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Les Arcs 2017

The Foam Tour: Les Arcs MTB 2017

So we have 21 days.

Woooohooooo. That’s 3 weekends, 3 TFITs and three paltry weeks until wheels down for the TFITers Les Arcs 2017 MTB extravaganza – “The Foam Tour”.

Thought I’d raise a couple of things for general group consumption:

The LAVOJ

The freshly named LAVOJ (Les Arcs Van of Joy) will be packed as per last year at Matt W’s place on the evening of Wednesday 5th July. We will be gently inserting bikes and “hold luggage” so if you want it with you in Les Arcs (spares, beer, foam, suncream, whatever) either fit it on your bike or bring it with you.

Packing will take place from 18:15 on 5th July onward. The intrepid driving partnership that is the “Double D’s” will be heading out very early Thursday morning so lets get it done nice and early if possible. Then we could have a pint. Maybe…

Check-in to your Flight

If you haven’t, get checked in to your flight and confirm travel details. You don’t want to get to the airport and look like a muppet now do you!

Extra Car of Joy

So as there appeared to be 50 bazillion of us trying to squeeze into Steve F’s 7 seater to get to Gatwick I have decided to drive back to Witley (I’m taking a half day – huzzah) so have space for three in the CGCOJ. Seating at the moment is:

CGCOJ

  • Chris G
  • Bob M
  • Malcolm W
  • Mark T

SFCOJ

  • Steve F
  • Tim W
  • Matt W
  • James G
  • Andy T

Not sure if Andy C is going to be in Witley or going straight from London? I’m planning to leave as soon after 2:00 as I can – Steve I think is intending to head off at 3:00.

Driving in France

So this is for me, James and Matt as designated drivers. Don’t forget to get (and bring with you!) a DVLA Licence Check Code.

They are valid for 21 days and you can get them here from today onwards I guess. Oh yeah, don’t forget your driving licence chaps! Let’s be honest, everyone is other than us is gonna be partially / completely full of beer!

Insurance

It’s entirely up to you, but if you haven’t I’d consider getting some “get off the mountain please” insurance for this trip, particularly as we are doing some back-country stuff. I’ll be doing something with Snowcard as per normal but “other insurance companies are available”…

Dress Code

Lastly a massive dollop of Foamy Kudos needs to go to Matt W and Steve F for sourcing and delivering highly appropriate clothing for our Les Arcs shenanigans – yes, the “Foam Tour 2017” tshirts have arrived! Gaze upon their glorious foaminess below:

 

TFIT tonight anyone?

Les Arcs MTB 2017 – The Foam Tour

Just simply massive kudos to Stephan F today. With 128 days to go until wheels down in Les Arcs for the annual TFIT excursion, Mr F has circulated for our general amusement – a tour logo.

Although even though I’m 100% sure it’s simply stylised “saddle icon” that small purple “shape” bottom right looks… well… ahem.. you know… “a bit meat and two veg”

Anyway, “The Foam Tour” (for the uninitiated) is in honour of two TFITers who have attained a certain “respectable number of birthday years”. OK, they’re both 50. There, I said it.

So expect to see a full range of merchandising material available for purchase soon on the site soon. You know, t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, foam making machines and of course DIY slightly foamy French girls.. that kind of thing.

Foam-Tshirt

Whoops! I’ve bought a drone

So, hand’s up, I’ve been known to make the occasional ‘accidental purchase’ of MTB kit in the past. In fact I’ve got quite a bit of “previous” in this department as the long suffering Mrs M will confirm (e.g. one set of Hope Rims… *cough*).

But I think I’ve reached an all time high this week because I’ve only gone and bought a drone.

Yep, me and Matt W are now the proud owners of a Parrot Bebop 2 (courtesy of eBay) that we’re jointly buying. Personally I 100% blame Matt as all I really said was “I think I might be interested in getting one later in the year… maybe“. Matt thankfully (??) did not hear the words “might” or “maybe” (perhaps he knows me better than I think) and pinged me a text a couple of days ago about an uber bargain he’d spotted.

