In the European Alps, winter has transitioned into spring has transitioned into summer. The snow has melted away and given place to green alpine pastures and bright, long sunny days. Whilst the birds returned to their summer homes and the plants began to push new shoots, the Avoriaz MTB trail crew had been hard at work. Last autumn saw a lot of work going on in the Avoriaz bike park and this spring hasn't been any different. With some welcome changes and additions to the existing trail network, the bike park was primed and ready for its opening weekend. New riders were able to sample what the bike park has to offer, and regulars were looking forward to seeing what had changed.Happy trails, happy shapers.
The vibe for the weekend was pretty chilled, with both locals and visitors getting runs down the fresh tracks over the 3 days. Friday saw the first bikes on lifts and smiles on faces. With a light sprinkling of rain in the morning, the grip on offer was perfect for getting used to being back on the bike. A classic short, sharp storm on Friday night meant that Saturday started out a bit greasy before the sun could dry things out. That didn't stop riders attacking the more technical and rooty single-tracks in the woods however. Rain stopped play early so come Sunday, riders were gagging for some better weather and drier tracks. The sun must have heard all the requests and was out in force all day, with temperatures up into the 30 degrees celsius range the majority of the tracks dried out pretty quickly. Sunday also saw the first of the holiday makers putting rubber to dirt and feedback over the weekend has been positive, with the work put in by the trail crew pleasing everyone.The dappled light in the trees adds to the atmosphere.
As is always the case in Morzine, there were some big names spotted on the mountain over the weekend including Greg Minnaar, Bernard Kerr, Gaetan Vigé, Miranda Miller, Kaos Seagrave and Florent Payet to name just a few. Here is a cheeky little edit from Kaos and the G Up or Die crew, for more stoke go and check the Instagram accounts of Veronique Sandler, Phil Atwill and Bernard Kerr. If these guys can have fun on the Avoriaz tracks, then everyday folk like us are sure to have a blast. One of the great attractions of coming to ride here in the summer, is knowing that you might be lucky enough to bump into one of your riding idols, or even have a few runs with them! Pop back down into Morzine at the end of the day and you'll be sure to knock elbows with some world cup riders at Robbos or Chez Rogers.
Being a tourist area, there are obviously many places to stay whilst on holiday here. Local chalet company Bike Morzine were on hand over the weekend and their media guru Captyvate put together this little video, with some words from some of the riders present.
But hang on, where is Avoriaz bike park?
Nestled between the more well known resorts of Morzine and Chatel, Avoriaz holds strong in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, France. In the winter, a ski domain of 12 resorts spanning over two countries with 200+ chairlifts and 650km of ski pistes. In the summer it's a much more chilled affair with around 25 lifts for the 5 bike parks and numerous Enduro and E-Bike trails. Avoriaz bike park itself covers the Super Morzine and Lindarets sectors, creating the essential link between Morzine/Les Gets and Chatel/Les Crosets/Champery. With tracks for all ages and abilities, everyone can find something to suit them.
The mix of machine made classic bike park trails and hand dug singletracks are 100% trail/enduro bike friendly, but sometimes a downhill doesn't go a miss. It's also not uncommon to see hardtails on the lifts either, showing the level of maintenance that goes into the tracks throughout the season. This year the bike park continues it's partnership with Fox Racing, progressing to Diamond status, a sign that the work put in by the trail crew is wholly appreciated. The partnership with Oakley also continues and we introduce two new partners this season. The first is TY Bike Products, who make tubeless sealant, valves and rim tape. They will be looking after our bike maintenance posts, making sure they are equipped with all the necessary tools. The second is Santa Cruz Bicycles, who have worked with us in developing a Trail Progression Scale to help users know which trail to start riding first. During the season we will also be constructing a special Santa Cruz feature in the bike park, so keep your eyes on the social media for that.
Avoriaz MTB mountain biking trails
Throughout the season there are a number of events planned in the bike park. The most popular of which are the Bike Morzine "Mates Races". Grassroots racing at it's best. No pressure, just fun. One of the highlights is the "Rip Off Worlds" which involves music, a bbq, locally brewed beers and riders sending the biggest whips they can in front of a packed out crowd. There will also be a downhill pump track race, some girls riding events and possibly even a race in conjunction with the famous Steve Peat of the Santa Cruz Syndicate. Keep an eye on the Avoriaz MTB or Bike Morzine social media for more info on that. To round the season off nicely, we will be organising a closing weekend event with our partners, again more details to follow!
To keep up to date with the goings on in the bike park, check our Instagram
account where we update on a regular basis. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our partners and everyone who came out for opening weekend. We hope to see you on the trails soon!