More Vercors Col Hunting


A fabulous day col hunting in the Vercors Massif (one of my very favourite places to cycle) – with three French friends. For the first time in ages (years?), I followed with no idea where I was going as I was with a group of expert route planners.

Col de Tourniol Col de Tourniol Col du Lion Pas du Grand Echaillon Col de Bioux Col de la Bataille tunnel Col de la Bataille

Click here for more loops in the Vercors region.

Many thanks to Philippe, Bastien, and Simon for a great day out. A sudden cold spell and dark clouds in the area, but we were lucky and stayed dry.

I think Philippe had spent a lot of time searching for a route with cols that were new to me ….. now that is a friend that knows me!

We passed five signed Cols …. but by far the hardest climb of the day was the road up to Relais (telecommunication tower) de Musan. Just look at the first climb on the map profile above. Yikes. It was a very steep (often 12% & steeper) AND rough road …. the descent was probably too bumpy for road bikes, but it was deserted and we took our time.

A short walk behind the tower revealed awesome terrifying cliff views:

Simon risking life at cliff view

Several of the Cols featured cows at the top …. I went for a small ride with some friendly ladies at Col de Bioux:

Riding with the Cows

Without a doubt the feature climb of the day was Col de la Bataille. The views from both sides of this magnificent col are incredible.

Col de la Bataille

Also, I loved this group Col photo (with a new sign too!):

Col de la Bataille avec les gars

Near Bataille Philippe gave me a handy tip: Alway look for udders before approaching cows. This fella looked scary. Even the fence between us didn’t seem adequate. I made sure the camera had the flash off. 🙂

He (not she!!!) seemed really friendly

An excellent day with excellent company. The lads even let me have their beers. I think they hoped it would improve my French.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.

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