Ride the Alps lockdown mountain biking 2.0

Making the most of our mountain biking opportunities during confinement.

Post by Mary on November 13, 2020

Here we are again inside another period of confinement and we’re back to our old lockdown mountain biking ways. In France we are restricted once more to exercising within a 1km radius of our house for a limit of 1 hour. It’s amazing how much you can do within (almost) those limits. The November weather has been very kind to us so far with chilly, sometimes misty mornings that brighten up into gloriously warm and sunny afternoons. With no bad weather the trails are still in good condition so we’ve been doing laps of our local favourite trail. Jamie has designed a bungee towing mechanism for the kids so we can pedal them up the 400m road climb without any complaining. Juliet doesn’t really need a tow and does most of the work herself but Cameron is definitely a bit more of a dead weight. Jamie gets to tow him!

We’ve restarted our local trail-building and are making more improvements to our “Through the Mill” route. We’re adding a section with more flow to avoid a pre-existing trail that is very steep and becoming damaged from over-use.

As a professional sportsperson Jamie has a special dispensation to go beyond the 1km limit for the purposes of training and maintaining his skills. He can climb mountains and take his bike to the other side of the valley the lucky thing. I am trying really hard to be happy for him as I ride in circles around the woods next to our house.

Just before the latest confinement was announced we had decided to go away for a short break to Briancon. The kids and I had never been and Jamie wanted to show us some of the great riding he’s done there on our new Chamonix to Briancon trip.

We made the most of our last 3 days of freedom exploring the beautiful Vallée de Clarée, which includes the picturesque traditional village of Nevache where we stay during our Chamonix to Briancon trip. There was a dusting of snow around 2000m of altitude but that disappeared as we headed down the valley towards Briancon. It’s a fantastic trail with loads of flowing singletrack and a few technical sections along the way.

We stayed in a gorgeous apartment in the old town of Ville Vauban that we would highly recommend. We had a brilliant morning exploring the ramparts and the narrow streets that wind their way up to the fort from where the views of the town and the surrounding peaks are stunning. There’s loads to explore in Briancon on and off the bike.

Jamie is always looking to improve all of our trips by finding the very best trails to ride so he has a few more routes he wants to explore around Briancon. We’ll definitely be returning in the Spring when our freedom of movement will hopefully be back to normal.

In the meantime, happy lockdown mountain biking everyone!