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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I thought I'd post here and see what I come up with...

I am visiting my brother's family for two weeks in Nice, France (7/19-8/2)

If you or anybody you know is in Nice or plans to be during those dates and has a car and was planning to, or might want to drive from Nice to Bourge D'Oisans (sp?) (Approx. 175 Miles North) for the Stage 17 TDF finish on L'Alpe d'Huez on 7/23 and return back, I would happily split all costs for gas, food, lodging and/or camping equipment/neccessities.

The goal would be to leave early from Nice on 7/21 or 7/22 and set up on one of the switchbacks and then return directly after the stage.

I have also posted in English & French on the Cote D'azur craigslist, but I thought I'd give this a shot.

Thank you in advance,

Eric Faber
 

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I can't offer you a ride, but I've ridden in and around Nice. The city itself is busy with plenty of traffic, so does not offer great riding. If you go to www.mapmyride.com and search for "nice, france" you'll find plenty of good out-of-town routes. Be sure to buy a Michelin map before you go.

For simple routes, you can head east out of Nice on D6098 or D6007. These roads run through the hills toward Monaco. D6098 is the "low road" along the coast. D6007 is the "middle road." Further up is D2564, the "high road." I think Princess Grace's car crashed on this road. If I remember right, the higher you go the less traffic you have to contend with.

Sounds like a great trip.
 

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If you can't find a ride, take the bus -- there is no straightforward train option:

http://www.infociao.com/pdf/reseaux/FH Nice - Grenoble.pdf (Nice to Grenoble, daily departure, leaves Nice at 07:00 am and gets in at 13:00, leaves Grenoble at 14:10 and gets in to Nice at 20:00)

and from Grenoble (Gare Routiere) to Bourg d'Oisans: http://www.transisere.fr/ftp/FR_Lignes/3020%20Grenoble%20Alpes%20d'Huez.pdf

and, no, these buses are not like Greyhound -- they are clean, civilised and will take bikes intheir luggage bays.

A+

Philippe
 

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hey Eric,

I was staying in Provence last year (rouissilon) and drove up for the col du galibier stage which is very close to alpe d'huez. Your route from Nice is quite a bit farther east I think. I took A51 up to Embrun, to Briancon and rode up from there. I think you would take A51 up to BdO. It really wasn't that bad of a solo one day trip. I woke up at 330am and was home but 9pm and really could have left later in the morning. Philip could give you better advice but consider how you will get out of the area after the stage from a traffic perspective. You might want to park well outside of BdO to beat traffic, I would recommend Briancon but I think it is mostly a climb
I would recommend making the trip if you haven't been to a stage before. Its pretty easy to pick up a car for a day. The roads aren't that confusing and at 4am there was absolutely no traffic.

good luck, Travis
 

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EFaber said:
Thanks Shhepshead, Phiipe C & Travis.

This is good stufff and gives me some options.

Kep em' coming!
If you rent a car or drive there here is the best way to see a stage on the Alp. (don't tell anyone, it is a secret only 50,000 people know)

Driving from Grenoble towards Bourg-d'Oisans (reverse if you are coming from Briancon) you want to turn left and head to Allemond before you hit Bourg-d'Oisans, follow the sign to Villard Reculas. You will climb about 5km and soon will see cars parked on the side of the road. This means the lot in VR is full so grab a spot and walk up to VR. While everyone else is sweating it out with 500,000 drunk Dutch on the Alp you an kick back in VR. There is a small restaurant/Cafe/store. Nice Bathroom. everything you need. In the past only the team cars would use the road for easier access to the Alp but these days the secret is far from secret. Many of the ex-pros who have tour companies hang out there for the day. Charmichel, Jemison, Bauer, Stedia all pass threw as well as lots of team and support cars.

From VR there is a flat, 3km road that intersects with the town of Huez at the 5km to go mark on the Alp. You can ride you bike over and check out the chaos and ride back in 10 minutes. There is usually a mobile police van parked right before the 5KM to go mark so you can lock your bike up and it is safe. You can also take a cable car up to the top from Huez, but be careful because sometimes they shut it down and you need to walk the 5km back down hill.

A very good place to watch the race is about 1 km up from Huez. This is the steepest part of the climb so attacks are possible and suffering is guaranteed.

