Surrey Hills MTB


Les Arcs

Les Arcs MTB: Woodstock

We’ve been back from Les Arcs now for a couple of weeks. I think it’s fair to say I’m into the “post-ride-holiday-with-your-mates-blues” period without a shadow of a doubt.

This is not helped of course by the fact I cannot TFIT tonight due to urgent need to deposit my kids with Grandparents for the start of their summer holidays which involves enjoying the M1 for longer than anyone should have to.

It was however while thinking about that impending pleasure my hastily put together “Woodstock: Top to Bottom” video finished exporting and has been hastily uploaded to YouTube.

This was my last run at Les Arcs when my front brake had pretty much given up the ghost and my front wheel had two questionable and one fully detached spoke but I still managed to have a bucket full of fun on my Scout – which is what its all about for sure.

Woodstock starts at the top of the Vallandry lift and just draws you in from the start. It’s only a blue but by God it’s good fun – from the very top to the very bottom.

So if anyone is asking the question, “Les Arcs, is it any good for MTB” or indeed “should I even go to the Alps”, my one comment is a pure and simple – “oh yes”.



Shall we go ride in Les Arcs then?


Finally, we’re here. It’s been a long old wait but today, this most halcyon of days, it’s time to kick off “The Foam Tour 2017”.

After a successful “LAVOJ packing” last night at Matt W’s, the LAVOJ is now winging its way through France and the remainder of the TFITers are counting the seconds.

So, all I can say is, check your passport is in your bag for the 15th time and see you at the Star at 14.30 sharp.

And finally, a “Happy Birthday” to both Mark T and Malcolm W, well done to Stephan F for organising this year’s trip and have a good drive to the D brothers. We’ll see you on the flipside.

If I get time (and I’m not too inebriated) I’ll write an update while we’re on the ground about how my Transition Scout and perhaps Mark’s G13 is handling the Alps.

Les Arcs: 100 days to go

Woop Woop there’s 100 days to go. That, by any definition, counts as a good day.

Yep, in 100 days from today the TFITers will be wheels down in Les Arcs for the “2017 Foam Tour” and the next 100 days cannot go quickly enough in my book. To slightly focus the mind of the TFIT massive – that would be 14 weeks and 2 days in old money.

Working on the principle of 3 rides a week thats only 42 rides until the Mont Jovet climb of pain…. *gulp*. However, the clocks have changed and we are in the realm of post-work rides so this is only a good thing.

So, what else do we need to know seeing as time is getting short? Over to our “man in the know”, Steve F for the details:

Super Important News

The 2nd Deposit of £200 due from everyone (excluding drivers) by 5th April. No excuses please. This will leave a final balance of £185 due around 15th June.

Other Important News

  • There is still a bucket load of snow on the hills – check out the webcams here
  • Steve is fully in control of all things Les Arcs – but ping him any questions if you’re in doubt
  • James G is now coming to the party after initially denying any interest and then swooping in at the last minute. It’s all about the “Foam Tour” t-shirt methinks. Anyway, we have now cancelled one of the hire cars and James has booked two smaller cars instead. Bottom line is we can all now fit in and this is a good thing
  • Emily has promised not to break any of us. Actually, no, she hasn’t
  • In terms of the new bike front, Matt has got his new Transition Smuggler, I have just taken delivery of my new Transition Scout (it’s large, black and a total trail nutter). Steve F has a mended and enhanced Specialized FSR and a certain Mark “Foam King” T has just taken delivery of one Mojo/Nicolai Geometron frame…
  • Mr F has produced an excellent tour logo – “The Foam Tour” and Matt “T-Shirt Inc” W is getting these onto t-shirts, I am contemplating a tattoo on my left bum cheek. Yes, it’s that good!
  • Don’t forget to get insurance for the trip. I used snowcard last year and found them ideal for what we are doing. Others are available.

So, if you’re chomping at the bit like me and just for your general perusal, enjoy the following nuggets of “Les Arcs Goodness” from the interweb and thanks to Anant Patel, PJ Channel and Vincent Pernin for sharing the love.

Biggles Learns to Fly

Or should that be “Mr F learns to fly”?

So I managed to drag my butt up to the pub last night see meet up with the TFITers who had blasted around the Bowl and back. Mark T was out on a Specialized StumpJumper 27.5+ which was an interesting looking ride. I think Mark is not 100% convinced with the plus setup and will be glad to be back on his normal steed asap – a small review may follow (Mark?).

Post ride (or post walk for some… ahem), conversation turned in two directions – Les Arcs and the impending arrival of a DJI Phantom 3 Pro…

I think Steve will be making a chalet reservation in the imminent future (woohooo) and it looks like Tig and Craig D may be up for driving duties – well done chaps.

So the drone – well yep, Mr F has only gone and bought one – a DJI Phantom 3 Pro for work purposes obviously – but also I suspect for the joy of filming the occasional MTB outing… including perhaps Les Arcs 2017…? I’ll pester Mr F for a fuller review when it’s actually arrived – and actually been used!

I’m still slightly amazed that over the last couple of years we have not seen a squadron of drones buzzing around in Morzine – either private or commercial. I read a while ago that there was an active debate about people flying drones in the mountains and how the resorts should respond to it i.e. Issuing a limited number of licences or something similar. I guess the concern is that everyone who rides in Alps seems to have a Go Pro – imagine if everyone similarly had a drone! With prices on these things dropping all the time I guess it’s only a matter of time before the mountains are echoing with the sounds of small buzzing things hitting trees, rocks, etc, etc and their owners sobbing at the results.

Personally I am all in favour of responsible usage to get some killer footage – there is only so much head/chest/bar/arse cam footage you can watch….

And speaking of Les Arcs and drones and MTB and seeing as it’s Friday – have some YouTube goodness on me:

Controversial destination?

So we had another excellent TFIT last night, summed up by a bit of ‘full auto’ and a spurious sounding beer. Hankley was explored with Mr F performing sterling trail master duties. Glad to report my gear indexing has mostly worked but slightly miffed my brake bleeding had 100% failed. Anyway, that will be a weekend job to try to rectify.

However I must mention an (albeit brief) email I received from Mark T earlier on Thursday. It contained the simple phrase:


So I deduce from that Mark was “mentally exploring” Les Arcs as a possible destination for an mtb weekend next year. Interesting thought. i’ve never ridden there and I don’t know anyone who has.

Forums sugges that Les Arcs is quieter, less ‘bike park’ and cheaper than Morzine / Les Gets. Guides are also a major recommendation to get the best out of the location apparently.

Google also suggested the following video which looks rather epic although Mark, perhaps you you should a look at the video at 38 seconds ish…


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