Today we took the bikes up the Mont Chery cable car and cycled back down to Les Gets. There was unfortunately too much cloud to see Mont Blanc from the top, but the views into the valley were spectacular.
We hitched the bikes to the side of the cable car, and so most of the uphill was achieved painlessly. Although we did have to climb the last 150m under our own steam. For me that meant pushing my bike – and even then being shocked by how out of puff I got. I’m blaming it on the thin air at altitude!
Once the summit is reached then the focus is heavily on downhill – there doesn’t seem to be much in between! In France you need to learn to use the alternate brake from British bikes. The right hand brake controls the rear brake, which is the one that you can apply hard and constantly without catapulting yourself over the handlebars. And you do need to apply them hard. We found ourselves on muddy tracks, gravel topped roads and frequent cattle grids. All really good fun once your confidence has grown.
We stopped for lunch at Mont Caly at a lovely mountain restaurant, and experienced a local dish – Tarteflette. Chunks of potatoe cooked with bacon lardons and onion in a cheese sauce and baked in the oven.
The remaining cycle ride was part road part track with the occassional cattle grid. Challenging for us mere beginners, but great fun. The final push uphill through the village made us very appreciative of the hot tub back at the hotel, after of course cleaning off the bikes with the pressure hose.