You've just got into mountain biking or e-biking ? You feel OK on your saddle and just wish to gain confidence in a relaxing way ? And add on to that huge plates of pasta ?! "Elena ! Just tell them they're gonna have a great time on this e-biking beginner's course in the Italian Piedmont !!" By the way, Elena is the boss of the gîte who's gonna yell if you don't finish your third plate of pasta - Italians are simply crazy about good food, quality AND quantity-wise... Though, guess you already knew that ?!
E-biking does not mean a Sunday afternoon stroll along the canal. Here in the beautiful mountains, you'll have fun and learn at the same time with a cool and professional instructor. Thanks to our powered bikes, you'll hardly even notice you're going uphill and eating up the miles :)
6 days to explore the Italian Piedmont on an e-bike may not be enough and Italian hospitality, gastronomy and the peaceful landscapes, all-in-all with a moderate effort is the perfect combo that will probably want to make you come back. It's just beyond our backyard, and we just love it !
- Beginner's course to discover the e-biking universe without stress nor risk: this is a must to gain confidence to have fun on your bikes !
- Learn the basic mountain biking techniques with professional and technical coaching to help you progress
- Varied and easy trails in an awesome setting
- Comfortable and cosy Italian gîtes at the heart of nature in twin rooms
- A great time guaranteed !
We get together either at the train station in Briançon at 8:15 am or in Oulx-Cesana (TGV) at 9 am and set off in our minibus. Please be wearing your cycling outfit.
Today is the chance to slowly get acclimatised in the Valley Etroite, strange but this part of the country is French but only accessible via Italy ! We set off for a 9 km to the Maison des Chamois (lcated at approx 2000 m high up) at the top of the valley where you're very likely to be overwhelmed by the greenness, freshness and beauty.
The 600 m climb is progressive among superb colourful landscape. This ride will enable you to get familiar with your e-bike and it's a chance the go over the basics positions to have on a bike.
After a lunch break, we descend via the same itinerary, and according everyone's fancies and physical shape we can continue to the famous Col de l'Echelle 1762 m (famous for us at least !). Then we retrieve our comfy basecamp.
Ascent/descent: + 600 m/ - 600 m
Distance: 20 km
Meals included: dinner
The second day is spent exploring the authentic and well kept Argentera valley.
Once our electric bikes unloaded below the Bessen Bas hamlet (1750 m), we climb up the valley at our own pace on an easy going track along the Ripa river. Among waterfalls, pine trees and green pastures, we're not bad off !
We then go up a small path to Ricovero (2136 m), the gateway to the Lunga valley. We follow a trail overhanging the valley to join the Gran Miol valley, followed by a short climb before reaching Alpe Gran Miol farm (2410 m). A nice ride followed by a well deserved picnic and maybe some local cheese tasting, let's see !
Ascent/descent: + 800 m/- 800 m
Distance: 20-33 km
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
We haven't come here to suck ice cubes !
Today we do a nice loop leaving Bousson village (1450 m). We head up a large track with hairpins in the forest up to the Begina pass (2300 m) before descending to the little Nero lake and the Mautino hit. "Caffè, cappucino, birra, vino...", time for a break on a sunny terrace with a magnificent view over the Susa valley. An exciting descent follow where you'll be able to improve your downhill skills !
Ascent/descent: + 900 m / - 900 m
Distance: 20-30 km
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Accommodation included: gîte
Today is a slow start so you can take it easy, enjoy your vacation and re-lax.
After a good breakfast, off we go to La Cima del Bosco. The same of this peak is definitely not a prize winner : Wood Peak. But that's no big deal, where not just taking you up here to observe the forest and trees !
We leave basecamp on our bikes and head for Sauze de Césane at the far end of the valley. From there a nice track will take us to the summit. According to the group's technical skills, one of our options is a loop downhill on a playful trail.
Ascent/descent: + 850 m / - 850 m
Distance: 25 km
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Accommodation included: gîte
Another valley, another atmosphere: from Pattemouche village we slowly climb up on a road then a track to the Mey sheepfold (2047 m), among ruins, rivers, streams and alpine pasture huts, it's a feast for the eyes !
Heading back downhill, at the Laval hut, 3 options:
#1 treat yourself to a lunche, a drink and a pastry, why not ?
#2 ride to Clot della Soma (2326 m), fantastic scenery reward
#3 both with the entire group
Confinement just seems so far away now, freedom, freedom... !
