeth , sun cream = factor 100 & chamonis cream = bum in mint condition

    Each day cycle to destination – booked b&bs – eat our weight in pasta & sweets & get sleep for next day

    I will be the one walking like John Wayne when I come back

    Sweaty Eds

    Good luck Mat


    Day 0

    Checked my bag – spare shirt, base layer, two pairs of socks, arm warmers, leg warmers, coat & flip flops. Bike stuff – two spare tubes, tyre levers & multi tool. Decided spare cycling shorts too heavy.

    Two of us cycled from centre of Bristol to Bristol airport (about 24km)

    At a round about half way there we were both turning left there was a car approaching the round about which was not yet on the round about found that he had to slow by about 2 seconds. Obviously devastated to this delay to his journey drove past us & slammed on the brakes & decided to get out & shout at us – thus delaying himself even more. Was this a sign of things to come – a week of crazy drivers.

    We arrived at the airport without any other incidents. Although we had bike bags, we decided to try to put our bikes on naked – let down the tyres, turn handle bars 90 degrees & take the pedals off. In principle it protects the bikes more – forks can not be squashed & bike will be wheeled & not thrown from place to place. The guy at the checked with his supervisor but wouldn’t let us on like that. So we put them in bags. We met two others doing the trip with us at the airport – their bikes were already over.

    Arrived at Geneva airport & bikes already brought off – 5 bikes there – including one of ours but not mine! Oh well that will be an excuse not to climb all those mountains  Well my bike with a number of others turned up on another conveyor belt. I proceeded to put my bike back together – found the derailleur slightly bent – bent it back – although slightly concerned that it might not hold out. The other two saw we had our bikes so said they carry on – the 40km to where we were meeting the other 4. Pumped tyres up but managed to snap top off valve on one tyre – still hard enough to ride.

    We set off through Geneva – riding around the lake to Thonon. Geneva seemed to be full of good looking people. I punctured on the way there – so replaced my tube. When we got to the meeting place I decided to replace the tube with the broken valve. So not started trip & used both my tubes. Did get another one.

    The two others had some how managed to catch a train the wrong way around the lake & then had to catch a ferry across – arriving over two hours later than us! – bike is the best option.

    Stats of day

    Day 64km

    Total 64km

    Total punctures 2

    Idiot drivers 1

    Bad navigators 2

    Ugly People in Geneva 2 (us)


    Day 1

    In preparation for first day – wanted a good night sleep – unfortunately the F1 was hot & noisy & what little room there was in room was taken up with both our bikes.

    Everyone met in the centre of Thonon ready for our big off. First we went to the post office & packed up our stuff to send to the last hotel – bike bag & pedal spanner – um & arred about whether to send on flip flops but decided to keep them with me.

    Rode first col de Gets – quite straight forward – but thought that I am sure Gets harder.

    So it was Col de la Colombière was the start of climbs about 20km long – of which there was at least one every day. I found this hard of the eight riders – 5 were reasonable at climbing & me & two others were not – so from this climb on we formed a groupetto.

    Finished the day after one more Col already quite tired knowing we had three more days at least as hard to come.

    Stats of day

    Day 116km

    Ascent 2780m

    Cols 3 –

    Col de Gets 900m

    Col de la Colombière 1613m

    Col des Aravis 1486m


    distance 180km

    ascent 2780m

    cols 3


    Day 2

    Hotel in Flumet much better than previous night – still didn’t get much sleep. Well my mind probably thinks trip is too easy – so making it harder for me!

    Managed to do chores night before washed shorts, shirt & socks & re-charged computer. I concentrated on washing insides – so my shorts stayed covered in oil – for whole week. Oh well I least I could sing “Oil love you love, love me true love”

    There was talk the previous night that the Galibier has been shut due to snow – will I regret so little clothes to keep me warm?

    The day was due to end in Val d’Isere so I could say all day long are we nearly Val d’Isere yet?

