Mountain Biking In The Alps, Everything You Need To Know
Josh Wardini, Community Manager at Webmastersjury
25 June 2018
Are you an avid mountain biker and planning to take a trip to the Alps? Mountain bike trails in the Alps are plentiful and beautiful, but will require some planning on your part. This article will attempt to answer most (if not all) of the questions you might have with the regards to this adventure of a lifetime.
When Is The Best Time For Mountain Biking In The Alps?
In June, when summer starts making its appearance in the Alps, the snow begins its lazy thawing process, which will eventually reveal magnificent mountain biking trails. The summer lifts in Morzine and Les Gets open partially for the last weekend in May and then the full network of 24 lifts across region open with the Pass’Portes event. This takes place over the third weekend of June and runs till the end of August. Some lifts like Pleney in Morzine and the Chavannes Express in Les Gets then stay open well into September.
Tips And Tricks For Getting The Most Out Of Mountain Bike Trails In The Alps
Although very important, the right bike isn’t the only thing you’ll need when attempting challenging mountain trails like the ones found in the Alps. You’ll also have to equip yourself with the basic knowledge of a few essential physical movements and rules.
• Mountain routes can sometimes be extremely challenging, making a rider’s limbs taut and their muscles tensed, but it is important to make an effort to keep your body loose at all times. Obstacles and precarious corners can be overcome by lifting your butt slightly and keeping your knees and elbows bent.
• Keep in mind that every part of a mountain track is different and requires extra work from specific muscles in your body. This is why it’s important to remember to keep moving your body when switching between obstacles, climbs, and drops. When climbing, it helps to drop your elbows as low as possible and to keep your head down; your butt behind your saddle will be beneficial when descending.
• When mountain biking in the Alps, you’ll notice that the terrain changes drastically and frequently. Always keep your fingers close to your gears, because if you plan on keeping a good pace, you’ll need to be able to shift rapidly and with a moment’s notice.
• One’s instinct when riding towards an obstacle is to go slower, when in fact it’s necessary to go faster and always keep a good momentum.
• Always keep an eye on what’s coming up ahead so you can plan gear shifts, body movements, and regulate your speed.
• If you weren’t able to cross an obstacle, don’t be afraid to try it again, but also don’t be afraid to skip it if you feel it’s above your skill level. If you are adamant to beat it, attempt the obstacle 3 times, before continuing with the trail.
• Remember to take breaks often!
How Should I Prepare For A Mountain Bike Trail?
It is imperative to do the correct training routine before attempting a mountain trail. Having a training routine specifically for mountain bike routes will ensure that your body will be ready for every challenge that the Alps and its rigorous terrain can muster up.
• Do base training. This is a type of training that teaches your body to use oxygen in your bloodstream efficiently. Train your body by taking long and steady rides with your heartbeat at about 60-70% of its normal rate.
• Do tempo training. Tempo training is when you ride at an easy speed for the first 30% of the journey, pick your speed up significantly for the next 50% of the journey, and then ride at a more relaxing speed to cool down for the remaining minutes of your ride. Tempo train 2 to 3 times a week.
• Rest for 1-2 days each week. Your muscles will need it!
• Incorporate uphill efforts and long climbs into your training routes to prepare yourself for the uncompromising terrains of the Alps.
More Things To Consider When Preparing For A Mountain Bike Trail
• It has already been mentioned earlier in this article, but front suspension is an absolute must for mountain bike trails. Always check that yours is in good condition before taking the lift up the mountain.
• Make sure that your bike does not have V-brakes, but hydraulic or mechanical disk brakes. Disk brakes are safer, more powerful, and more reliable than old style brakes.
• Use normal flat pedals when mountain biking, because clipless pedals might make it difficult to bail when you find yourself in the middle of a problematic obstacle and could lead to injury.
What Should I Pack For A Mountain Bike Trail?
• This might sound unnecessary for a biking adventure in the Alps, but remember to pack your bicycle lock. Anything can happen up there, and the last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of the unknown without your bike.
• Make sure you have working lights (front and back). These will help you to see what’s up ahead as well as help other cyclists to see you.
• Thermal clothing and waterproof jackets are essential for any bike route in the Alps. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it’s warm or dry.
• Prevent injuries, head trauma and other troubles by always wearing a bike helmet.
• Pack lightly but always add a compact bike pump, tools, and spare tubes to your inventory before leaving for a mountain bike trail.
Planning and research are essential for any successful bike trail. Always make sure you have the right physical training, the right hardware and tools, and the right mindset before attempting any bike trail (especially bike trails in the Alps.)
Mountain Biking is one of the Portes du Soleil’s biggest summer sports and in the last few years it has really grown in popularity. People come from around the world to enjoy some of the most prestigious mountain bike events, including Crankworx and the Pass’Portes du Soleil. There are hundreds of miles of trails and challenging descents to get your teeth into if you like downhill and cross country biking and there’s something for every ability.
Reach4thealps have a selection of self catered chalets & self catered apartments which are perfect if you’re looking to come to Morzine and Les Gets to mountain bike. They’re all centrally located meaning you can be at a lift to take you up the mountain in seconds and they sleep between 5 and 18 people
This informative piece was put together by 16best.net