Well as summer officially draws to a close in the Alps i've just managed to squeeze in a long awaited trip myself....the 'Routes des Grandes Alpes' (RDGA) by road bike. This fabulous journey was first thought of back in 1909 when the Touring Club of France initiated work on joining the highest possible road cols (or mountain passes) for the new and fast improving motor car. By 1913 work was complete and the inaugural run was made in 5 one day stages. In 1937 a new high pass was opened, the Col de l'Iseran at 2764m, and later the Col de la Bonette at an amazing 2860m! This classic French route officially starts at Lake Geneva and finishes at Menton, along from Nice at the Mediterranean Sea. This amazing journey is some 700km and crosses 16 high passes of which many are over 2,000m. So plenty of ups and downs....but not so many alongs! Many of the Cols are often crossed during the Tour de France, such as the Telegraphie, Galibier, Colombiere and Aravis to name a few! Since it's inception the RDGA is now popular for motor bikes, road bikers and classic cars enthusiasts and along the footpaths of the GR5, which run near the road route, are mountain bikers and walkers seeking to complete this wonderful mountain route. As a party of four we enjoyed fabulous September sunshine and enjoyed an unforgetable adventure through beautiful mountain scenery which changed day by day as we passed through many of France's National parks before arriving by the sea. A hard trip to beat in excellent company! Julia
I am not long back from a trip to Skye in Scotland where I was Producing for the BBC TV programme, The Adventure Show. We were busy filming the Skye Sportive a challenging 151 km in some of Scotland's finest scenery. Talking of which it is pouring down in Chamonix this morning, so rather Scottish in the Alps today! Anyway, it was great to see so many folk out enjoying biking in what is truly a stunning landscape. First home in the Skye Mor was Ben Thompson who had a great ride in not the most ideal weather conditions. A bit dreach to say the least but he was still smiling at the end. There was also a Skye Beag event for those who didnt want to commit to the 151 km, which was a more manageable 78 km. My friends Fran and Emma did this one, and appeared to enjoy it?!
The programme also features some top tips on road biking from trainer and coach Scot Tares, from Skinny Tyres. To be honest I was surprised and interested to learn there is much more to road biking that I had thought. Not just a case of getting on and pedaling as I had thought!
The Adventure Show will be screening the Skye Sportive very soon. We will keep you posted as to the date.