Post by Mary on March 2, 2018
Although winter still has a tight hold on Northern Europe and spring feels a long way off it really is only a few months until the mountain bike point-to-point season begins. If you’re looking for a proper adventure with a tangible sense of achievement at the end of it nothing beats a mountain bike journey. Big mountain views unfold as you ride, every day a new col and a new horizon, a different place for fettling every night and the singletrack keeps on rolling beneath your wheels. Ah, happiness is a mountain bike tour!
The Alpine mountain bike point-to-point season begins in early-mid June and runs through until the end of September. We’ve had a heavy snow year in the Alps this winter season so it’s likely there will be quite a lot of snow remaining on the high passes in early June. If you’re planning a point-to-point trip then a mid-late June start is as early as we’d advise in 2018.
A question a lot of people deliberate is whether or not to ride without luggage support. It really depends upon the kind of experience you’re after. If you want to ride as light as possible and have access to a change of clean clothes every evening and a full complement of toiletries then luggage support is definitely for you. However, if you’re looking to up the sense of adventure and achievement and you don’t mind having the bare minimum of kit then self-support is a good choice to make. It also reduces the cost of your trip and doesn’t actually have to make the riding harder if you keep the weight right down. On all of our point-to-point trips there are opportunities for washing kit en-route. There are lots of innovative carrying systems for “bike packing” these days. Usually we recommend a slightly larger back pack (definitely no panniers!). However, this season Jamie is going to trial his new polaris “frame bag” on his Orange P7 hardtail. We get a lot of questions about what to carry in your day pack during a point-to-point and how to add to this for a self-support trip. You can find out by reading one of our previous blog posts.
Our Ride the Alps 2018 high season is now fully booked but we do have space on a guided Tour du Mont Blanc from 3rd-9th September. We also offer self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trips throughout the mountain bike point-to-point season. The TMB is perhaps the most classic of all European mountain bike tours. It has all the classic features: big views, big climbs & descents, characterful accommodation, great singletrack and every day some hike-a-bike! You pass through three countries whilst circumnavigating the highest mountain in Europe. Definitely one for the bucket list!
Have a read through our itinerary here. We are often asked why we ride the route anti-clockwise rather than the “standard” clockwise route. The honest answer is “because it’s better that way round”. Jamie has ridden the TMB several times a season for the past 15 years and his informed opinion is that if you go anticlockwise and the descents significantly better. We don’t know why so many folk ride it clockwise, maybe just because that is intuitively the way to go. It isn’t the best way though and that’s the truth. It’s always good to read other people’s opinions of a trip. If you scroll through our guestbook you’ll find reviews from last season and beyond.
Contact Mary at [email protected] for further information if you’re interested in our Tour du Mont Blanc or of our other mountain bike point-to-point adventures.