Travel Insurance is essential and should be taken out as soon as you book your holiday so that your flights and deposit are covered if anything goes wrong before you travel.
It might sound obvious but you must make sure that your insurance covers you for lift assisted mountain biking in the Alps as some companies don't. Bring the policy with you along with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Les Arcs has trails to suit all abilities and after only a week you will see massive improvements in your riding. Those who are new to mountain biking will love the rolling green pastures and smooth single track the area has to offer without feeling intimidated, while more experienced riders can challenge themselves on steeper, tighter and faster tracks found in the area. The Joy of riding in the Paradiski region is that everyone can enjoy themselves on any style of mountain bike! In addition our friendly hosts are on hand to offer suggestions for where to head and can point you in the right direction of our favourite trails.
What Bike Should I Bring?
Les Arcs and La Plagne offer such huge variations in trail, there are tracks to suit you, whatever sort of riding you are after! The most important consideration is to be comfortable on the bike that you will be using out here. Previously you may not have experienced a 45 minute descent or the volume of vertical meters that can be covered in one week (typically over 20 000 m). We would recommend bringing a bike with some suspension unless you’re a dedicated hardtail rider or very skilled!
Our hosts use a variety of bikes depending on the terrain that is to be tackled that day. Anything from a tough hardtail with 4 inch forks, through to a full on Dh bike with 8 inches of travel and a few in between. As we are based in a lift accessed region of the Alps there is plenty of opportunity for quality, varied descents with little or no pedalling to be done if that’s what you want.
Therefore if you have the option of choosing your bike to bring on holiday, go for the one that has stronger wheels, powerful brakes and suspension.
Tips For You and Your Bikes Before You Come on Holiday
Spend time on your bike – Nothing beats confidence and experience, so don’t worry if you don’t have the latest Ti seatpost clamp, get out and ride your bike and make sure you are comfortable on it before you come.
Powerful brakes are strongly recommended. Hydraulic disc brakes with large rotors are the best. These will give you more confidence and control when you’ve been descending for up to 45 minutes!
Dual Ply tyres are recommend as the volume of descending done in one week can wear out thinner tyres. Maxxis and Schwalbe are usually the most successful.
We would recommend being able to drop your saddle right down. If you are unable to do this on bikes with interrupted seat tubes, you may wish to bring a spare ‘stubby’ seatpost just in case. .
Short stems and wide bars are not just trendy...they really help you control your bike when descending. We’d recommend stems less than 75 mm.
Due to the amount of downhill that is possible in one week, accidents can happen. So strap on some armour. We have a small selection available at the chalet for you to hire if required but having your own means you know it will fit. Minimum requirements are open face helmet, gloves and knee pads, however elbow pads and full face helmets are recommended as well.
We will have a selection of spares and rental parts just in case but you can easily ware out a set of brake pads in a week so i'ts always worth bringing your own if you have them!
Bring a riding jacket and some warm clothes. We still go out in the wet!
Why Do You Not Offer Guiding?
There is currently an ongoing legal battle between the French authorities and many of the English Guides working in France.
For a full and unbiased account of the background to this please see June's edition of Singletrack Magazine.
As a result in 2013 we made the decision to suspend our guiding services until the issues were resolved and our guides could carry out their role certain that they would not face any charges for doing so. At the time of writing this continues to be an area of uncertainty so at present we plan to continue into 2014 as last year with our hosts on hand to offer suggestions and point you in the direction of some of our favourite runs but we are not currently including guiding in our programme.
If however you would like to book into a guiding group we can arrange this for you through a local guiding company. Please don't hesitate to ask us for details.