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I know its been an age since I last posted here but I have been away for a month on an annual pilgrimage to France. There is an account of one of the more memorable rides in the previous post to this.

Rather than bore you with all the details of my ride which were not too memorable I will just put links to the Garmin details of the rides and a few photos where appropriate.

The first ride of the holiday was my usual first ride of a trip down the Annecy Cycle Path. I have written often enough about this feature and still can’t praise it highly enough so I won’t repeat all that either. It is a good ride for getting your legs working again after a few days travelling.

Heading south down the Annecy cycle path

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The next ride was circuit of the lake another solo ‘warm up’ ride that I usually do on arrival before tackling the bigger climbs to get my legs turning again.

Annecy cycle path , near to the town

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After the ‘warm up’ rides the next ride was with a couple of new friends I made soon after I arrived. I discovered they were cyclists as well so a conversation was started. Dave and Dennis had travelled down together with respective wives in convoy with their caravans. They had got into the habit of taking early morning rides around the lake at Annecy before the rest of the world woke up and had a good ride around the lake missing a lot of the congestion around Annecy town and home in time for breakfast.

They invited me to join them on their next ride and graciously delayed their departure on this day to accommodate me as I am not such an early riser when on holiday and I joined them for the 23 mile circuit of the lake. So it was before lunch and not before breakfast ! We managed an average of 17mph on this occasion riding as a threesome.

The following ride was also with Dave and Dennis and was up to Semnoz, along the ridge and on to Cret du Chatillon. This was a ride I did last year and this years ride is documented in the previous post to this. It was definitely a memorable ride for so many reasons, weather and misadventures not being the least. At the same time, for all that there was a real sense of achievement afterwards given the circumstances and also the usual feeling of well being after a bike ride. Anyway, here are the ride details in all their glory.

Setting out in sunshine..

Dave , Me and Dennis returning after a thorough soaking.. but still smiling.. !

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Next was another solo ride around Lake Annecy, I haven’t posted the ride data for this for fear of boring my reader too much! However I foolishly decide to do it late on a Sunday afternoon and the section of path around Annecy was very busy, not only with cyclists but roller bladers, pedestrians and dog walkers. Not a wise move on my behalf and having got through that I was then confronted with negotiating traffic jams through a couple of small towns on the way round caused by the day trippers leaving Annecy in their cars in droves after their day by the lake. Getting past where I could and also at one point after clearing the towns, there was another hold up caused by a an accident between two cars who had obviously met face to face in an overtaking accident, no doubt caused by impatience after the aforesaid hold ups.

Heading into Annecy on the cycle path, not a busy part!

The next ride was just Dave and I as Dennis had left for home by then. It was a new ride for both of us, along the cycle path towards Annecy to Sevrier where we turned off the path and up the steady climb to the Col de Leschaux. We decided to do this as a late afternoon ride. The Col de Leschaux is about halfway down the the the descent we did a few days earlier coming down from the Cret de Chatillon but this time the sun was shining and it was considerably warmer and drier and we were able to enjoy the descent from Leschaux to Saint Jorioz much more.

Dave at the summit

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Dave and I next repeated a ride I did a couple of years ago taking in the the Col des Aravis with its summit at 1487 metres. Its a Tour de France mountain and has been included in ‘The Tour’ quite a few times, the last time being last year. Its quite a long ride but not too difficult as mountains go in this area. Its a 58 mile ride in total from Annecy in a big loop through Thonesw and up to the ski resort at Clusaz and then up the Aravis. Its all good riding and wonderful scenery.  It was a hot day for our ride but we were refreshed by a couple of strong black coffees at the top in preparation for the thrilling descent of about 16 miles, a long way without pedalling apart from a couple of hundred yards to climb off the plateau about half way down. After that we had only about 15 miles to ride back up the cycle path to ‘home’. This was the last ride for Dave and I together as the next day Dave departed for home. The last ride together for this year anyway.. !!

Summit achieved

Dave did it too !!

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My next expedition was again a solo circuit of Lake Annecy. It wasn’t my initial intention to try and beat the ‘record’ average speed of 17.3mph Dave and Dennis had achieved on one of their early morning rides. However, as things progressed and I was feeling good I decided about half way round to press on and see what I could do. I eventually managed to do it at an average speed of 17.5mph and set a target for them to beat when they return next year! And I should add that it wasn’t an early morning ride for me either, I like to do my rides after breakfast.  (I am just posting the details here for Dave’s benefit as proof.. 🙂  )

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My final ride at Annecy was great to finish off with. Being bored by now with the ride up and down the cycle path, nice as it is I decided on a variation and explored the ride possibilities of a drive we had done in the car the day before to see the L’Abbaye de Tamie.  I set opff south along the cycle path and turned off the path at Faverges. I had thought it looked like a nice ride and wanted to see how it was for future reference.  The first part out of town was the toughest but not too severe and the rest was just a great ride, although uphill. There was very little traffic, a smooth road rising up through rolling countryside, in and out of the shade and towards the top a river tumbling down beside the road making its way steadily towards Lake Annecy no doubt.  I soon decided to press on to the top as when we came up the day before in the car I wasn’t sure we had actually reached the top before turning round and dropping down a little to the Abbey.

I made it easily to the top and found that we had reached the summit the day before more or less as I just rode on a few metres more and came across the Col de Tamie sign and duly photographed it..

The drop down was brilliant, all the way back to Faverges and the cycle path. The ride had been no further than going down to the end of the cycle path and back and I avoided the long trudge back up the path from Ugine. Although not much of an incline coming back, maybe 2% at most in places I also avoided the seemingly permanent headwind that blows down the valley from Annecy

Late afternoon sunshine at the top of Col de Tamie

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The next day we left Annecy and headed for Vermenton in the Burgundy area to site recommend by Dave and his wife Jan. It was a lovely quiet site with lots of sightseeing to do in the area. Hence as we were only there for 3 or 4 days cycling opportunities were limited but I did manage a ride across to the town of Chablis in the middle of the Chablis grape growing countryside.  It was a simple enough ride all along one road. A steady climb up onto a kind of plateau with a few ups and downs on it before it finally opened up into a spectacular view of the Chablis area and the hillsides as far as the eye could see covered in vineyards. I then dropped down into the town of Chablis and had a brief look around before returning back up the hillside I had just ridden down and back to Vermenton on the same route.

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Well thats it for now my friends, I hope you managed to find something of interest and not too boring a list of stats.

I return to Annecy at the end of August with my almost lifelong friend and cycling buddy Cyril for a more concentrated cycling visit to the Alps but this time travelling light and camping for 9 days altogether, and about 6 days  the Alps around Annecy

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