It depends on the year but they usually shut down all the roads by 9:00 am, but I have seen it as early as 7:00....there is a back road that you can go when everything is shut, but that is a secret :)

Edit: If you are coming from Briancon and the road is close you can also head up the Col de Sarenne. Amazing views, but can be a harsh road and few facilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Need a Ride from Nice to L'Alpe d'Huez

Thanks for the info. bigpinct. Just so I'm clear on this, VR is a good hang out spot before the race? A shortcut on the backside to the switchbacks for Stage 17? Do I need to go earlier then my plan? or am I just crazy for even thinking about hanging out w/ 500,000 drunk Dutch, Tifosi or Basques? LOL! And what time before the actual pros come through do they cut off the fans from riding up l'Alpe d'Huez? Is that what you meant by the roads shutting at 7:00 or 9:00? Is it particular only to the day of the stage? I don't have a car here in NY although I used when I lived in CA, but that was a few years ago, so I'm not comfortable driving myself particularly in a foreign country, and I don't speak French. I'd rather share a ride w/ a local who has a car and knows the roads or take public transport from Nice as Phillippe C. advised. I figure there are "One or "Two" like-minded fans based in Nice who'll maybe respond to my craigslist post to share their ride.



Eric
 

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EFaber said:
Thanks for the info. bigpinct. Just so I'm clear on this, VR is a good hang out spot before the race? A shortcut on the backside to the switchbacks for Stage 17? Do I need to go earlier then my plan? or am I just crazy for even thinking about hanging out w/ 500,000 drunk Dutch, Tifosi or Basques? LOL! And what time before the actual pros come through do they cut off the fans from riding up l'Alpe d'Huez? Is that what you meant by the roads shutting at 7:00 or 9:00? Is it particular only to the day of the stage? I don't have a car here in NY although I used when I lived in CA, but that was a few years ago, so I'm not comfortable driving myself particularly in a foreign country, and I don't speak French. I'd rather share a ride w/ a local who has a car and knows the roads or take public transport from Nice as Phillippe C. advised. I figure there are "One or "Two" like-minded fans based in Nice who'll maybe respond to my craigslist post to share their ride.

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Eric
I will try to answer most of your questions.

-Most roads in the area close by 9:00 am the day of the stage. The main valley road may remain open until 10:00 or a little later but be preparded for chaos. Sometimes in the past , like when they had the TT in 2004, they shut down the entire valley early, BUT had a bunch of public buses that would run from Grenoble.I haven't seen this recently though.
-Parking is a Town of Borg d'orsians, at the foot of the Alp is hard to impossible. By 9:00 it will be a mile walk, by 10:00 it may be 2-3 miles. The foot of the Alp is crazy as this is the easiest to get to. If you go hang out in VR you can cruise back and forth on the side road. If you have a bike it is less then 10 minutes.
-Hanging out on the Alp is fun. Hanging out for 8 hours in 90 degree heat can be not so much fun.
- If you leave Nice by 4:30 AM you should be fine.
-The Alp is closed to cars the night before. Around 12:00 the cops start telling you to walk your bike if you are heading up. The riders usually hit the base by 4:30-5:00.
-Driving in France is easy. The buses are good and run on time. Just note if you take the bus then you are likely looking at an overnight in a hotel
 

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In 2003, the last time I was there, traffic was backed up almost to Grenoble on the morning of the race. It crawled along for a while and then it stopped for good, with 30K still to go to Bourg d'Oisans. There was no hope of making it in time. You have to be there the night before. Or, you can ride your bike! Lots of people rode from Grenoble and had no problems.
 

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Mohair is right, I went back and checked my blog from the day and we left the base of Mt Ventoux at 4:00 am, pick up a friend in Grenoble at 6:30 and when we hit the turn off to Allemond/VR around 7:30 the traffic had already stopped and people were parking and hiking to Bd'O 5 km away. We got to VR at 8:00 and the lot was just full and we parked on the road up. The road up to VR closed at 9:00 am.

It was even worse the next year with the TT. I we arrived at VR at 7:00 and we already had to park 1 km down the hill.

Check out Viamichelin.com. Good maps. If you are going to stay the night this late in the game it will be hard to find a hotel close but Grenoble will have stuff available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now I'm bring my bike to Nice. Nice Bike shops in Old Town?

I found out my carrier (Aer Lingus) will fly my bike for free as long as the bike (in a box) and my check in luggage is under 80 lbs (no problem) My bike is under 17lbs and the cardboard box shouldn't be more than 5-8 lbs.

Now I am going to be staying in the Old Town District of Nice which is very close to getting on to Grand Corniche.(D2564) are their any local bike shops that any of you know, as I don't trust myself to re-attach the bars and pedals when I arrive.

Also, anyy suggestions regarding traveling, packing the bike as this is my first. The airline has offered to wrap it in plastic for a $15.00 charge at the airport. Do I dare do that? Or should I box it myself.?

Sorry for the ton's of uestions.

Eric Faber
 

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Ride to L'Alpe d'Huez on 7/22

I am visiting two weeks in Nice, France (7/19-8/2)

I am looking for a ride to the TDF on L'Alpe d'Huez on 7/22 and return back, I would happily split all costs for gas or car. I am also staying for the TT on 23rd in Grenoble. Let me know. thanks.
 
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