Col d'Iseran tour
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February 12th 2013






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Across the Col de la Forclaz to Chamonix and then through the Mont Blanc



Col de la Forclaz summitJust in time for the tour we received the sets of high resolution topographic maps on an SD card for our Magellan navigation system, so nothing could go wrong. We left the hotel around 9:00am and used the province road in Valais to ride down to Martigny. It is also worthwhile, since so many curves through wine yards and along the river Rhône make just the right start in the morning.

This was not only related to the great roads and the riding, but also because of the splendid view down into the Valais valley with all the mighty mountains.

Martigny is still a bit sleepy at this time of the day, the temperature is with 18°C more than moderate and so we ride relaxed up to the Col de la Forclaz pass after taking a right in the roundabout whereby the pass road was swept empty at this morning.

The air is completely clear and the view extends far beyond the old castle into the Valais, where we can enjoy the panoramic view are after every serpentine from a different perspective. The road up to the Forclaz pass is in excellent condition and almost tempted to bend swinging. However, take care, especially when you're on this road during the weekend. Many French riders are using this route as a racetrack and therefore, the Swiss police is very common in using the radar system.

Just before we reach ChamonixShort stop at the pass summit, on Cappucino and we dive into a beautiful valley with many bends and curves which leads us through the National Park over to the Col des Montets pass and further on to Chamonix. Steel Blue sky and almost infinite view allows an almost crystal-clear view over to the Mont Blanc and its glaciers.

We are approaching this mountain curve by curve and even while driving through Chamonix, we can not move our eyes away from this gigantic mountain.

This is exacerbated when we approach the tunnel entry road and find out that the tunnel access road runs just beneath one of the mighty glacier tongues, which eagerly reaches down into the valley.

And here we are, just in front of the tunnel portal. We are in France and we would like to ride over to Italy and then immediately again over to France. We circle during this tour in the “Three Country Triangle” of France, Italy and Switzerland. And – it is good to see that the safety regulations and precautions of the Mont Blanc tunnel now have international standards.

South side of the  Mont Blanc tunnelTrucks may only enter in a certain number into the tunnel, safety distances between vehicles must strictly be followed and is electronically monitored.

If you catch up to a truck in the tunnel, an emergency light will go on and a horn will sound. To use the tunnel is not expensive, just 21, - Euro per bike and rider for one direction. Then I disappear in the tube. Riding in a group is not allowed.

Everybody needs to start through after he has paid for driving and absolutely keep the distance between the bikes. The lady at the counter shows no mercy when my fellow rider tried to wait for me. The barrier only goes up again, when the rider before has vanished into the tunnel.

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