As mountain biking novices, Jim and I set off on our downhill adventure with excitement, fear and hope: Excitement in trying something new and biking all over the pistes we skied on last winter, fear of falling off and the hope that we weren’t going to.
It has been fantastic weather here in Les Gets for the last few weeks, and today was no different. With our super-duper bikes and protective gear from Evasion Sport, we got ourselves warmed up on the baby slope, where we went over see-saws, practiced a few tight corners and wobbled our way over raised north shore (wooden cladding, to those learning the lingo).
Feeling more confident, we peddled to the Chavannes lift where our trusty bikes were fitted on, and we sat beside them – a very odd feeling when you’re used to having skis attached to your feet. Once at the top we headed for the easiest downhill (DH) run on the mountain, a gentle (or so we thought) green run that takes you back down to the village. We negotiated tight bends (or ‘berms’), tree roots and loose stone on great single track, and some faster fire tracks that brought us through beautiful woodland scenery. We were amazed by how much you had to concentrate, and how important it was to anticipate the track in front of you.
Although the track was a level green, it was still pretty challenging (certainly to us!), but we learnt all the time, and felt brave (or stupid?) enough to branch off onto the black DH run towards the bottom of the mountain. Here, the berms are enormous, and keeping your momentum and bottom firmly behind your seat is even more important if you want to stay on!
At the end of the track we counted our blessings, crossed the town and headed up Mont Chery. We followed a great trail that took us through really challenging woodland single track over loads of tree roots and rocks, at quite a steep incline in places. After a while we came out of the woods and went through lovely meadows and grassy fields before joining an easy part of the black DH route that took us back to the Mont Chery lift.
Tired and hot, but definitely having caught the bug, we finished by going up the Chavannes lift again, taking a different route, this time via Morzine. Lots of great fire track, north shore and more beautiful scenery, and we were back in Les Gets with smiles on our faces and a new-found love for that great invention, the wheel.