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Mountain Biking Holiday Preparation

Why Prepare for your mountain bike holiday?

In order to make the most out of your 10fifty mountain biking holiday, we feel it is important that you are as prepared as possible.
The technical trails, the environment and sheer quantity of mountain biking are usually quite different from what most people have encountered during their own mountain biking experiences.


Mountain Bike Fitness

Being as fit as possible is one of the key factors to enjoying the mountain biking that is on offer in Chamonix. We have found that by the time the forth day of riding is in the bag, people are starting to feel the affect of all the strenuous riding/holidaying and plain old fun that is on offer. With all of the rides being of the “Damn fine” category you won’t want to miss a day so the fitter you are, the less likely you will be to blow a gasket.
With the huge steep valley surrounding you, climbing is very much the order of the day. We have found that the key to getting up them in one piece is to tackle each one with a pace that you feel you could maintain all day. We would go as far to say that Chamonix is one of the few places where you can definitely wear out your granny ring before your middle chain ring.

If you are getting your mountain bike worked on before your holiday, then we would recommend that you get 34 tooth-rear cassette fitted in order to give you winch like power on the steep stuff. Having said all of that we have had a nutter ride all of the trails with a 2x9 drive train!
The rides vary in duration from four to seven hours with actual distance not being the important measurement, altitude gain on the other hand, is key. The smallest ride will only take in about 400m of vertical with the biggest racking up a thigh burning 2000m. Tackling, as many long climbs before you come out will definitely put you in good stead.

Not only is the geography of the Chamonix valley a factor so is the climate. Many of our clients from drier climes have found the humidity to be a bit of an issue. This is no problem for our European guests and after a day or so our American clients soon adapt. Mid summer temperatures are usually around 30 degrees Celsius but can drop down to around 12 degrees at the beginning and end of the season. There are frequent rain showers usually at night, but sometimes they do occur during the daytime. Providing it is not thunder and lightening, we do go out and ride in the wet making the already technical trails even more, shall we say, “interesting”.

The Chamonix valley is around 1000m high and consequently for the first day or two you will find that breathing is harder than you are used to. In most cases this passes quickly and means you can look forward to going back home and whooping your riding buddies butts with your new found altitude fitness!
Hydration is not a problem as on nearly all of the rides there are loads of opportunities to fill up with water. The water supply is perfectly safe to drink and all around the mountains there are water butts where you can top up your camelbak with ice-cold mountain water.


Technical Mountain Bike Trails

The technicality of the trails is one area where many clients are challenged. Many are amazed at the steepness of them, which combined with the roots, rocks and occasional dampness, make for some unforgettable mountain biking. We recommend that you tackle any and all of the technical trails in your local area, paying special attention to body positioning and controlling your speed. The comment “I have never had to get my weight this far back on a bike in my life” is often heard, so practice getting your stomach behind the saddle and your derriere floating above your tyre.

By riding as much as possible, concentrating on upping your fitness levels and your exposure to technical riding, you will enhance the mountain biking experience to be had with you 10fifty Mountain Bike Holiday this summer.




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