(E)-Bike trip: bikepacking is a state of mind
Mountain bikes have evolved tremendously since the 90’s. They are more reliable, more forgiving and more confortable. However no other man-made invention gives you such freedom making it ideal for traveling.
Riding a bicycle is up to five times more efficient than walking. Most of the components can be fixed far from home and you can carry it over unexpected obstacles. After years of practice in various places, the idea of riding your mountain bike over multiple days is tickling you. Perhaps it is time to live your first (E)-mountain bike tour!
Traveling by bike: an active way to live your holidays
We know it since the 70’s, climate change forces us to consume tourism and traveling with another approach. Converting your own power into movement will give you a lot of satisfaction if you give yourself the opportunity to try.
I’m not blaming people willing to take an airplane once every 2 – 3 years to discover a culture and its country thousands of kilometers away. Our “modern” way of life takes time from us. From 22 to 25 it helped me to study new languages, to live in and to learn from other communities and to appreciate the beauty of our planet. Nevertheless I did my best to visit most places using public transportations on land such as bus shuttles and trains, ride sharing and hitch Hiking or sailing boat.
One day of November 2013 I challenge myself to visit an entire country on a mountain bike, so did I two months later.
“It is not the destination where you end up
but the mishaps and memories you create along the way.”
My first bikepacking trip
My first mountain bike trip
I discovered mountain biking in 2001 during middle school. I was fascinated by people of my age climbing wooden pallets or jumping on their rear wheel. It has soon became a part of me I can’t get rid of.
In 2014 I realised one of my life’s biggest dream: visiting a country on a bicycle. I travelled on a mountain bike the South island of New Zealand during two months. I knocked on people’s door night after night, shared my adventures and trips to my hosts trading my stories to know where to go the following day. This 2100km bikepacking loop was an emotional roller coaster but the memories I made are still burning in my guts. I lived this experience again in Tasmania one month later.
Select your next mountain (E)-bike route now!
I’ll be there to guide you through this epic journey to reduce your fears / stress that might overwhelm you otherwise. In the following tabs, you will find some of the finest (E)-bike tours worth living at least once in a lifetime.
Grande Traversée du Massif Central: a 1400km mountain bike trip
My first experience of the GTMC goes back to March 26th, 2021. With a friend we travelled from Charroux (near Vichy) to Montpellier. During this 13 days electric mountain bike trip France went into a third lockdown making if trickier to find electricity and hosts during our 900 km e-MTB tour.
The GTMC is the longuest moutain (E)-bike route in France. The first track goes back to 1995 between Clermont-Ferrand and Sète. SInce 2018, there is not less than five regional natural parcs and famous sites linked by this 1400km (E)-MTB itinerary from Morvan to the Mediterranean sea. I still have a lot to explore though, hopefully with you!
What I liked the most about this multi-day adventure: I felt really remote and barely crossed any other humans!
Best time of the year to do the GTMC on a mountain bike: between June to October.
Instead of doing this MTB trip in one go, I suggest you to do it 3 to 4 days at the time. Here is an insight:
Tour du Mont Blanc: An incredible (E)-MTB tour perhaps too famous
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a famous route across France, Switzerland and Italy. The UTMB (Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc) participated a lot to its international popularity. Between mid June to mid September around 32000 hikers do it.
For this reason, you cannot conceive doing the Tour du Mont Blanc just a month before, but one or two years in advance to book your accommodation! If you are a small group (4 people max), consider planning your mountain bike trip at least 9 months before it. Also, don’t book this mountain bike tour during the UTMB week.
The best time for mountain bikers to loop the “Tour du Mont Blanc” remains September. It’s also the best moment to appreciate autumn with its particular light and colours.
Now you are aware of these difficulties, the Tour du Mont Blanc is a great (E)-MTB trip. It is 200km long for a total elevation gain of 10.000m. This (E)-mountain bike tour is possible in 4 to 5 days depending your skills and the level of difficulty you are looking for.
Chamonix-Annecy: Escaping the crowd between these two towns
Here is a route that promises wonderment: from the highest western Europe peaks overhanging Chamonix to the “Venise of the Alps” Annecy. Although exceptionals, these two towns are really crowded during holiday periods making them oppressive. Through this journey we will go across 4 different mountain ranges: Mont Blanc, Beaufortain, Aravis and Bornes. I don’t think we will see many people around: GREAT! This rollercoaster of singletracks will take us to the remote village of La Giettaz where we gonna stay overnight. The next day will be really remote with some challenges along the way before ending our trip downhill towards Annecy and its pristine lake.
My (E)-bikepacking philosophy
I don’t want to use assistance or transfert during my mountain (E)-bike tours for the ten following reasons:
- It is more ecological and responsible not using any making our carbon footprint smaller
- My company is called Ambition Outdoor, so our adventure has to be a little engaged
- It is cheating if we don’t carry our equipment ourselves (we can find food along the way)
- If it’s too easy/accessible, the satisfaction won’t be as strong as it should be
- We don’t ride bikes the same way between a day trip on known trails and a bikepacking trip on unknown trails
- If the surrounding trails are worth it, we can spend one more day and leave our equipment at the lodge
- Bikes are super reliable as long as they are neatly serviced
- It adds some challenge to our trip: we must be careful and take good care of our equipment
- I’m a bike mechanic and I can solve most problem with cable ties and tape!
- Less logistic, more flexibility and a cheaper cost at the end