Isola proposes an offer that few mountain spots in France are able to propose: a 15 km descent by mountain bike, over 1200 m of negative altitude difference or 1540 by passing only on paths or single-tracks. The principle: start from 2000m, from the snow front of Isola 2000 or 2340m from the top of the Mercantour cable car in Isola 2000 and join the village of Isola which culminates at …800m
There are 5 of us: my two nephews (13 and 11), my brother (47), my son (11) and myself, the 50-year-old of the troupe.
My brother is an experienced downhill racer. My nephews are regular mountain bikers but have never been to the resort to try mountain biking. My son and I have some experience of the area as locals. So we have completely different levels. So we chose this route because it’s supposed to be suitable for everyone.
Once everyone is equipped (full suspension bike, full face helmet, elbow and knee pads, gloves and back protector), we choose the option of taking the gondola to the top of the Bike-Park. We then descend to the heart of the resort on the blue « Crazy Frog » trail and continue our descent to the village of Isola, 1540m below.
Start of the day
10am, we are at the start of « Crazy Frog », ready to frolic on one of the most beautiful tracks of the Bike Park of Isola. A treat for experienced riders like my brother, who plays on all the banked turns and voluntarily takes off on the jumps. Also a treat for my nephews who also go down and have fun.
We all meet in the heart of the resort on the snow front, before starting the second part of our 1540m of vertical drop. This second section starts with a long sinuous snake on the green side. This nice track leads us to the bottom of the Valette chairlift. From here we follow the Chastellar valley on a nice wide track that leads us to the oratory, the start of the Sainte-Anne pilgrimage that takes place every 26th July.
Our religion today is the descent, so we continue by alternating wooded parts, rocky single and edge of torrent always!
Time to comfort our stomachs
The track arrives in the centre of the village on the Place Jean Gaïssa, which is nothing less than the main square of Isola. The terrace of the Touring, the ice-cream parlour, holds out its arms to us. It is the moment to taste a succulent fruit ice cream, made up, under our amazed eyes by Gégé, the owner.
We then go to the picnic area along the Tinée to enjoy the little treasures gleaned at the vacherie. Treasures that we take from our backpacks (ham with truffles, slices of Isolien, the local cheese…).
Once full, we decide to take a salutary dip in Aquavallée, to take advantage of the hot water bath, the jacuzzi and the aqua-ludic area for a good hour and a half. After drying off and getting dressed, we are ready to go back to Isola 2000 for 1.50 euros each, having previously fixed our bikes on the bike racks of the return shuttle. The day went well. The warriors are a little tired but ready to fight after a good night’s sleep!
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Photo de couverture : @OTM NCA / ACP