So in an attempt to do a cheapo holiday, I took most of the month of August off, moved out of my flat and packed up the van. So here goes week one: my biking week, and get back up to fitness fast week.
Day 1: Solo testing
On Monday I drove up to the spot of my very first alpine spin last year, the Lauvet d'Ilonse. This was more of the test day for my camping setup, bike and fitness. I ended up doing a short 12km ride with 600m positive climbing, followed by a 6km 350m hike up ride down to the Brec D'Ilonse.
|A weeks worth of gear and food|
|The camping spot|
|View of the camping spot from the first climb|
|Took a break at the end of the climb due to a thunder storm|
|View from the top, it's the start point of the last enduro race I did, but I took a different route down|
|On my way up to the Brec d'Ilonse|
|Nearly there! Punctured here coming back down...|
|View from the top, massive cliff right behind the bike!|
|My camping spot is dead center, superb descent back to it|
|Le Brec d'Ilonse|
|Dinner and lunch most of the week...|
|Le Brec d'Ilonse, conquered :)|
Day 2: Big day with LeChris
On Tuesday LeChris came out for a huge ride around Puget Thenier. I had not seen Chris since his Transvesubienne finish nor since he got a 29er, it was great to see him in good spirits and good shape too. He put me to shame on the climbs. Hard day though: 37km with 1800m vertical climbing!
|The big man - LeChris|
|First huge descent down to Auvare|
|Chris' warrior wound|
|Savage trail going down the wrong side of the mountain, will have to test it another time|
Day 3: Rest day
Took a break on wednesday, visited Entrevaux quickly then took a quick hike up to the "Sublime Spot" in the Gorge du Daluis.
|Start of the point sublime hike|
|Soooo tempted to come back with my bike... Hikers would not be impressed tho.|
|View from point sublime towards Guillaumes|
|View back towards the coast|
|Pretty high cliffs|
|Le pont de la marié|
Day 4: Lazy day with Mike
This day was a mixed bag... Got up early, drove up and down the most horrible mountain road ever to col des champs. Had the most amazing bike ride with Mike as a guide, next to nothing up and 2200m down, hitting several peaks above 2km. Then Horrible drive back to the camping site, made worse by my drivers licence escaping through the window and down a ravine...
|Parked one car up at the Col d'Allos. Tiny bit of sweet singletrack up.|
|Then 20km of downhill|
|Mike in the first of 3 skilifts back up, sweet!|
|Top of the world|
|Stopped at the col on the way back, amazing view...|
|in every direction|
Day 5: Solo sneaky practice
On Friday I rode the Portes du Mercantour course solo: 1500m 30km. As this was a race circuit, there were 3 excellent descents. The first in particular was 20 minutes of perfection. The second was brilliant but short. The third was great but carrying my bike up for an hour was heart breaking.
|Stage 1, superb.|
|Stage 2, so much fun but way too short.|
|Started off at the couple of houses above the hill in the middleground.|
|And finished down at the river|
|My last hobo dinner, a good one too|
Got back to civilization in the evening to be welcomed by a 40 minute, stand-still, traffic jam... So that was my week one. So glad to finally use my van the way i had planned when I bought it.