Not so Gruffy

We awoke to another beautiful day. Blue skies. First to breakfast 😳.

The roads were busy and after we cleared the first few km we started climbing on a decent cycle path, on the verge of the main road.

As you can see from the graph below, most of our climbing today was done in the first 28 km.

At the top of the first climb the land really opened up. The area is known as the Bauges Valley.

We descended through a Gorge, Les Gorges du Cheran, and there was an interesting 75 metre length bridge, Pont de l’ Abime. Literally translated, this means Abyss Bridge. It was built in 1887 to link the villages of Cusy and Gruffy.

The Cheran River is a lot further down than the photo makes it appear. The river is 96 metres below.
From the bridge looking up to where we will ride
We are at that point looking back at the bridge
Now we have climbed further and Tony is standing on a picnic table to get a shot clear of some trees.
The cliffs above the bridge

After another shorter climb the land flattens again.

Just finishing that climb
Options, but great that there is a cycle route to Aix-Les-Bains and Annecy

I had to get a photo here, I loved the name of this village. The French do not pronounce it like we would in English.

Numerous villages are badged Village Fleurie. It is a French contest organised annually aiming to encourage communes to adopt and implement policies that improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and enhance their attractiveness to visitors. Communes are awarded the right to display a badge with one to four flowers depending upon their annual result.

Lovely open vista
Climbing again….

As we get higher there are signs that we are about to see some really nice mountains.

A glimpse
Ooh, now we are descending and look, it is promising.

After that final climb to 751 metres we started descending. We do not stop as the traffic is fast and we are more concerned with holding our line and staying safe.

The traffic in central Annecy is chaos. We head straight to the lake thinking it will be really relaxing to ride around.

The lake is certainly beautiful, but seriously I have never seen as many people on bikes ever! There is a literal conga line/queue. All ages and skill levels.

It is very slow (ie 15 kmh and less), lots of braking as people weave around, and then you get some Ritchie Porte wannabes overtaking in both directions.

The views were great and Tony took a few photos on the fly.

A fair way down the lake, we pulled over for refreshments. We spent about an hour here. The next three photos are from our lunch spot.

We made a clean getaway from lunch, a temporary reprieve from the conga line.

Noticing many parachutes in the skies, we headed off track to have a better look as many were landing in a nearby field. The picture below does not show them but around the top of the mountain there are maybe 20 plus people just hanging around.

A closer up, you can see some specks

Heading back towards Annecy in our continuing anti clockwise route, the crowds cycling picked up again, but on a narrower path. The views were just glorious and there were more opportunities to pull over.

There was a nasty little climb thrown in for good measure too. Steep with cycle path hair pin bends, where collections of younger youth stood (the worst spot possible is to take up all the space on a narrow, steep hairpin). Cuss and curse.

We were delighted to get off our bikes at our accomodation. The bikes are very very safe tonight.

Our balcony

After showering and washing our gear, we followed a canal/creek into centre ville but were overwhelmed with the crowds.

We have since found out that yesterday was a French public holiday and that it is common practice to also take the Friday off, making a four day break. Hence the crowds.

We will retire earlier tonight as whilst tomorrow is only 80 km, it is our Queen stage, where we climb to Morzine. About 1700 m climbing in the 80 km.

We bought some items for our dinner and returned to eat in our room, and chill. Tony has cleaned the bikes whilst I have been doing this blog.

Thanks for reading, stay safe, smile on 😊

Todays route

2 thoughts on “Not so Gruffy

  1. Great pictures. I love Annecy – I remember watching a Tour time trial around the lake and my ‘L’Étape du Tour’ in 2013 started in Annecy and finished at the top of Mt Semnoz, overlooking it.

    Liked by 1 person

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