Ascent/descent: + 450 m to + 1000 m / - 450 m to - 1000 m
Distance: 20-30 km
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
We haven't yet mentioned this, but day 6 is the outcome of a huge week of Italian gastronomy bike and food-wise !
To top it all off, we'll take you to the Vallon de Desertes. 2 options are possible depending on what the group fancies, either a loop, or two one way itineraries, both alternating between overhanging single trails, tracks in the forest, mountain passes and the road...all terrain and sceney here will allow you to get the best out of this last day e-biking.
You may have time for a last drink in the sun whilst waiting for your transfer to Briançon or Oulx, unfortunately it's time to say goodbye for the time being.
Ascent/descent: + 800 m/ - 800 m
Distance: 20-25 km
Meals included : breakfast
Please wear your cycling clothes on day 1.
We always do our best, but can't guarantee the exact time of arrival at the train station (due to traffic or weather conditions). Therefore we strongly recommend you to buy train tickets that can easily be modified. If you're travelling by car, we'll meet you at one of the indicated meeting points, or at one of the drop off points where you'll be able to leave your car for the entire trip.
Train & TGV access: www.oui.sncf
Make sure the train you plan to catch welcomes mountain bikes.
Car access: www.mappy.fr
Car sharing: www.blablacar.fr
Public parking free of charge can be found in Briançon and Oulx (both unattended).
Skill level *
Open to all, beginners or not, wishing to discover enduro or all mountain biking, that have only occasionally done all mountain biking or e-mountain biking. You will be taught basic techniques for down and uphill riding on relatively easy trails to enable to check out the next stage, level 2 !
Stamina required *
Open to mountain bikers and/or for people who regularly do [outdoor] exercise, keep fit and wish to discover mountain biking in a relaxed, progressive and easy way. We will mainly ride on 4 x 4 tracks. You should be ready for approx. + 800 m up to + 1200 m uphill day per day. No stress, electric assistance makes it surprisingly easier than it sounds !
5 to 12 participants
Azimut qualified mountain bike instructor & guide.
All our mountain bike guides are certified instructors. We choose them for their sympathy, their teaching and organisational skills. We stay tuned in, work hands in hands, and make sure their working conditions are the best.
Meet our guides and instructors just around the corner
Bring a small day pack large enough (for more detailed advice see gear section) to carry your personal belongings for the day such as (extra) layers, a few snacks, your picnic and a repair kit. All other personal gear not needed for the day will be transferred to our accommodation.
None on this trip.
The price includes:
- Trip arrangements & organisation upon arrival
- Minibus transfers from/to one of the indicated meeting points to the departure of the trip
- Luggage transfers with our minibus and private driver
- Accomodation on half-board basis in a comfortable gîte in twin rooms
- Home-made picnics
- Azimut mountain biking guide services for the entire trip (including all his expenses: meals, accomodation and transportation)
- Azimut welcome pack
The price does not include:
- Your transportation to/from the meeting point
- Gear rental if required
- Personal insurance
- Drinks (including those with meals at the hotel) and personal extras
- Any other expenses not mentioned under the above section “the price includes”
A 30% deposit, as well as the insurance cost if you choose to subscribe the latter, is required to secure your booking. You will receive a reminder email 35 days prior to departure for the outstanding balance that is due latest 30 days prior to departure.
We strongly recommend you to be properly insured for the chosen activity. You should be covered for medical expenses, personal accident & liabilité, third party risks and rescue (helicopter), as well as trip cancellation or curtailment.
Repatriation and research insurance are mandatory when booking a trip with Azimut. We have a full range of insurances with our partner, on offer to suit the trip you select and the risks that it may incur (beware, such insurance only covers European citizens).
Tipping is no obligation. However participants usually hand round an envelope for those who wish to tip the guide.
Azimut's minibuses are used throughout the trip. Not only does this make the trip easier, but it also makes it more pleasant and less binding: we can chat, take a nap and listen to our own music. If luggage transfers are necessary, you have the possibility to use the transfer if you're tired and for any other reason.
Hotels and meals during the trip
- Supplement for single room according to availability: 120 €
- Snacks: details are important especially after such demanding physical effort ! To boost your energy we've chosen to provide mulebars, organic, vegan, digest and extremely nourishing quality-wise without preservatives, food colouring or additives.
- For certain trips, it's possible to book a single or double room if available, with surcharge.
