Post by Mary on March 15, 2019
This summer Ride the Alps is offering 3 self-guided mountain bike trips: the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Eiger Tour and the Alpine Singletrack Week.
2019 will be our third year of running self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc trips. 14 groups have ridden the TMB this way over the past 2 years and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback https://www.ridethealps.com/guestbook/. The TMB is perfectly suited to a self-guided trip because it’s a well-marked and well-trodden path. It starts and finishes in the same place , which makes logistics easy and there is a very reliable local taxi company to transport your bags between the hotels and refuges. There are also several good bike hire options in Chamonix.
The price for our self-guided TMB package is 450 euro per group. This includes the provision GPX data for the standard route and 2 maps with the route marked on them, booking your accommodation and luggage transfer and answering any questions you may have about the trip. This can include a call with Jamie to talk through the route. For a 7 day trip (5 days of riding) the accommodation cost is about 400 euro p.p. This includes evening meals and breakfasts in the accommodation whilst you are riding the route. You pay this directly to the accommodation providers en route.
This year we are running our first self-guided Alpine Singletrack Week. The advantage of the AST is that it’s a centre-based trip so you can take rest days or days off to do other activities. You can also tailor the riding more to suit your skills and fitness. There are a mixture of routes for different abilities although it is not a trip for beginner mountain bikers. The Haut-Giffre valley where this trip is based is a lovely unspoiled area of the Alps with quiet trails and beautiful traditional Savoyard villages (Samoens, Morillon, Sixt Fer a Cheval). There are loads of things to do aside from biking: hiking, trail running, kayaking, rafting, climbing, via ferrata, paragliding etc. It’s possible to have a night up high in a refuge during the week. For a group of 3 people the price would be 400 euro p.p. This includes: 7 nights self-catering accommodation, the provision of GPX route data and a physical map with routes marked on it and a call with Jamie prior to departure to talk through the options. Short written overviews of each route are also provided. Small groups can stay in our holiday apartment in Morillon https://www.homeaway.co.uk/p8123933?bc=ODHR although other accommodation options are available. There are several good bike hire options in Samoens.
2019 is the first year we are offering the Eiger Tour as a self-guided trip. It is probably about the same technical difficulty level as the TMB but possibly slightly easier physically because there is very little pushing and carrying of the bike. We have refined this route over the past 15 years so we are confident that it lends itself well to a self-guided trip. The route follows well-made trails that can be followed fairly straightforwardly if you have decent navigation skills and the terrain it covers is not extreme e.g. no glacier crossings or dangerously precipitous sections of trail! Unfortunately there is no taxi company to transport your luggage so you would have to carry your own gear with you. But that adds to the sense of adventure, right? Alternatively we may be able to provide you with a bag drop service half way through your trip, should you desire it. This is a point-to-point trip so you start and finish at different places. Thanks to the efficient Swiss public transport system the process of getting back to the start of the trip and your bike bags and surplus luggage is an easy one. The price for our self-guided Eiger package is 450 euro. For a 7 day trip (5 days of riding) the accommodation cost is about 536 chf p.p.
For all of our self-guided mountain bike trips you really need to be comfortable with navigation, have previously ridden multiday trips and have good mountain experience. The TMB and the Eiger are physically and technically demanding routes. For all 3 trips you need to be comfortable on sections of steep, rough, rocky & rooty terrain. You should be fit enough for 1000m+ of climbing on consecutive days for the point-to-point tours. For the TMB bear in mind that there will be some pushing/carrying of your bike every day. Make sure you have read through the itineraries for these trips before you decide whether or not to book-up. https://www.ridethealps.com/holidays/tour-du-mont-blanc/itinerary/ https://www.ridethealps.com/holidays/the-eiger-tour/itinerary/ https://www.ridethealps.com/holidays/alpine-singletrack/itinerary/