Loaded and ready to go!
We have just loaded the van and we have the routes set. The van is now heading down to Folkestone ready to board the Euro Tunnel across into France. We have two weeks ahead of us to find some great mountain bike parks, and capture some epic footage. You can follow us along the way on our Instagram which is @themtbvanlife . If you know of any parks or trails that you would recommend in France, please drop us a message and let us know. We would love to check them out if we have the time.
The rough plan ahead
Our plan so far is looking like we are going to have at least one day riding, and one day off. Those off days may consist or driving to new places. Of course this is dependant on how tired we get and what we find. We have tried to base the trip around visiting a variety of parks across the French alps, but also giving us time to chill out and put our feet up with a beer or glass of wine. After all this is a holiday as well right? Accommodation is with us at all times given the fact we have converted the van into a camper. One main limitation we have on the road is our water storage. We will need to find locations to refill but to help cater for this, we have planned in a few campsites. The likelihood is we will be able to find water refill points along the way, but it will be nice to use the facilities every so often.
Alp D’Huez tourist board have kindly offered us some lift passes and a guide, so we are looking forward to spending some time over there meeting new people and finding some awesome trails. Massive thanks goes out to the team there! Its looking like the most time in one place will be spent here for a period of around 3 days. We like to keep on the move and find knew things, but if we fall in love with somewhere, the chances are we will stay longer.
Possible issues and route planning
Having organised this a while ago, we had set some dates in mind and booked the time off work. The closer we got to the trip, it was mentioned about the Tour De France, but I suppose I sort of looked into it and brushed it to one side. It was not until the other day that I actually thought about this again and realised that there is a real chance this could affect our routes. I took to the internet and found a lot of info on the tour, but not enough about what roads are closed and when. Taking rough time scales into consideration, I worked it out that we should be okay. That being said, it is always good to have a plan B. In our case, we have planned alternative routes to take us around any closures. Even if it does mean us having to drive into Italy.
All of our routes are planning in a route planning software called ‘Tyre’. This software utilises google maps to plot routes. But unlike the internet version, the software lets you place unlimited way points. This route files can then be saved directly onto your TomTom or Garmin device. The main benefit of using this tool, is plan scenic routes, rather than a direct A to B route.
Check out the software here: www.tyretotravel.com
Let the adventure begin…