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Good "home base" for riding alpe d'huez area(7 posts)

Good "home base" for riding alpe d'huez areatimwat
Jan 11, 2004 6:05 PM
Can anyone recommend a good city to stay in the general vincinity of Alpe d'Huez(few hours by train)? Its not actually a cycling vacation, but a family/friend trip to France/Italy/Switzerland. I'm thinking of taking my bike to ride some of the big climbs in the Alpe d'Huez area though. I'll be traveling by rail so will need a city where a car is not needed and with sightseeing/shopping for the wife and non-cycling friends. I've never been to Europe so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
often recommended sitewitcomb
Jan 11, 2004 6:24 PM
This site is often recommend for this question. I have never been, only dream. http://grenoblecycling.free.fr/
often recommended siteteoteoteo
Jan 11, 2004 7:56 PM
When are you going? This may help answer the question and as for cities I think there could be quite a few if you stay in Grenoble you could ride to Alpe Huez. Easy to find as all you need to is hit the N91 which takes you to the base of such famous climbs of Alpe d Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Col d' Lautaret which leads you to the Galibier. That alone should get any bike geek excited.

The truth is there are sooooo many cool routes in and around Grenoble you could certainly get your fill. Like climbing from Grenoble to Chamrousse.

You could also stay in Albertville, Geneva, Annecy. If you picked Albertville and Annecy you would have famous climbs like Colombiere (sp?), Col des Saises, Aravis, nearby. Annecy has a climb called the Col D' Semnoz that is very scenic and pretty damn tough. Something like 11 miles at 6.7 percent. You can roll from town ride the climb and be back for lunch with the wifey or roll down the rode and ride the Col de Leschaux to cool down it is 5.2 miles@ 6.3 %.

You could even stay in Provence (Avignon)and have train access back to Grenoble. Provence is heaven and my personal favorite place to ride.

So many choices my friend...you'll have a blast. Like I asked before when are you going? It's winter and roads are impassible for a while I would guess.
often recommended sitetimwat
Jan 12, 2004 4:45 AM
I'm looking at going June 5th-18th.

Thanks,
Tim
often recommended siteteoteoteo
Jan 12, 2004 5:39 AM
Since it will be June the snow won't be a problem then so
here is my list....Since you have so long move around a little and try all 3 since I think none of the 3 would satisfy the touristy side for 13 days

1. Provence (around Avignon or Carpentras). The rides, food, and people are all great. Staying in one the many small villages outside of Avignon or Carpentras would be ideal. You could put the wifey on a train to the Cote D' Azur and she can spend while you tackle the Bald Giant of Provence a.k.a. Mt Ventoux.

2. Annecy--ride in the morning, relax by the lake in the afternoon, enjoy dinner by the canals at night. Great rides from town. Check out the Casino at the Imperial Palace Hotel. The 2nd link below sows an aerial view of hotel and beautiful lake.

http://www.lunadesigns.com/travels/annecy/index.htm

http://www.hotel-imperial-palace.com/

3. Grenoble, big city and great rides but maybe lower on the touristy stuff to do. It's the third largest city in France I think. Bastille is a large tourist attraction.

So many places in France that you'll have a great time. You may want to reconsider the no car aspect. Even if you rent for just a day or two to visit local areas around Provence. Visually stunning places and lots of local artisan fares for the wife and friends.
Grenoblemohair_chair
Jan 12, 2004 7:11 AM
Someone else already recommended the Grenoble cycling site, which is an excellent resource. L'Alpe d'Huez is about 25K from Grenoble. There is tons of great riding around Grenoble, from 2000 meter climbs in the Alps to small villages in Chartreuse to spectacular roads cut into the sides of mountains in Vercors. You can't go wrong if you base yourself in Grenoble.
Great info! Thanx! nmtimwat
Jan 12, 2004 9:19 AM