Accomodation before & after bike trips
Once we've received your booking, we'll provide you with a list of accomodation in case you need to book accomodation before or after the trip. All accomodation on the list is close to the meeting points and you may often benefit from preferential rates.
In case of emergency or delay, you can either contact your guide (a phone number will be provided before departure) or contact Azimut on: (+ 33) 04 92 23 07 24.
Please inform your friends and family with these details before departure.
Free Wifi is available in most places.
Mobile & 4G coverage can be unreliable.
Make sure to wear bright colours, it's good for the soul and give photos a funky edge !
- Mountain bike: all mountain type or enduro bike, with platform pedals or your own clip-in pedals (that we can mount on a rental bike)
- E-bikes: please remember to charge your battery for day 1
- Backpack with a 20-25 liter capacity max
- Helmet & sunglasses are mandatory
- Mountain biking gloves (an extra pair of warm gloves can be useful)
- Knee and elbow protectors are highly recommended
- Low hiking shoes with flat soles, or your shoes for your clip-in pedals
- Repair kit including a set of brake pads (that match your brakes), a spare derailleur hanger, a quick link for your own chain, a pump, self adhesive patches, inner tubes with the right dimensions and anything else that may be specific to your bike.
If you don't have the adequate gear for this trip, don’t worry and travel light: we rent out the required gear and hand it over at the start of the trip ! Our equipment is relatively new, if not brand new, of good quality and adapted to your choice of activity.
Prices of rental gear during the entire trip (competitive prices as we only charge you for the number of days of use on the trip):
Important: all our bikes are thoroughly checked before each trip. You are liable for any damage to the bike.
Prices and bike brands may vary according to availabilities and trip levels.
This list of clothes is designed to give you an idea of clothes that it may be a good to have with you. By no means do you need to have the latest brands or the latest gear, but if you need to renew your wardrobe, this guide would be a good start. Prefer lightweight warm and comfortable clothing. This is not just a detail, it makes a hell of a difference !
- Sunglasses and glasses with clear lenses for forest sections and cloudy days (it's important to protect your eyes). Photochromic lenses adapt to light intensity and protection categories range from 1 to 3 or 2 to 4 to optimize visibility from shade to brightness. Very useful.
- A buff and/or thin beanie that you can put under your helmet if it's cold.
- Under layer: breathable long sleeved top as well as leggings to maintain heat. A tip: merino wool is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties and is therefore less likely to smell as opposed to synthetic fabrics. Have this in mind if you need to update your wardrobe.
- Outer layer: a light fleece jacket and/or a light hooded down jacket that you can put under a jacket that has a breathable waterproof membrane (soft shell type or Goretex), easy to slip on during a break. Make sure it's lightweight and compact so it doesn't take up too much space in your backpack
- Bottom layer: mountain biking shorts and leggings in case it gets cold
- Hands: light fleece or soft shell gloves, a pair of silk glove liners to go underneath, warm gloves with a breathable and waterproof membrane.
- Swimming gear: it takes up such little space, it would be a shame not to bring it just in case. Avoid swimming shorts or bermudas, they are not usually allowed in pools or hot water springs baths.
- Good to have: an extra t-shirt in your bike backpack, appreciated after a big sweat on an uphill ride).
- Bike socks: merino wool socks are breathable and have anti-bacterial properties and are less likely to smell as opposed to those made of synthetic fabrics. Remember this if you need to stock up.
- Slippers or crocs are recommended for evening wear. Try charentaises they’re really comfy ! www.charentaises.fr
Odds & ends
Toiletries and first aid kit
- Personal toilet bag
- To make up your a first aid kit, check out the Ifremmont website.
Don't forget to
- Leave our contact details with your friends and family
- Bring your papers and I.D. (passport and visa if necessary)
- Bring your insurance contract number and documents (if you've chosen not to have insure coverage with us)
- Bring your “carte vitale” or your European health card (for EU citizens) - if you don't have one you can order one for free online www.ameli.fr
- Check that you have the right equipment
- Take spare batteries and a charger for your electronic devices such as camera, video recorder
- Bring some cash and your credit card
- Bring a delicacy from your home country or area to share with the group
- Leave in a good frame of mind: we're going to have a great time even if we may not happen to not make it to the summit !
- Before leaving: water the plants, empty the rubbish bin, turn off water and gas, and tell your partner that you're going to have a good time (please not by text message), that you've well deserved... If you don't follow the latter recommendation, you'll most probably kick yourself when you get back!