Alps Expedition

jdtate101

Ex-Fatman
I'm thinking of taking a trip down to the French Alps to do some of the famous climbs and was thinking about hiring a camper van type vehicle to sleep in and drive around in. My other option is going by car with a tent, or taking an organised trip by holiday firm.

I quite like the idea of freedom to do the climbs I want without pressure of a group timetable. I'm not the slowest of climbers (nor the fastest), but I'd rather not be hanging about waiting for others.

Just wondered if anyone has hired a camper for this sort of trip, can you recommend any good hire firms and give me an indication of what your costs were? I'm looking at at least 8 days with probably 5 days riding and 3 days driving. I may throw in Mt.Ventoux as well depending upon time.

Any pointers greatly appreciated....
 
Did it loaded touring this year, for ease and comfort I am planning on taking the car and a lighter bike and bigger tent another year. The camper van idea is probably even more comfortable and easier cooking, but much dearer (hire+extra fuel), slower, and more taxing/ tiring to drive on narrow roads. Whilst the idea of a supported week with accommodation and food appeals the price tag and being limited to one area are drawbacks especially if the weather forecast for that area turns foul
 
OP
jdtate101

jdtate101

Ex-Fatman
Yeah, that's my thinking too. I may end up taking the car (Skoda Octavia Estate) and a tent,as it's going to be faster ,cheaper and easier to manage. I also have a bike rack for it, so can fully load the boot.
May make it a two up trip with a friend, so that would still work as well.
 

rich p

ridiculous old lush
Location
Brighton
Camper van hire is very expensive. Car plus tent is much more sensible and you can leave the tent in situ if you need to drive to another climb.
 

thom

____
Location
The Borough
I rented a Gite for 2 1/2 weeks last september at about 240 euros per week and a Kangoo to do similar from Eurocar (can't remember the rate).
Anyway, I stayed near Albertville and there were many, many climbs there, often driving for an hour or so to base a day's riding.
Perhaps it depends on the time of year but I really appreciated the gite as a base to simplify the whole thing, particularly with sore and tired legs. I've also done a couple of cycle tours in the Alps and while you get great support, it is much more expensive.
I found this site really useful for finding routes btw : http://www.cycling-challenge.com
 

sabian92

Über Member
Plus if you hire in the UK they might be a bit funny taking it abroad. A lot of hire companies don't like you taking their vehicles abroad (and in the US, they don't even like you taking them over state lines!).
 
OP
jdtate101

jdtate101

Ex-Fatman
I'm actually now half considering doing the 2013 Marmotte, but spending the whole week out there on an organised marmotte package. The sportive looks really fun, but bastard hard too. I think I could defiantly do it, but would need to change out my chainring for a compact first (I'm running a 53/39 at the moment with 11-28). At least then I could fly down or drive and all accommodation is included and all rides are supported. The packages are expensive, but it would be the highlight of the year....
 
Sounds like a plan.

When I next go I fancy a crack at the cingles then will probably move on and do a few circular routes around Allemont. So it will be the car and a large tent for me :smile:
 

rich p

ridiculous old lush
Location
Brighton
I'm actually now half considering doing the 2013 Marmotte, but spending the whole week out there on an organised marmotte package. The sportive looks really fun, but b****** hard too. I think I could defiantly do it, but would need to change out my chainring for a compact first (I'm running a 53/39 at the moment with 11-28). At least then I could fly down or drive and all accommodation is included and all rides are supported. The packages are expensive, but it would be the highlight of the year....
Good idea. I'm tempted to do the Marmotte too but unofficially just with a couple of friends with an early start and no peer pressure!
I've done the Galibier and I used a triple with a low gear of 30 x 25. I think you're right to go compact.
 
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