Chamonix – Bike ‘n Hike (there)

June 6 – 10, 2023

The ride there
Day 1
Day 2
Day 2.5
Day 3
The ride home

Good friends of ours were traveling through France for their holiday and invited Dan and I to join them. We couldn’t join them for all of their holiday, but we did manage to catch them for their last few days, when they were going to be in Chamonix, France. It would be a short ride for us, and it would be great to spend time with them in the mountains.

Packed and ready to ride!

We left Basel after lunch on Tuesday and bee-lined straight through Switzerland and into France. Once we cleared Martigny it was nothing but mountain roads. There wasn’t much to comment on during this section of the ride. The Swiss motorways are fast and clean and pass through some lovely countryside. Traffic was light for most of the way, at least until we reached the shores of Lake Geneva. This is always a congested area and today was no different. We took a quick break before the last stretch to the mountain passes.

Lake Geneva

I’ve been to the Martigny area a couple of times before, but not enough to really remember it clearly. It was a beautiful day and the pass was empty of traffic. Just me and Dan and the twisting road.

Above Martigny

Crossing into France

And then I almost died.

I was coming around a blind righthand corner, sitting slightly to the right of the center of my lane, when a fully-wrapped Lamborghini (?) came flying around the bend towards me, its tires halfway in my lane. I swore in my helmet and swerved out of the way, the car never even altering its course. Needless to say, I was upset and kept swearing – especially when the next two sports cars zipped by (slightly more in their lane than the first one, but still stealing some of my real estate). I would say that easily 100 more sports cars (Estonian plates!) zipped by before we arrived in Chamonix, and every one of them was greeted by a one finger salute.

Not the guilty one, but one of many that came after him!

We arrived in Chamonix, found the AirBnB, parked the bikes and settled in. We had arrived before our friends did, so we used the extra time to explore and see what “Chamonix” is all about!

View from our apartment

Eternal chocolate machine! at the local coffee shop

Chamonix is all about “sport tourists”, apparently. Most of the shops were dedicated to outdoor clothing and gear, and even many of the people walking through the main pedestrian street were wearing climbing gear, hiking boots, or even paragliding packs.

Our friends eventually arrived and the six of us spent the evening reconnecting and discussing what we would do with our time over the next three days.

Day 1