Friday, August 28, 2015

Tour of Le Salève

Every cyclist needs a Le Salève type mountain in their backyard!

airplane view of the mountains behind Geneva with Mont Blanc

Found this superb website "Cycling in the Alps" where Will documented 5 different routes up Le Salève.

I wanted to do all 5 climbs up/down in one ride!

View of Le Salève blocks away from home
From the Passion Bike store, I was given a great bike map of the local Geneva area. After a morning pondering the maps and Will's website, I planned to ride the climbs clockwise starting furthest north.

Making my way to Le Salève via the bike lane on Route de Florissant
With the crazy twisty streets of Geneva, I took the most direct road southeast on Route de Florissant on the bike lane. Somehow I lost the maps on the way. Oh well, I had my plan scorched in my memory.

View of Geneva and the Jet of Water from the first lookout
I rode on the forewarned busy road D1206 for 2.5 km before the turnoff to climb to Monnetier-Monex. The rest of the ride was traffic free. It was 10 km to the base from home. Below, I listed rough splits excluding descents which had abit of ascent.

Climb #1 - mostly a tree-d climb up Montée du Salève, descended to La Murez (stats from home before descending: 1.5 hr, 26 km, 964m)

Mont Blanc in the background
Climb #2 - Col de la Croisette from La Murez (35 min, 7.5 km, 585m), descended to Cruseilles. Water stop at bakery where my Swiss francs were scoffed at. I forgot I was headed to a Euro country.

Cow on ridge with Geneva in the far right
Climb #3 - From Cruseilles, climbed about 4 km up Col des Pitons (16:19 min, 4.4 km, 212m), then descended northwest passing the castle Château d'Avenières. It was hot on the open road so I turned around at Saint-Blaise to climb back to the intersection.

I always stop for blackberries!

Climb #4 - Col du Mont Sion to intersection 3 km up (12:21 min, 2.9 km, 162m), to continue climb to Col des Pitons (33 min, 11.6 km, 341m), descended northwest side of Col de la Croisette, the wicked twisty 12% average descent.
Average 12% means seeing grades up to 16% on the GPS!
Climb #5 - the hardest climb last... back up Col de la Croisette (38:30 min, 5.8 km, 618m). Lots of riders of all abilities riding this climb! Likely a great after-work ride. I started climbing somewhere in Le Bourg D'en Haut.

Many fields of sunflowers on my way back into town
At the top I considered going back down the first climb towards Monnetier-Monex. After a food break, I decided to go the quickest route back down the 12% grade and direct through Carouge home (30 min, 13.5 km, 10m) - awesome slight descent back!

105 km, 5:21 hr, 3125m+

Best climbs for a climber - up/down front/back Col de la Croisette.
Scenic climb - Montée du Salève
Most leisure climb - Col des Pitons

It was cool to get a few "courage" cheers from locals as I climbed!

Gavin, Jan's son from Revie, and Nigel, Mary's son from Geneva, both met me at the Geneva airport and escorted me to Mary's apt by train. When they jumped on the bus with my bags, I rode my bike. Easier than driving around by car.


Will said...

Very well done !

Marg Fedyna said...

Thanks Will! Cool to know you are from Canada, too.

AaronF said...

Marg, you should share this with

Marg Fedyna said...

Aaron, thanks for the thumbs up on that site. Pretty cool collection of Col info