52 weeks at Mega Avalanche 2010 – Part 1

Jul 6, 2010 at 12:27
by John Lee  

I'm here and this is part 1 of the trip so far!

The journey to Mega was long – epically long. After a 3 hour drive from Derby to Dover followed by a 2 hour ferry to Dunkirk, then followed up with a soul destroying 3 hour straight road drive to Paris - eventually we arrived at Base camp 1 for a mid way break in our journey and a good night's sleep.

52 weeks at Mega Avalanche 2010 – Part 1 inside,

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Family trip!
Family trip!

Bye bye england!
Bye bye england!

After a day at euro Disney for my son Elijah – bribery for the horrible amount of time he had endured in the car seat on this journey so far – we then began our second stint drive to Alpe de Huez which consisted of 6.5 hours of beautiful scenic driving and a lot of CD's to avoid the boredom from driving and the terrible French radio stations that absorbed the air waves around us!

Finally the roads and trees break to release an amazing view of the dramatic terrain that valleys us, only guided along by the road and the ice blue rivers that lay beside the road almost point us to the source and our destination.

Finally some mountains!
Finally some mountains!



Day 1-

Arrived at the summit
Arrived at the summit

After a nervous night's sleep in our mint house in Burg d'Ossian – we set off up the famous 23 hairpin road to the Mecca for so many mountain bikers that is Alpe de Huez.

After collecting our lift passes we headed up to ride the Mega Avalanche Qualifying track which features the most technical sections on the course. After meeting some fellow Brits who helped direct us towards the course we were soon on the track and beginning our line choices and just trying to learn the track whilst having fun in this beautiful postcard background environment.

Pinning on the qualifier track
Pinning on the qualifier track

After rocking out the qualifier track a few times – we headed off to do our first descent of the Mega Avalanche course.

After some shaky moments and a puncture we casually made our way down the mountainside into the abyss below – but this abyss was just littered with some of the best flowing single track I have ever ridden. The bike was feeling great and I was having fun – and after getting lost twice on the Mega long track we eventually arrived at the finish line to wave goodbye to the bus transporting bikers back to the top – and we were told we had 1.5hrs until the bus returned. Time for some shade and ice cream to escape the mad sunshine that was beating its way down on us.

Day 2-

We planned an early start, but after a late night – we arrived at the Gondola 2 hours late, but just as eager to get our ride on. The late arrival was due to a few things…

1 – I got up late.

2 – I had a hole in my rear tyre.

3 – plans are plans – so they go wrong sometimes!

Today's plan was to run the qualifier route and also hit the Mega Avalanche race track again.

The qualifier route – that we were led to believe was the qualifier route was a gorgeous piece of singletrack that weaved its way from Alpe de Huez to Oz – descending the mountain in a series of hairpins and beautiful mountain traverses – this was mountain biking in its finest! It was a phenomenal descent worthy of recognition and possibly my favorite section of track I have ever ridden.

Hitting the scenic singletrack
Hitting the scenic singletrack

Carrying on the singletrack into the view below
Carrying on the singletrack into the view below

After a Gondola from Oz back to Alpe de Huez we then began a descent down to Allemont which is the official finish. Today I felt strong and positive about the track – and it was crazy to see how much the track had changed in under 24 hours after the hordes of mega riders had ridden it since we had yesterday. Although it had more breaking bumps and people on the track – I was feeling faster and more confident on board my bike – and most importantly I was really enjoying it.

Finding some pace on my short travel rig
Finding some pace on my short travel rig

After a minor mechanical on my mate's bike caused by the biggest thorn I have ever seen - we finished our dusty descent in Allemont wondering how on earth this track can be raced by so many people at one time – I quickly realized the challenge isn’t riding this track – it's racing it!

Stay tuned for more from the Mega!
Must Read This Week






28 Comments

  • + 10
 12.5 hours of total diving......if i drive in a certain direction that wont even get me out of the province Razz
  • + 2
 gotta love europe
  • + 6
 yeah we have a different sense of scale to you guys. But when we drive for 12 hours, we really do cross into foreign lands, not just onto the neighbour's ranch Smile
  • + 15
 lol, I can get across the border in about two hours, but who wants to go to the states anyway Razz
  • + 1
 dunno, people?
  • + 6
 Hope you will have a nice time here.

Just one thing, it is "Bourg d'Oisans" and "Alpe d'Huez", not "Burg d'Ossian" and "Alpe de Huez".
  • + 7
 Nice write up, good luck to you! hope it all goes well.
  • + 1
 As mentioned before, the trick to a good finish on the Mega... is a good start!
You HAVE TO be a Kamikazee at the top or you'll have 200 guys in front of you on the singletrack who are all LOADS slower than you. It redefines the term 'frustration'. (Been there, got the Fox racing jersey).
Good luck!!!!
  • + 1
 Good luck dude!! Loving the write up and you have brilliant pictures also! I really hope you do not get a puncture at all!! They just screw your race up totally! So shit! But all the best!
  • + 2
 I drove from the Midlands all the way to ADH in one go (no sleep, breaks obviously). That was sketch as f*ck!

Serious envy for anyone out there and good luck!
  • + 4
 ever take it off any big jumps
  • + 4
 He got like three feet of air that time! (you read that in Napoleon Dynamite's voice)
  • + 1
 Dude. Freakin best show in the world! Anyways, awesome riding. Looks insane!
  • + 3
 Cant wait for part 2! Real happy for you for making it there after your injury, good stuff.
  • + 5
 as above
  • + 1
 Great photography. Cool article. Waiting for part 2...

Oh, epic road trips? Whistler is about a 65 or 70 hour drive from me in Halifax... 6300 kms...
  • + 2
 Great to see you riding it! All the best luck for the race! Must be great feeling fulfilling your dream Smile
  • + 1
 im soooo jealous couldnt make it this year have a go at teh avalanche cup DH course at oz en oissains, its a killer!
  • + 1
 Whats the crack did the Haro sponsorship fall through in favour of DMR? Good luck mate.
  • + 2
 why arent there any americans at the Mega Avalanche?
  • + 2
 my brother and bobby mcmullen are there, both americans
  • + 1
 i drove down to the swiss alps in 24 houres solid (actully my mum as im 15)
  • + 2
 Good Luck John!!!! Whens Quilifying?
  • + 1
 good efforts mate, keep it up!
  • + 1
 Good to see you got there after all that training! Good Luck!
  • + 1
 so awesome!! Good luck mate!
  • + 1
 good luck man Smile
  • + 1
 Best of luck John!

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