Sunday, July 08, 2012

Meribel Day 6

Lee’s mate Dom, joined us today for another planned epic ride from the top of La Saulire at over 2700m down to Bride Les Bains at 600m.

The Tougnete gondola took us to our familiar mid station, then a slightly different downhill section of single track to pick up the Pas du Lac. This time we stayed on the gondola all the way
to the top, with the fantastic view down in to the Courchevel valley. Pockets of snow could still be seen even at this time of year along with a very nervous, vertigo suffering Darren. Some rocky loose single track took us down past a family marmots and then a section of fast double track down to Courchevel 1850. More tracks took us down to the lake at Bozel.

We then did a bit of climbing on narrow roads through some pretty villages to pick up a narrow single track that ran up above the back of Brides Les Bains. After a mile or so I just lost it on this
narrow track with the steep, wooded drop on one side. I reckon I couldn’t have managed a straight line on a dual carriageway at this point! I came round another bend to find our host Lee having a little lie down, having tried to clear a rocky stream. A little shaken but still in one piece, unfortunately his bike was not so lucky. A bent hangar and rear mech and jammed chain took some fettling. We managed to get Lee rolling again but without the full range of gears. This only lasted for a mile or so before his rear mech got ripped off and jammed in back the wheel. Fortunately it was just a short walk to get a very quick beer and the bus back up to Meribel (see pic for how not to stack bikes in a bus!).

After a bit of lunch and a check on Sicknote, we headed back out for our final riding of the week, with the plan to take a few more pics and some video footage. Going up on the Tougnette 1, Darren convinced me to have another go on black 7, which I struggled on, on day 2. I cleared most sections this time but had a little lie down again at the same point as on day 2, but very minor. I blamed Les for stopping in front of me!

Back up the Tougnette, with a quick decent down the usual new ski slope they are working on. Darren took the right hand line across a muddy stream that crossed the track, only for his front wheel to top dead in about 1ft of cement like mud and throw him off. With his hands and knees stuck in the mud we tried to check he was ok, before bursting out laughing (sorry mate, but that
one would have earned us some money if we had caught it on video).

So down the start of the nice burmy black 5, then cut across to the unofficial track that joins the bottom of the black 4. We had to navigate round a herd of cows that were being milked and their pats. I got carried away on a little rise, peddled a little too hard while leaning over and the bike just slid out from under me, I thought I had got away without any damage, but then found I had broken my rear brake lever. I cycled what I could with just a front brake with some walking, much to the amusement of Les and Darren :-)

Then our final run down the ‘Trout’ to the waiting bar and bike wash.

End of a great weeks riding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posse; Dozer (Canyon ESX), Les (Specialized Pitch), Darren (SC Heckler), Lee (SC Nomad), Dom

Dinner – Chicken castolet.
Weather; Sunny, attempt at rain.
Mechanicals; Lee rear mech and hanger. Dozer broken brake lever.


Rob#2 said...

I've enjoyed catching up with your progress now I'm back in the UK with tinterweb access. Looks like you chaps had plenty of fun and spent about as much time as Paul and I 'lying down' (except Paul was lying down in a hospital bed). I hope to blog an update on our week as soon as i receive some photos from the WhiteRoom and other guests. R2