The Col du Grand Colombier is easily the most epic climb in the Jura Mountains – but the Col de la Biche right beside, is known as its crazy cousin. And just a little bit further along, the Col de Richemond might be the nice little brother.
Starting in Bellegarde, this loop started with the Col de Richemond. I don’t know how else to describe it but pleasant. Not too steep, through the woods, on a quiet road; But don’t underestimate it. It is still 750 metres of climb. There is a memorial for French resistance fighters killed in WW2 at the top (see photo below).
The Col de la Biche can be a little less pleasant. A three km stretch averages well over 10% – my grade reading on my GPS stayed in the low teens for a leg numbing long time. But what a route! I climbed this Col from the other side last year in heavy fog (see photo), so it was nice to see the hazy but impressive panarama of the alps at the top at the Croix de Famban just past the Col de la Biche.
Col de la Biche is a great example of the type of climb that makes the Juras a great place to cycle. The entire climb and descent (well over an hour) I saw not a single car in either direction – fantastic.