I've just come back from a cycle touring trip in the Aravis, with a two-fold purpose : climb my 1st "real" pass with a fully loaded tricycle, and test a new tent footprint.
Starting Sunday morning, obviously later than expected ...towards Saint Pierre Faucigny - Petit Bornand. This is the 1st time I have ridden this route in this direction, as I usually ride down coming from Colombière pass. I discover the beautiful Eveaux Gorge to which I had never paid any attention. Lunch break in Entremont at the excellent "Auberge Au Coeur des Monts" run by the friendly Sophie and Jerome (04 50 03 52 48). Arrival in Grand Bornand earlier than planned (despite the late departure and the long lunch break), I decide to go for a ride towards the Boucher Valley. Night at L'Escale just for the sake of a splash in the pool, feels terrific after a good 1st day pedaling.
A late afternoon thunderstorm soaks the tent and turns the ground to mud, so as to give more meaning to the test of the new tent footprint... not very convincing!
I start - for once - a tiny bit less early than expected... Today's goal : ride my 1st real pass with a fully loaded trike, Croix Fry pass (1477m). It climbs gently, I feel good. Final ascent amidst the fir trees before reaching the ski slopes. Riding on a small gravel track up to the restaurant, I have the confirmation that the rear wheel doesn't lose traction when the trike is loaded (2 panniers on the rear rack). Lunch at a table outside : hearty pot-au-feu (beef and vegie stew) so as to get some strength back.
Absolutely fabulous ride down on the Manigod side. The road climbs again a bit up to col du Marai, then gently goes down all the way to Faverges where it merges with the Annecy Lake cycle path. I stop for camping in Doussard. Tent set up under a stormy shower, the night is going to be wet once again... But fortunately, the camping spot by the lake is beatiful, and the sun is back in the morning.
On the last day, I once more set off fairly late (after taking some photos of the ducks and swans)! Quick stopover at M5 to say hello. The cycle path is very pleasant as usual (outside weekends of course). Back home after a picnic by the lake.