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Road to La Berarde

The Ascents

The climbing of mountains and passes is what it’s all about when you are cycling in the Alps, and there are plenty to choose from in the Oisans valley.  As well as the big ones you will have probably heard of such as Alpe D’Huez, the Col du Galibier, and the Col du Glandon & Col de la Croix der Fer, there are plenty of others to explore in this region.  Bourg D’Oisans borders the largest national park in France, the Park Ecrins, and stunning scenery is everywhere. To see where the main cols and climbs are in relation to Bourg D’Oisans, go to the map on the How to Find Us page and zoom out four or five times.  The picture below was taken on the way up to a village called La Berarde - this climb starts only 5km from Bourg D’Oisans.....

As the climbs round here can be up to 13% but more importantly 25km or more (fortunately not both!), you’ll need some pretty low gearing in order to be comfortable for a days riding. Either a compact chainset with a 27 or 28 tooth large sprocket, or a triple chainset would be best for most people. If you are a good ‘B’ grade racer or better you could maybe get away with a compact chainset and a 25 tooth sprocket, but might find yourself grinding a little on the steeper slopes. You’ll need to be an ‘A’ grade rider or better if you want to ride all day round here with a standard chainset! (or get a huge dinner plate for a rear sprocket!).

See the How fit do I need to be? page for more info on what to expect when riding in the Alps.

Our Additional Services page to learn more about the bikes we can hire for you.

As there are many different routes and climbs accessible from Bourg D’Oisans, we can take you on rides ranging from 20 - 30km of (relatively!) flat riding up to mammoth all day rides of 170km with 5000m of ascent included.  For those days when you dont want to commit until you see how your legs feel, there are plenty of options for rides that take in some great climbs but without straying too far from Bourg D’Oisans.  That way, if you want to cut your ride short, or add an extra climb, you can.

For those who are interested in seeing exactly how long it took them to get up each climb, and compare yourself against others, for a small fee the local tourism office sells or rents “Timtoo” timing chips.  These can be kept in your pocket or saddle bag, and after your ride you go online and see how you fared. 27 climbs and routes are covered in the Bourg D’Oisans area - check out which ones and how it works on the Timtoo website.