fall, spring & summer
Physical & technical
After a good coffee at Matchy, you take the road towards the bike path around the Lake Annecy. Some alternatives to the asphalt track are possible by alternating with the singles on its sides. If there are too many pedestrians on the tracks, stay on the bike path.
Enjoy the flat roads before climbing to Veyrier-du-Lac and reach the Menthon wood. This wood reserves a magnificent gravel passage on the edge of the forest with a view of Annecy’s Lake in the background. The descent is a bit technical with big pebbles, but especially crossing with hikers can sometimes be difficult, be careful. After this pleasant passage, you continue on the roads of small villages before reaching a 100% gravel hill. It lasts about 1km, try to stay on your bike all along because if you put your foot on the ground you may not be able to get back on. The next stop is at a viewpoint on the lake from the Ermitage de Saint-Germain-sur-Talloires.
This is the perfect time to drink or eat before heading back on the road to a tough hill on asphalt this time. A few kilometers after your stop in Ponay, you will be confronted to a rather difficult climb. It seems endless and will challenge you! Find a rhythm that allows you to continue pedaling, it is really stiff. When you have finished this climb, you will have time to rest on the forest trail of the Col de la Forclaz. A well-deserved rest in the middle of a forest and protected from cars.
You will only have the last 2 kilometers of the Col de la Forclaz to climb on the road.
You can nevertheless stop for a drink at the Balcon du Lac, the Roulotte du Col or the Auberge de Montmin before taking the road to the Chalet de l’Aulp.
You will go down the Col de la Forclaz by the road before turning left to start another climb, the one that leads to the Chalet de l’Aulp.
First on asphalt, it requires a lot of effort, especially after this start of the ride, well loaded in positive incline. After 2 kilometers you arrive at the parking lot, the starting point of itineraries for hikers and trailers.
You take a left on the parking lot and start climbing on a gravel road. The beginning is easy but the incline mixed with gravel makes the task complicated. Like it’s often the case on an uphill gravel climb, you should try to avoid putting your foot on the ground, as it will be hard for you to pedal again in an incline. Don’t give up, it’s definitely worth it at the top!
In the summer, you can even taste some local products during your break at the top.
Take the time to admire the view, it’s really magical.
You then go down the same way. You will be able to breathe physically and mentally because you now have only the descent and a flat way back!
You will take the road of the Col de la Forclaz for a few kilometers before venturing on dirt and gravel roads. This passage is one of my favorite as it’s in the middle of the forest and it’s very smooth, you can send it while paying attention to the roots and dead leaves, especially as autumn approaches.
You then reach the bike path which announces the end of the big gravel sections, however, there are always some alternatives that are known by the locals. Follow the trail below, it will take you to it!