Tips for Cycling in the French Alps – How to Get the Best Out of Your Holiday

So you might want to experience riding in the mountains – possibly you have quite recently watched the Tour de France and been astonished by the high view, or maybe you have quite recently constantly needed to test yourself up Alpe D’Huez. The accompanying tips will guarantee that you can prepare to benefit from your cycling occasion in the French Alps:


On the off chance that you base yourself in one area for the span of your vacation, at that point you should attempt to accomplish the accompanying:

• An area in the valley, not up in the mountains – you would prefer not to need to ascend a similar mountain toward the finish of each ride. Not exclusively will you get exhausted of it, it will constrain the separation you can ride every day and along these lines lessen the assortment of courses you can pick.

• Somewhere with a scope of various rides – ideally at the intersection of various valleys (once more, this will offer considerably more assortment than being in one valley or up the finish of a street in a ski resort).

Obviously you could generally pick a point to point visit (which will offer assortment and doesn’t make a difference on the off chance that you remain at the highest point of a mountain accepting you are proceeding onward the following day), anyway you get the downsides of a greater expense and the burden of moving and living out of a bag each day. You are likewise attached to a fixed agenda – no alternatives for a vacation day to do another movement or recuperation ride.


You are accustomed to riding on generally level or moving landscape, and ability numerous kilometers (or miles) you can deal with in multi day. Be that as it may, shouldn’t something be said about when you are riding in the mountains? A general standard guideline for precipitous landscape is to accept that your normal speed will drop by half (and consequently the separation you will probably cycle in a given time will drop by half as well). So on the off chance that you typically normal 30km/h, at that point expect something like 20km/h. So your 3 hour ride will just cover 60km, rather than 90km. So you ought to either anticipate shorter separations or hope to invest more energy in the seat.


You should be set up for a scope of climate conditions in the mountains – on the grounds that it is bright without any mists when you set off, doesn’t mean it will remain that way! The climate can change from valley to valley as the mountains structure normal boundaries to mists – you can have downpour on one side of a mountain pass and be fine and bright on the other. On the off chance that you are taking a shorter trek inside a similar valley, at that point it ought to be increasingly unsurprising.

Another perspective to consider is height – there could be 15 deg.C distinction between the valleys and the highest points of the high mountain passes. You won’t see it such a great amount in transit up (as you are buckling down and speeds are low) however in transit down it will be exceptionally evident when you add on the breeze chill factor. On everything except the most sultry summer days you will require a windproof layer to have the option to put on at the highest point of the trips before you slip.


As the streets in the mountains frequently sliced through long passages, you should be set up for this. Most are lit (in spite of the fact that not all!), anyway don’t be astounded on the off chance that you find now and then considerable stretches where the lighting is out. The utilization of a back light in passages is legally necessary in France, yet you will likewise need one only for your very own security. On the off chance that you feel awkward riding in conditions absent much perceivability, you might need to consider a front light as well, yet a great many people don’t trouble. When you do wind up in a dim segment of passage it very well may be very dis-orientating just because, particularly if there is traffic as the echoes of the street commotion are very noisy and make it hard to pass judgment on separation. The best strategy is to focus on keeping up a similar position out and about, taking a gander at a spot 3 – 4 meters in front of you and focussing on any white lines present. Try not to take a gander at the exit of the passage as this will be extremely splendid – equivalent to seeing approaching traffic headlights around evening time. Ultimately, and above all – remember to take your shades off!

Bicycle – equipping

Except if you effectively live in some in all respects bumpy or rocky territory you will most likely advantage in changing your equipping accepting you are taking your very own bicycle. As you’ll be investing a lot of energy going at paces much slower than expected, you should have lower gears. Including an enormous sprocket the back tape with a couple of a larger number of teeth than you at present have will most likely not be sufficient. On the off chance that you at present run a standard set up (52/39 chainring) at that point consider moving to a minimized. In the event that you presently run a reduced chainset, consider a triple. This will likely be best with a bigger back tape as well. On the off chance that you dont truly need the cost of rolling out this improvement to your own bicycle at that point maybe employing is the most ideal approach.

Bicycle support

Likewise with any exceptional time of cycling, you need to ensure that your bicycle is in tip top condition before you begin. Supplant any ragged tires, and ensure everything is lubed up and shake free. Notwithstanding the standard things, you will likewise need to investigate your brake squares – supplant any that are nearing a mind-blowing finish (or take saves) – you will probably be utilizing them much more than expected while plunging. In the event that you have changed your equipping, guarantee that you have been out for a couple of test rides before leaving to acquaint yourself with the new proportions and to watch that everything is functioning as it should.

About the Author

Kevin Smith has been cycling for over 20 years, riding for clubs in the UK, New Zealand and now France. He at present lives in the French Alps at the foot of Alpe D’Huez, where he has set up Cycling Ascents, an endeavor focussed on giving Cycling Holidays and Accommodation in the French Alps.

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