Passportes 2013, 80km bike ride in it’s 10th year
This year sees the 10th annual Passportes du Soleil mountain bike ride in the Portes du Soleil. The ride will take place this year on 28th, 29th and 30th June. The hosting resort for the 2013 edition is Chatel in France. The route is 80km long with approximately 1000m ascent and 6000m descent. You can also use 15 of the ski lifts to assist with most of the uphill sections.
You can depart from 9 different stations of the Portes du Soleil ski area in France and Switzerland. The main starting resorts are Morzine, Les Gets, Chatel, Morgins and Champery. Every year around 6000 participants take place over the 3 days. The ticket price of 46€ includes access to all the lifts for the day. Also a voucher for another day of riding in the summer or skiing in the winter for the full ski area. You also get a wrist band which entitles you to free food at all of the stopping stations around the ride on the day. Each year there are local specialities available such as raclette and tartiflette. For me this is the highlight of the day!! All in all it works out great value for money.
There are also various points around the Passportes circuit for getting your bike fixed if you have any technical issues during the day. This ride is a great way to take in the sights of the whole area if you have never been here before. Unless of course the weather is like it was on the Sunday last year when I took part. We could only see around 20m in front of us the whole day!
If you’re worried too about not being an accomplished enough rider or not fit enough then you shouldn’t. If you are reading this and even considering taking part in an 80km bike ride then you are probably in good enough shape to take part. I really thought I would struggle on my first attempt in 2012. In fact I had a fantastic day and finished with a great sense of achievement. I think all the cake stops may have helped! There are a few parts that you can leave out too if you are not up for the steeper descents. In a couple of spots there are downhill specific sections that are well marked and you can bypass these. Depending on your starting resort there are whole sections that you can miss too. For example if you start in Morzine you can leave out the Pleney and Les Gets section at the end of the day.
New for this year is also the Passportes Pedestre- a walking version. If you are interested then see here.