Vercors: Combe Laval, Col de la Machine and Col de CarriBy Will • Apr 27th, 2011 • Category: Climbs, Cycling
Doreen and I spent a near perfect Easter weekend cycling in the Vercors Massif. This region is about as good as it gets for cycle touring: Quiet roads, cols everywhere, beautiful gorges, cliff roads, etc.
The highlight of the trip was our first loop up and along the cliffs of Combe Laval.
Starting in St. Jean-en-Royans the first 7 kilometres climb up a winding, quiet forest road. The route becomes less steep at Col de Gaudissart (see map below), turns right and suddenly ……… becomes the most amazing cliff road: Combe Laval.
That’s Doreen waving from the tunnel:
I was a little vertiginous here:
Half way between the North pole and the Equator, we crossed the 45th parallel:
After a coffee in Chapelle-en-Vercors, the rest of the ride was almost entirely downhill through another beautiful gorge past the Grands and Petits Goulets. The little Grands Goulets cliff road is unfortunately now permanently closed. Instead, there is now a huge, modern 1.7 kilometre (downhill) tunnel – some people find it fun to descend here. Me? I was just happy we saw no traffic.
After such a great ride, Doreen was in great spirits – and I was hungry as a bear.