We love it when it’s quiet around here and we get to enjoy the peace. It feels as if we can treat it like our own private playground but it’s so cool when the place is buzzing! Yesterday was the opening day for Bike Park Les Gets 2017, the town burst back into life and the atmosphere was terrific!
The weather came out to play as well, the trails were in great shape, the Crankworx course provided an inspirational spectacle as we sailed over it on the chairlift and there were loads of other excited riders to share it all with.
Yesterday was a public holiday in France, so the weekend spills into 4 days and it feels like May bank holiday back home in the UK. Everyone heads off for a few days of fun and a whole bunch of them have filtered into Les Gets over the last few days for the opening of the bike lifts.
The plan was for me to head out on a solo mission to get my fix of dirt, speed and air in the morning and meet up with Nina and the kids in the afternoon for some family downhill action!
Despite the excitement, I woke feeling groggy and lethargic for some reason but forced myself to get up, get ready and warm up a bit. The blast down to town on my bike blew away some of the cobwebs, the 50 or so other downhillers at the ticket office ramped the excitement and the 50% discount for trading in my winter pass for a summer one put the icing on the cake. This was going to be good!
I joined the queue, jumped on the Chavannes Express and enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the 2017 Crankworx slopestyle setup. Me and the French dude I was sharing a lift with agreed that “those guys are nuts!”
After the first run back down the jumpy ‘Tomahawk’, followed by fast and furious ‘La Roue Libre’ I was exhausted! Exhausted but buzzing and it didn’t take long to get over the hump and get properly on it! I was grinning to myself as I tore down as many trails as possible below the Chavannes and Nauchets lifts before stopping for a coffee, water and a breather to drink in and appreciate life at Lhottys. The Les Gets MTB trail map is here if you’re interested.
There was only time for one more descent before heading back to meet the guys for lunch. Just as I was riding through town and mentally preparing myself for the uphill slog home, I bumped into Nina and the kids coming out of the market and getting into the van with an armful of fresh fruit. Result! No slog necessary. This was definitely one of those days… In a good way.
We got the kids sorted out after lunch and headed out en famille and en velo! 50% off Nina’s ticket and cheap ones through the kids’ membership to bike club kept me smiling. We treated the kids to some Les Gets bike park tops to go riding in and fuel the good times.
Nina and the kids were itching to head out. We joined the increasingly large queue of bikes and bikers at the Chavannes to ride our first family chairlifts of the summer. T loves his bike and is mad for it, so he doesn’t waste any time going for it. Iz, on the other hand, is a bit more tentative and takes a while to build the confidence to commit. By the second descent, however, it was there and we were all beaming our way through the twistys and over the bumps like a bunch of loons.
It may be downhill but it’s hard work, especially on your braking fingers. The kids were never going to last that long and after a few runs it was time to call it a day. We arrived back in town and they had a play on the pump track while I picked up the van.
After a wander round the shops to eye-up some gear in the pre-season (proper) sales and purchase a new helmet for Nina, we followed the lead of everyone else in town, pulled up a pew at a cafe and sat in the sun with a beer while the kids played in the playground.
In the words of me ‘ol mate Ice Cube: “Today was a good day!”
It was a good day for us but our thoughts have been going out to all those affected and devastated by the Manchester attack this as well all those other senseless acts of violence around the World. Peace and love peeps.