Well Jonny had so much fun last time he was out he came back for a 2nd visit a mere 7 weeks later but this time he hired a badass automobile (as showcased below, a real pussy magnet) meaning we could travel a bit further and explore some trails I had not done before. Today we headed to the trails above the waterfalls of Les Allieres, which I have ridden parts of previously, some really open fast rocky sections and some really steep technical sections, all down the side of some rather scenic waterfalls. Since we had the car we were able to skip the 10km ride from my house to bottom of the trails meaning we were able to head a bit higher up the mountain and try out some new sections fo trail.
Let’s just not mention the fact that it took at least 5 attempts to get this photo…
‘Suns out, guns out’ the long run of sunny days we have been having here means that any time out on the bike recently I have donned the wifebeater to commence the tan.
This was the point we (me and steve) made it to last time, where the snow line started and that was not even that long ago, since we had plenty of time we opted to go higher and explore the trails on the next section of the mountain as the map showed a good few, it was just a case of finding the right trail that snaked off down through the trees on our way back down… Oh and of course we stopped for the obligatory lunges on the way up, get those thighs stretched out lad!
When we were nearing the part we were supposed to turn off and head back down I turned to Jonny and pointed out that the map showed we were climbing with a big cliff just a little way to our left through the trees, me ‘fancy climbing a bit higher and through the trees to see if we can find a nice lunch spot on the cliffs? Might be nowt there but worth a shot’ Jonny ‘yeh, why not’. Damn we were glad we went and had a look as we popped up over the last raise we were greeted with an almighty view southwards and a huuuge drop down below us to the valley floor. You can’t ask for a lunch spot much better than this surely?!
We were so high up that there were guys paragliding way down below us, best not drop anything off the edge in case we hit him!
The top section was, erm, interesting… Without much idea of where we were headed we picked the trails that looked most prominent and rode those, at one point we ended up just in a total mission through the woods scrambling inbetween and under trees and bushes and ending up in an old river bed I managed to stop on a nice section to check where we should go next with Jonny right behind me shouting ‘no don’t stop there, anywhere but there’ nope too late, Jonny over the bars hurtling into me. Soz.
We finally rejoined a more prominent trail for the last few hundred metres which was nice and loose, the trail might not have been amazing but it was certainly worth going to the top for the view at least.
We had a quick 200m uphill on the road before we joined the trails which I had done before. I headed off down thinking I knew the trails and with the thought that there was nothing huge to surprise us, but of course that is never the case a few hairy moments to avoid some big rocks and faceplants followed on the first few sections. The trails being covered in leaves meaning you can’t see much underneath doesn’t help much either.
The trails into a really cool twisty/turny path right next to the river and waterfalls for a few hundred metres, you are not sure whether to look at the trails or the waterfalls. A super sharp little uphill of only 5 or so metres after this (one day I will manage to ride it!) and then onto a really really fast open rocky trail which leads us to the bottom of this next section and rejoins the road, you can rack up some speed on this section, especially if you are chasing a deer down the trail as I ended up doing this time.
The last section presents some little parts which are a challenge just to even ride down, some super steep little rocky sections which are quite exposed so if you miss your line you are going to have a pretty spectacular over the bars! We managed to ride all the parts which is a pretty good feeling since I remember riding this for the first time when I first came to Grenoble and had to walk/carry down a lot of sections!
We took the trail that went right down to the biggest part of the waterfalls for a look and to give our hands a rest, pretty cool/scary riding right next to the rapids! Don’t make a mistake here!
We stopped for a sexy waterfall photoshoot (there were simply hundreds of photos but these will do, the others were not safe to show on here…)
The last section is nice and steep and exposed, it is pretty easy to gain speed and get pretty wild and out of control here. Some great views down the valley since the trees are pretty sparse on this part but not really a second to take your eyes off the trail unless you stop.
I had to go for a lecture at uni at 4pm so we got back to the car for around 2:30pm and headed back home for a shower and off to uni, we ended up going out for a quick ride in the evening too since the nights are quite long now and the weather is just too good not to.