Col de Portes and Col de Ballon

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At the top of Col de Portes is another Chartreuse monastery. I passed some friendly monks along the route who kindly cheered me on:

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Another couple of great – virtually car free – climbs in the Jura mountains.

In the shadows of their much steeper Jura neighbours: Mont Chat and Col du Grand Colombier, these two climbs are less steep but definitely worthwhile.

Don’t confuse these two climbs with their similarly named, but more famous cousins: Col de Port (Pyrenees) – details, Col de Porte (Grenoble) – details, and the Col du Ballon d’Alsace (Vosges) – details.

While both only about 1000 metres …. the starting points are low enough to make these – not too steep climbs – still fairly significant. And on deserted scenic roads …. just very pleasant.

Barley? Portes left ... Ballon Right Bicycles Col de Portes Col de Ballon

Each col is atop a massif – and they are separated by a beautiful gorge.

View of start of Col de Portes climb from the descent of Col de Ballon:

View of Col de Portes Climb

There are at least 4 quiet road bike routes up to col de Porte. Start town ideas; Tenay, Lagnieu, Serrieres de Briord, La Vachat

If you like deserted cycling, on beautiful but not too steep roads – here you go.

Steep: Col de l'Aiguillon and Chalet du Suchet
Vercors Loop - Col d'Herbouilly
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Happiest while cycling uphill. More enthusiastic than talented, my 2014 Challenge is to cycle 50 great rides, slowly.

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