Another early damp start and unusually a bus ride, took us up into the mountains. Straight away we dropped into some pretty treacherous descents and around a slightly slower (31 mph) and rather edgy Panoramic. DangerMayst seemed to excel on the rocky red descents but soon disappeared after Panoramic, only to re-appear safe and sound clutching some brake parts. The now well used M5 bolt and tape once again saving the day. After the initial descents including the avoided road jump we arrived at the tangled network of runs that all start & end at the same point, these kept us busy building lactic acid for the next two hours. 3 were open and after sampling all, the green Serpentine, with tall carved berms that seemed to go on for ever, was voted as the most fun and all apart from BigAir’s jump (which had no landing ramp and removed all his lungs contents), provided some of the best rides of the day. Wary of the time we moved one valley closer, which enabled me to overcome my fear of the big ramp & air bag a couple of times. Then the least favourite trail of the day with its high consequence jagged rocks and hooked drop offs was decided against only to be repeated immediately, to collect the dropped sun glasses. Eager to miss the inevitable storms we dropped through Avoriaz and avoiding the swearing forest we made the descent by road. No one noticed whether they had Strava on or not, but ferocious corner exit pedalling, narrow handle bar grip, chin on the stem, slip streaming, car bullying and rear wheel lifting last minute pre switch back braking would ensure no one would doze off. All tactics including using the front of a van were used, as for the pedalling, generally it made no difference. We arrived back at the cycle shop as the heavens opened and Happy Hour was pursued. Later 1 and ¾ inches of rain fell over 3 hours which saw torrents of water, sand and gravel washed into our building and the market square, just as they were nearing completion of the Hog Spectacle and so the night long clean-up operation begun. As we all plugged into Strava screams of 44.4mph turned into mummers as 44.7 was announced, 44.9mph, then the magic 45.0mph not to be beaten time was revealed by one over-reading device – He’s not coming again.
Day 4 - Aches & Pains Day
3 full on days were taking its toll and there were painkillers and Monster being ingested by mid-morning. But as the Les Gets and Chavannes trails started to dry once more in baking relentless sun, adrenaline cut-in and everything but enjoying these fast as you like, Marmots’ last day choice, awesome runs were soon forgotten. We started with the non-stop, no longer a seven but six minute run, Chavannes, several red and blues, before the long and fast open cross country descent into Morzine. This was made special by Big Air removing the barbed wire fence with his bike and legs and laying on the floor in order to direct us safely cross the 25mph bridge. But his was not to be his only bike exit today as another berm-detour-run-off-down-the-hill without your bike incident occurred, on camera? Oh yes. Unplanned berm exits were something I think we all safely achieved this year. I am sure CarefulButFaster does not need reminding of his big off in Morzine 5.1 (Higher & faster still) last year, but…… Time & time again I remind you to not follow me, luckily in this case, our line astern re-enactment of the 5.1 big off excursion, was safely navigated back onto the piste. In the afternoon we crossed Morzine and to Zore to enjoy the fast tight berms & new monster table tops. Plenty of opportunity to stack, with cameras rolling, but it was everyone around us loosing skin or trapping body parts, including full use of some catch fencing. And then the final car overtaking - road race, down to Morzine, enjoyed 40mph coasting (by most) and reasonably pointless 43mph pedalling, dropped us back to give sad farewells to the heaviest, widest and most expensive bikes we ever ride. We felt smug at not injuring ourselves and most importantly, safely looking after our adopted son.
Finally the storm cycle was broken and the evening mellowed to accept our leather clad fellow bikers evening’s entertainment, that was going to keep us from our beds. The first band were fair, even good in places, but the headliner sucked like your granny on egg and reminiscent of a Bad French Doonican, he seeped through our tightly shut windows and shutters until someone eventually pulled the plug around 1AM.
A swift and precise 12hr Mr Pain driving experience got us to another rubber gloveless border crossing, popped out the other side into the only traffic jam we saw (M25) and we were still home in time for Maysty’s Ovaltine.
2013, Faster, deeper and mildly moist (Not a porn movie, it’s this year’s catchy tag line) and importantly only minor scrapes. It is possibly the best thing you can do with far too many clothes on and really, we do OK for a bunch of old guys.
2014; The Chinese year of 50 year olds, will you join MMMMMtb chapter for MZ7.