There are some new routes in the Oisans for cyclists to enjoy.
A local plan to build a sealed pathway between Allemont and Venosc has created some interesting new options for cyclists.
It means you can leave our house and, once you have dropped down to Allemont, can get onto a nice quiet sealed pathway.
This means you can avoid the traffic for at least a part of your route.
You can use the path in several ways depending on what your goals are. If you are going to climb up to Alpe d’Huez then it allows you to warm up without having to contend with traffic.
The best bits
One of the best bits is the part between the Pont Rouge and either Le Bourg d’Oisans or the bottom of the 21 bends.
The path runs alongside the Romanche River by the tree-lined banks with the twisted rocks above you.
Once near Le Bourg d’Oisans, you can decide to go directly to the bottom of the bends or to swing into town and start the climb to Alpe d’Huez in a more traditional place.
If you are not going to climb to Alpe d’Huez you can use these new routes in the Oisans to just keep going through Le Bourg d’Oisans and head towards Venosc.
The Route to Venosc
The path moves out of Le Bourg d’Oisans and far away from the road. If you are sightseeing, there is the dramatic Cascade de la Pisse waterfall just off the main track.
The track to the waterfall is not sealed and if you are not on a mountain bike, I’d suggest you get off and walk for the sake of your bike, if not your ankles.
The route is well signposted with distances at most of the junctions though some of the ‘repeater’ signs are quite small.
It all seems very easy, it’s practically flat most of the way until just before the end where it kicks up into a really steep section.
When it re-joins the road near Venosc, you can keep going all the way to St Christophe or even La Bérade. The new routes in the Oisans join up with all the old favourites.
Not only a cycle path
You may have noticed that I have not referred to this as a Cycle Path and that’s because it isn’t one. It’s for cyclists certainly but also for other users too.
For a start, there may be a lot of slow sightseeing cyclists enjoying the view and riding in a leisurely fashion. They often stop suddenly to take a picture.
There may well be walkers and that often means dogs and children which may be under various levels of control.
Perhaps worst of all, there are horses on the path and they deposit steaming piles of evidence of their passing in the middle of the path.
Best be careful of cyclists coming the other way too, it’s a narrow path, not a road.