Route de Grandes Alpes.

Nitram
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:37 am

Route de Grandes Alpes.

Postby Nitram » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:29 pm

I'm planning a Europe trip in September and have been spending far too much time looking at the Cycling Challenge website..... :D and the Route des Grandes Alpes looks wonderful. I havn't decided yet whether to take the touring bike (steel, with panniers etc.) carrying all my gear etc etc, or take my normal carbon road bike and try to figure out a way of not having to drag all my gear over the Cols.......

Is there anyone who has ridden the Route recently and can tell me:
1. Is there too much motor traffic to make it actually enjoyable ? I'm wondering because although the route is said to be a great cycling route, it's (not surprisingly) also promoted as a great general tourist route. If the road is bumper-to-bumper with buses, car's and motorbikes, it might be better to seek out some roads less travelled - if there is such a thing in Europe..... :-)

2. Has anyone ever come across a facility in that area whereby you can on-forward your gear (backpack with clothes and etc etc) to your next accommodation location, to meet up with it that afternoon/evening etc. If that could be made happen then the alpine riding could be quite a bit more enjoyable with a lighter bike etc..

Cheers,

Nitram

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il padrone
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Re: Route de Grandes Alpes.

Postby il padrone » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:21 pm

It is my understanding that touring on a light bike (road, touring, MTB) with minimal gear carried a la bikepacking, and staying in hotels and pensions, is a fairly common style of Euro-touring.

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Uncle Just
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Re: Route de Grandes Alpes.

Postby Uncle Just » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:49 pm

Take your road bike and carry little as did this guy each summer for many years.

http://www.trentobike.org/Countries/Eur ... _the_Alps/

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dalai47
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Re: Route de Grandes Alpes.

Postby dalai47 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:54 pm

Nitram wrote:1. Is there too much motor traffic to make it actually enjoyable ? I'm wondering because although the route is said to be a great cycling route, it's (not surprisingly) also promoted as a great general tourist route. If the road is bumper-to-bumper with buses, car's and motorbikes, it might be better to seek out some roads less travelled - if there is such a thing in Europe..... :-)


Can't comment on the touring option for this, as when I spent 4 weeks in the French Alps back in 2011 I based myself in villages and headed up over the cols on day trips. Blog in my signature has details including tons of photos if interested.

What I can comment on are the climbs and traffic. As other than Col de Vars which I drove over when I moved base from Briançon to Barcelonnette I have ridden all the cols on the route.

On all the climbs there will be cars and motorbikes, plus motor homes and all other vehicles on 2 or more wheels! But unlike in Australia, even on the narrowest roads they will patiently sit behind and pass only once they can without horns or abuse etc. They will somehow find a metre or more clearance to pass safely. Only thing which took a little to get used to is that metre or more is the distance you may also only get when they are coming towards you. All safe in the end but a little unnerving the first few times...

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