Do you feel like getting out in the open air, to fill your lungs and boost your morale? Don’t hesitate, try mountain biking. We tested a ‘downhill run’ for you. It is suitable for beginners, families and mixed groups who want to have fun mountain biking in safe conditions.
Once Christophe and Marina have dropped you off, at 1800 m in the Puy Saint Vincent resort, you’re ready for the hour it takes to head to Tournoux and the Col de la Pousterle, an excellent warm up before the 700-m downhill, more technical section.
Our guide, Christophe Roulx, qualified cycling instructor since 1998, shared the basics so that we can ‘handle’ the descent. For example, in steep, stony sections, we learnt to position ourselves to the back so that our legs and arms are more reactive and dynamic.
It was also obvious that we needed to get rid of some bad habits, such as systematically using the back brake! Indeed, that is the best way to block your wheel. This is how we succeeded unscathed: braking regularly using the front brake, very lightly, accompanied by more or less pressure to the back.
Our address in Vallouise: Tiki Bike offers different activities such as the special children’s day on Thursdays. From age 8, introduction to downhill cycling in the morning followed by a picnic, trampoline, football and rest at lunch time. Then, a ride through the woods and a touch of technique in the bike park!
Also possible from June to September are other outings such as ‘freeride’, where you’ll use the chairlift for a crazy downhill run in Puy Saint Vincent or ‘enduro’ with a 900-metre drop and 400-metre climb in the Chambran Valley, towards the Eychauda. These two outings are more intense and technical. Here, full-suspension bikes are used, not forgetting the compulsory helmet, gloves, and elbow, knee and back protections.
With ‘downhill’ or All Mountain runs in the Puy Saint Vincent resort, you will have the immense pleasure of learning to understand the slope and speed under excellent supervision, and will be sure to finish will a smile!
To learn more about mountain biking in the Pays des Écrins:
- With our guide Christophe Roulx, Tikibike in Vallouise: on +33 (0)6 10 69 01 28/+ 33 (0)6 71 69 53 45
- Jacky Sports in Vallouise: on +33 (0)6 87 04 90 28/+33 (0)4 92 23 30 44
- Bernard Chaud & Olivier Broumault — Chaud Sport in Puy St Vincent: +33 (0)9 70 73 00 70
- Guillaume Christian — Alpes Aventure in L'Argentière-la-Bessée : on +33 (0)6 81 21 81 97
- Bureau des Guides des Écrins in VALLOUISE: on +33 (0)4 92 23 32 29/+33 (0)4 92 23 32 02
- Localvélo in Puy Saint Vincent: on +33 (0)6 50 17 37 06/+33 (0)6 80 81 92 60
- Rafiki Nature in Saint-Martin-de-Queyrières: on +33 (0)6 70 93 50 53
Photo credits: Destination Écrins