This weekend I did a last minute trip to the Passport du Soleil. A 90km downhill-tour in the French and Swiss Alpes. Visiting the best bikespots in the area with over 3000 bikes in one weekend.
We, well actually Ingmar did, drove up on saturday and all through Germany we had roadworks after roadworks, and it took us about 11 hours to get to Champéry (Switzerland). We grabbed something to eat and a drink in the bar. After that, it didn’t take long for us to get in bed for some deserved rest.
7 o’clock, the alarm went off. We fixed the camelbaks (or Dakine in my case) had some breakfast (too much cheese for some…) and headed for the uplift. (Not before we made Dirk hurry back up on his back, to the hotel to put away the shirts and folders we got). At the lift there was a big group of dutchies that we met on and off on the trails.
We jumped on the bikes, right after we took this picture and hit the trails in a hurry. You kinda need to hurry, 90 km’s is a long haul and you need to get back in time to catch the lift back up the mountain. That would have been the challenge of the day, making it back in time.
Dirk’s cheesy breakfast didn’t agree with him, so he did not have a fresh start, but he plowed his way foreward on his rather new Turner 5 Spot. The first break came early and we would have skipped it, but it looked to good. Fruits, dried and fresh, peanuts, breads, cola and rivella, water, chocolate, cheese and meat… whatever you’d possibly could have craved for, it was there!
Oh no, we’re in trouble
We chatted a while with the dutchies before getting in the lift in Les Lindarets to Avoriaz. There you head on to Morzine, but we didn’t even make it to Montriond. Ingmar broke his rearhanger. We lost a lot of time preparing his bike to have it riding again. Singlespeed on a small gear. The best solution we could think of. A gear to keep him moving, and he did extremely well too. We made it down to the next break and I really needed to eat there. In fact we all did.
We talked about what to do. Ingmar pressed on for us to finish the loop, but Dirk and I both agreed. We wouldn’t leave him in Morzine, that wouldn’t be right. We would cut our trip short, take the uplift at Morzine and take the shortest route back to Champéry.
Back in time
Well, I’m not really sure how we got back, I’ll ask Ingmar and Dirk to highlight the map for me. But we took a route around a mountain, near Pointe des Mossettes I think. Not knowing for sure where it was heading. The guy at the uplift said we should go that way, but yeah… your never sure when the signs stop.
We made it to Switzerland to a downhill slope I recognized from NWD 6. A fast, real fast and steep downhilltrack. All berms and a few jumps. We got down in a flaming hurry, we loved it! Ingmar, unlucky bastard, got a flat at the finish. So we had to stop and fix that. After that we had a really nice and fast rocky trail, just before going home on the asphalt. That was the only sad thing about that day, having to finish on asphalt.
We where fresh and clean, drinking beers and Orangina when it started to rain. Poor dutchies and all others still on the mountain. Big drops of rain and thunder… we didn’t feel regret at all. We where even thankfull! Had a great ride, made it back in one piece and dry too!
Thanks Ingmar for thinking of me (and driving us up there and back again), to invite me to join you guys. You and Dirk where excellent company! We should head back with Bert and Martijn (both missed it because of sickness or bike-trouble) and hopefully more friends, to finish the trails we started.
In short: 3 days, 5 countries, 50 km’s biking and over 1800 km’s by car… you gotta love it.