The Alps for virgins
I was out on a ride with a couple of clients and casually mentioned a biking trip to the Alps in 2017. They didn’t think they could possibly ride in the Alps because they “didn’t have proper bikes”. What’s wrong with the ones you’re riding I enquired. And therein lay the issue. They thought that because they didn’t have a 6kg carbon fibre, drop handle bar’d, 22 speed electronic shifting disc brake’d bike that had been voted lightest and fastest bike of the year for under £8000 that they simply couldn’t go to the Alps. Poppycock and balderdash say I. So, if you’re in this group of riders you shall go to the Alps Cinders. Yes, you need suitable gears to get you up quite long hills, after that coast away downhill for miles. Brakes need to be in very fine working order but do not need to be hydraulic disc brakes. Carbon? If you haven’t got a carbon bike so what? Drop bars? Flat bars will do very nicely – can be more comfortable and braking can feel easier than on drops. In 2017 I’ll be running a number of 8 day trips on the Route des Grandes Alpes intended for first timers to the big hills of the continent – a day or 2 longer than previous trips so fewer miles (and hills) per day, around 50 miles per day. With a bit of training over the Winter and into the Spring biking up the Galibier, Iseran, Vars and Telegraph (as well as a few others) is entirely possible. I can help with advice on equipment selection if you’re not sure as well as lending out biking clothing (except shorts) if you don’t own that much cycling kit. Oh, and I’ll be riding my 9 speed flat handle bar’d bike too. And Ladies, if the thought of a testosterone filled trip is a bit overwhelming I’ll run an all ladies trip if the interest is there, 7 or 8 needed for a trip to run.