    Found quickly there was something worse than me climbing it was my descending .

    As the day was just up or down didn’t really suit me. Weather was worst of the week – little bit a drizzle – compared to what was happening in Britain it was almost tropical.

    The last few kilometres of Val d’Isere had loads of tunnels – which when you were tired with sun glasses on & water thundering down water falls outside – made it seem like there was a lorry just behind you – so I found a new lease of life & sprinted through them.

    Stats of day

    Day 112km

    Ascent 3340m

    Cols 3 –

    Col des Saisies 1432m

    Cormet de Roseland 1968m

    Val d’Isere 1930m


    distance 292km

    ascent 6120m

    cols 6

    Sweaty Eds

    Don’t want to rush you Mat but can we have some more?

    Don’t suppose you wore a HRM, my HR shoots up when I cycle from my house to Bloomfield, would love to see what someone’s does over the Grande Alps.


    Sweaty, you can’t rush these things. I am sure Mat is carefully crafting every word of the next episode as we speak..

    Can I perhaps suggest Beta Blockers for your condition? I am sure we have a couple of Doctors in the club who would be only to happy to help.

    Sweaty Eds

    Valleyman, I am not trying to rush him but I am keen for the next installment.

    It may be pertinent to mention here that you could do with getting a little rush on yourself with regard to finishing the Mallorca tale. Two months ago you wrote all mysteriously ‘to be concluded……’ but when, Valleyman, when? Bloody Hell, that polytunnel went up quicker than the Mallorca blog ….although is that finished? Maybe I’m on to something here.

    Think you missed a trick with the reasons for absenteeism last Sunday. Surely following Kim;Bottom Bracket should have come Roger;Bottom or even Roger;Can’t be arsed.


    Day 3

    First to say sorry to my readers that my blog is taking longer to write than the whole ride

    Started off the day with 10km climb – stunning scenery – snow on mountain tops. Got to top. Met a load of britsh girls at the top. The fist good thing was they actually liked my dress sense & my arm warmers! Then talking to them – they started out as a Saturday morning cake club – where they would meet every Saturday & have a cake – then over the years they have started giving themselves challenges including riding up the alps. This inspired me – to eat my body weight in cakes over the trip.

    Well we did receive some news – the Galibier was now open!

    The ride up the telegraph was very hot & half of it was being resurfaced with chip & seal. Any cars that come past – spray gravel at you – great fun. When we got to the top one the guys parents were there & they volunteered to carry our bags to the end – luxury. While at the top one of the other guys punctured. So score is now me 2 v everyone else 1. At least I am the best at something.

    I set off on the descent keen not to be too far behind only to find when I started I couldn’t clip my foot in – this could make the descent interesting. I stopped & found my cleat was full or tar so had to spend time cleaning it.

    We regrouped at the bottom & proceeded to ride at pace in a group. This was where me & another weak climber had strength & could pull the others along.

    We reached the bottom of the Galibier & as usual the comments “Let’s all ride together” & “I am going to take in easy today” disappeared as fast as the lead group. I rode up with one guy. We would stop every couple of k for what was planned to a micro stop but soon became a little longer!. About 3km from the top of Galigier there is a tunnel that cuts off the last part. The guy I was riding with announced he was going through the tunnel – so about 4km from the top I rode off as hard as I could to meet him at the end of the tunnel & although myself to go over the top. Well I soon noticed the altitude or was it attitude (me telling myself it would be harder) & my breathing became laboured. I reached the top realizing I had no camera & no proof that I summited… I know the truth!

    I then descended to where we were staying – a ski resort.


    Day 132km

    Ascent 3089m

    Cols 3 –

    Col de l’Iseran 2764m

    Col du Telegraphe 1566m

    Col du Galibier 2646m

    People who liked my clothes > 0


    distance 424km

    ascent 9209m

    My punctures 2

    Other People Punctures 1

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.