Think we spoke too soon about being incident free…. Mel had a bit of an off – nothing major, and ironically it was caused by not going fast enough round a banked corner. I know it was a 180’ corner and if you get wrong you really are in trouble, but without enough speed you can’t stay angled for the bank and, well, gravity wins.
The body armour earned its keep so Mel escaped with a couple of minor bruises, however the bike had damaged to the front brakes. We took it to two repair shops who looked and said “can’t fix it” – which sort of left us in trouble. But, after 2.5 hours of swearing and fiddling – I fixed it! Its only the brakes, what could go wrong 🙂
We managed to find another couple of routes to cycle, one at Les Verneys which was rather tough up-hill for half way, then good fun bombing down the other; and the other was an unmarked route that we used on our previous visit which was part of a red (one you cycle rather than use the lifts) – but we used it nevertheless and brought back memories of challenges and, incidentally, it was where Mel fell and broke her brakes last time we were here!
Mel also had her [censored]th birthday, so we had a reasonably easy day of runs as Mel didn’t want any birthday injuries, but we did manage some celebratory beers and a meal in our favourite eatery.
After another couple of days of incident free riding, we packed up ready to leave Valloire – pleased to have survived pretty much intact and without unfixable bike damage. It has been a nice stop at Valloire – pleasant surprise that they still allow wild camping, and really good value on the lifts again! On our last day they stated a 4 day 4×4 off road show, with trucks and expedition spec toys and conversions. All very interesting, but you really need to go beyond the norm to make the most out of the vehicles.
Continuing our journey, we drove through and recognised Cognin-les-Gorges where we overnighted on a previous trip, and where we did a walk and it was too misty to enjoy. This time however, it was glorious and the hard walk up the gorges was worth it and the views were stunning – shame the church bell don’t stop overnight…
Anyway, we left there and headed to visit Valence which proved to be a bit, well, meh… Maybe we didn’t see the best bits, but it wasn’t overly exciting, so we ended up in Crest – a place recommended to us by some friends. Crest seems very welcoming, a well policed flat area specifically for Motorhomes – and free wifi provided by the town! Cheers guys! The town is medieval and worth a walk round, but reasonably small. Our first night was spent studying some tourist info literature and sitting outside a small pizza place drinking cold beer and having a rather good salmon pizza.
The next day we decided to do a 22km red mountain bike ride as, after Valloire, we were feeling fairly confident. Without the mountains, how hard can these red runs be? We were feeling a bit cocky about 9km in thinking it was trivial, and then the fun began! Some excellent and challenging up hill, flat and down hill bits – really pushing us to our limits and some bits (especially up hill) we had to walk a bit. We must’ve taken a wrong turn and did a bit of a black which was rather epic. I was feeling confident (in my body armour) and actually rode/bounced down some of the most challenging riding I’ve done! It was tough on the bike and the wheel popped out of the frame. Ooops. When we eventually came out of the forest (near a convenient bar) we were maybe 6km from Crest, but a nice flat road ride back… An excellent ride….
To top off the day, we had a swim and splash in the refreshing river – much needed to rest our well knackered muscles….
Next installment HERE