A flurry of emails / texts later and the drone was ours. Now to be fair Matt has a genuine motive for buying a drone bearing in mind the work he does with the frankly awesome Surrey Search and Rescue people and the practice it would afford him. Me on the other hand, I’m simply mad as a box of frogs with misplaced pretensions of the “Kubrick”. Highly misplace pretensions some would say in truth.

However, in my world there are some Surrey Hills trails that I would dearly love to see from an “aerial” perspective as the TFITers ride them. There are two in particular (Marbles and Flat out Fun) that I’ve “visualised” riding for years from a kind of drone’s perspective in a bid to ride smoother and quicker. I’ve had some success in that department but I still know my line choice is not great, my cornering could improve, my body position is wrong etc, etc and maybe just maybe this thing will help to show me where I can improve.

I’d also (although I’m unsure of how practical this is going to be) like to get a “top of the mountain” shot when we head to Mont Jovet in Les Arcs later this year. That would be a Les Arcgasm moment for me.

What I’m also hoping for is that this is a bit of kit that it’s feasible to take with you on a ride – kind of a GoPro+ as it were – without weighing as much as a small micro-pig in your backpack. I’m not 100% convinced yet if this is in realm of a vague possibility but that’s not diminishing my all round excitement.

So, watch this space for some utterly appalling piloting / filming skills in the near future as well as a general all round review.

Oh yeah, if you live in Surrey and you hear a buzzing while out on your bike – my advice is to duck and run for cover.

UPDATE:

parrot-has-arrived

It’s arrived. Nice. AND it matches the colour of my Bandit…

The Inside Line

Woop Woop. It’s another red letter day!

So we are now 171 days from wheels down in Les Arcs 2017 and things are coming together nicely. Mr F is performing sterling duties wrangling the unruly mob that is the TFITers into some kind of organised state and I’ve even managed to pay my deposit – it’s a miracle.

However the most exciting news of the day is that I’ve been in touch with the lovely Emily Horridge from www.theinsidelinemtb.com. I’ve been following Emily’s blog for a bit now after discovering her on WordPress.com but with our impending Les Arcs trip in mind it was this article on PinkBike that kicked me into gear to contact her.

The great news is that on the Saturday of our trip Emily has agreed to take us on one of her special trip days out to Mont Jovet.

Am I excited? Yep. Am I completely intimidated? You know it!

I love riding in the Alps. It is one of the highlights of my riding year and I am so utterly excited that we are going to be shown some secrets and just all round epic riding by someone who not only knows the Les Arcs trails like the back of her hand and the grins they bring but who also has more bike talent then we collectively have x10!

Anyway, if you wondering what Mont Jovet is all about, take a look at these videos from Glitchy Pics, Lars Thore Aarrestad and BicyclingSA on YouTube:

Roll on Les Arcs and do check out both Emily’s site and the PinkBike article. By the way… Mark… it’s a bit high…

 

Les Arcs 2017? Well yes indeedy

So I’ve been AWOL of late, in more ways than one. AWOL on the bike as I’ve foolishly ripped my elbow tendons (long story, involved a 3lb lump hammer, a wrecking bar and a loss of temper) and AWOL on the blog as well.

However, we’ve reached the end of the year and collective TFIT minds have been drifting to thoughts of “Alpine Shenanigans” next year. So for 2017 the current thinking is Les Arcs rather than Morzine.

It’s not that we’re bored with Morzine (or at least I’m not) but the temptation of riding something new and slightly different is always a winner (and it’s a “significant birthday” for Mark T – so he’s gets to choose!). Les Arcs came up as in conversation this summer when we were discussing “where else can you ride in the Alps with uplift” and we realised that no-one had ridden anywhere other than Morzine. This we need to address.

Mr F is stepping up to the plate this year (nice one) as organiser and we’re heading out from 6th to 10th July. By my reckoning we are 11/12 at the moment and I think most have booked flights already.

Les Arcs is mostly a bit of an unknown right now but various confirmations and conversations (kudos to TimFromWales) have indicated that Les Arcs is very different to Morzine but no less fun or indeed challenging to ride. And to that end take a look at this video posted by Lars Thore Aarrestad on YouTube of the La Varda descent.

So that would be 232 days and counting then

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