The end of the season is fast approaching and the number of days left to ride are rapidly reducing in number. Like most other people here, I wish the season was longer. There’s no reason why the lifts couldn’t be open throughout September, the weather is still good and people would still come. So many resorts are open later into the year, why not here!?
While we’re on the subject of weather, it’s been a bit on/off for the last couple of weeks (not typical of August). Not being one to particularly revel in the prospect of going out in the damp, let alone the rain, I’ve found myself riding in muddy conditions a few times, and actually quite enjoying it, especially on Super Morzine where a bit of grip and a few ruts can be found for support.
In an effort to escape the mud, we headed through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Pila where it always seems to be dry and dusty. It’s a great place to ride for a day trip and easy enough to get to from Morzine. There’s a plethora of runs there, with lots of single tracks that cross over and run parallel to each other – great fun to ride with mates as you find yourself pinning it and glancing up and seeing a mate doing the same on another track about 2 metres from you.
There’s also a few more full on downhill runs, such as the World Cup track, which are good for a blast, but really I found them a bit rough on my little bike and preferred to play on the singletracks. The run from the very top of Pila down to the bottom (in Aosta) takes in a vertical descent of over 1700m, it’s pretty tough going doing it in stages, but one Alex Evans managed to do it non-stop in 17mins 30sec – fair play!
Anyone that’s been out here this season should by now be familiar with Morzine Mountainbike Mechanics who base themselves in Linderets throughout the day. Well, now they’ve got their hands on a giant airbag and they’ve hooked it up to a couple nice booter ramps for you dial your style on. It’s free to play (!) and is usually running between 3pm-5pm, so get yourselves over there for some fun.
As time is running out, I’m frantically trying to get round to doing the things I’ve not done yet this season. Something I’ve let fall by the wayside a little bit this year is pedalling uphill, something which I actually quite enjoy as it tends to take you away from the maddening crowds. So last week I put up the fancy Hope Eternity seatpost as high as it’d go and headed off on the Tour de Mont Chery, which is fairly easy going by XC standards, but a great blast on a freeride bike like my Commencal Supreme and takes in some awesome views of Mont Blanc. So good that I did it twice.
Mark (staff member) has also been heading out over to Morgins again for some great riding on the tracks over there.
You can also keep up with the latest news from the Riders Retreat camp on their Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/ridersretreat) or Twitter (@ridersretreat).
See Morzine through the eyes of a staff member on Mark’s blog – www.markinmorzine.blogspot.com . Thanks for photo of Mark to Ross Darch.
Written by Paul Thomas – www.riders-retreat.co.uk