Alps 2018 with Green Coaching
We ended up as a group of 7 (a mixture of Thame and High Wycombe clubs) and most of us travelled by plane to Geneva. Most the bikes were transported down by car and then we hired a car from Geneva for the week as well. There is also an option to fly the bikes down and use a transfer, which worked really well.
We arrived on the Saturday and settled into our cabins (2 much more comfy than expected and 1 as advertised!).
The usual rush ensued of reconstructing bikes, shopping, thinking about cooking and getting to a preliminary meeting by 7pm. We had a briefing about a few things and the plan for the next day. This was the theme for every evening. Our ‘flexible’ chefs managing to get dinners ready so that after the meeting we could be eating within minutes! Two of the cabins were big enough that we could all eat together so the eating arrangements worked well (taking turns to cook and so also varying the ‘restaurant’ cabin).
So, to the riding!
Sunday was an introductory ride for the guides to get our measure and we headed off shortly after 9 for a 54k ride with 1000m climbing. We all stayed together apart from on the hills and it was a really nice warm up. We were back early so there was some down time and the option for swimming, running or just taking it easy.
From today we were split into 2 groups. We did a similar ride, just with the slower group having an option to cut it short (although very few did!). Lovely weather and a lovely ride over and around Taninges. Slightly terrifying in the faster group as we did 95k, climbing 1350m and averaging a swift 26kph!
Today we had van support, so food and spare clothing could all be loaded. Unfortunately there was a new coach who is rather less familiar with the area, so on this day the van wasn't always where it was supposed to be! But it least it could be ‘called in if necessary’ and we caught up with it before we starved!
The weather forecast wasn’t so good for today so we took an ‘easy’ day to Chamonix — just the 60k and 925m climbing! But the cafe stop was good and so was the weather, so we returned in time for ice cream and beer (I can’t quite remember in which order!). There have been lots of dug up roads — no just filling the pot holes here, it’s all or nothing!
The plan was BIG! We were going to split today with an extra big climb for the faster group. It started a bit gloomy and as we headed up the Route des Gorges du borne 10 mile drag it was getting distinctly damp. We reached the cafe stop only to find it closed and by then we were firmly in the clouds! After much discussion the extra hill was abandoned and the faster group went off to look for a cafe at the top of the Col d’Aravis. We found the van! The second group started to arrive just as we were getting cold so we headed off for a long and chilly descent and a blast back home to finish off the day. In the end it hadn't been a bad day, and it was the only rain we saw while riding. 103K and 1457m.
Faster group went epic! Second group went big!
It was due to be a fantastic day, and so it was! The second group did an out and back up Col des Saises. The faster group approached it from behind having already climbed 4500' or so including Col de la Forclaz.
A good, hard day had by all! 117k/2553m and 74k/1565m for the two groups.
The final day, so just a gentle 10 mile up, then 10 mile down! 33k and 841m.
It was a stunning day up Plaine Joux….
and there was more time in the afternoon for some relaxing by the lake. We ate out with the whole group (we’d been with some triathletes from Chippenham tri and STAR) and the coaches.
We all had a good time and were satisfied with the riding achieved. There was a little running and swimming fitted in (the Lake is not as cold as it looks!). Big thumbs up to John who determinedly rode everything (apart from wisely resting on the ‘easy’ day after a small mishap the day before!). Also to Frank, who somehow fitted 6 bikes IN his car! The eating arrangements worked well, with mainly mass self catering and 2 nights out at different lake cafes. Personally I was thrilled with 27000' climbing for the week and for those who hadn't ridden the Alps before I reckon that in itself is an awesome effort! We all ended the week tired, but that is how it should be?!
On this occasion there was quite a split in the two groups. The faster group had good tidy rides with a good coach/leader. The second group had a more mixed time with quite a variation of speed and one coach who wasn’t always quite sure of the way! Overall, we all had a great time…
Written by Caroline Goodman and the original blog can be found here