It’s been arranged that today the majority of the group are going mountain biking at Montgenevre at the uplift centre. This is where you take the ski lifts to the top of the tracks (with bikes hung on the back) and cycle down. There are various routes and these ones have good options suitable for everyone as well as some more challenging routes for the experienced bikers in the group. Rob, Bill Ali and Matt went to meet Tom and Tom who are arriving to join the group today, and they did a run of the upper Guisane.
The uplift doesn’t make for a lazy start as everyone is quite keen to make the most of a full days lift pass. We head up to the car park, get kitted up and get our passes, and head on up on the lifts. We gather at the top and the whole group do a run of the green route at first. It’s barely a warm up for the experienced guys, but we go together as group all the same. It’s a shaky first run on my new (second hand) full Sus bike, but I enjoy it all the same. The next run is easier and I’m a little less hard on the brakes. Gregg and Chucky break off this time and check out some of the blue run, to see if it’s suitable for others. The third time down I go with Keith and test out a bit of the blue that’s next to the green, we end up on a red run and I end up going off quite a big drop off! Eyes on stalks, slow mo moment in my head, and I won’t be doing that again, however, the berms after this are nice and smooth and I quite enjoy it. I’m starting to roll a bit more on the green sections and feeling some ’lift’ over the jumps, even if I’m not really jumping them yet! We go for another run down before dinner and I do the same again, minus the nasty drop!
Alex and Dylan have joined us around the third run so they join us for lunch too, and then we all go up to the top again. This time we all go down a blue on the other side of the lift. It’s quite a loose rocky track and I don’t find it too enjoyable the first time down, but I made it in one piece and we go and find that blue/red piece again on the way through. At this point most of the group decide they are done for the day but Keith and I hang back to do another run with Alex and Dylan. We go for the same Blue route again from the top, but branch off to red part way down. Then we join what is now my favourite section of blue/red in the middle, and finish off on the green. I’ve even had a few goes at the ‘skills’ section at the bottom which has some board walks set up as jumps and berms. I only roll the jumps, but gradually feel better on the berms each time. As the others have taken the cars back Keith and I ride back to the house. It’s all down hill on the col so it’s not difficult at all and being able to go a bit faster on tarmac is quite nice as you get a good cooling breeze as you go along.
Back at the house Jamie is preparing for dinner, and everyone is chilling before the evening. Keith and I go shopping as we are cooking tomorrow. By the time we get back the paddlers have arrived and they have had a great run of the upper Guisane, including S bend which Ali says she felt much more comfortable about this time. She had faced her demons on it the other day and after some further confidence boosting and testing rivers in between, S bend was fun this time! We all have a good chat before dinner is served, it’s a vegan curry tonight and it tastes delicious! We use up some of the left over puddings from the last two nights (with ice cream of course) and everyone is full to bursting. I’ll be aiming for a fairly early night tonight as we are heading to the Gyronde again tomorrow, which although was fun the other day was a reasonably testing bit of water for me.