10 days of riding downhill in Portes du Soleil

This year I was again able to participate in the yearly downhill trip. The location this year was once again Morzine. Morzine is located in the Portes du Soleil (http://en.portesdusoleil.com/) region in France. The area is an excellent venue for a longer trip. It offers plenty of different trails and tracks scattered on multiple resorts (I think 12 different resorts).

Finnair flies to Geneva daily. If you catch the morning flight from Helsinki, you get half a day of riding on the arrival day. And if you catch the evening plane out, you also get half a day of riding on the departure day. The flights are a little over 300€ and a bike costs 60€ per way.

We had all the other stuff organized by Morzine MTB (http://www.morzine-mtb.com/): transportation from and to the airport, accomodation and lift passes. I can really recommend their service. It was very easy and everything just worked. And I guess we ended up paying less than if we had booked all of it ourselves. Will definitely do it again, if I ever go to Morzine again.

We had chalet Edelweiss, located right next to the Pleney lift station. It is really easy when the flat is located right in the center of the village (shops, bakery etc. close by) and close to the lifts.

We had a group of five people. During the ten days of riding we had fairly little casualties: 1 broken rib,2 twisted ankles and some worn tires and brake pads. I would call it a very successful trip! We (the healthy two) had only one non-bike-riding day, when we were watching the French DH nationals in Les Get’s (the village next to Morzine). During the whole 10 ten days we had rain during two nights, so we got to ride some mud. The days were mostly sunshine and temperatures around +20C. As good as it gets 🙂

We had some hassle at the departure when my bike bag weighted 36kgs (limit 32kg) and my normal bag 24kgs. But with some nice smiles and help from the other guys, I was able to board the plane without paying any extra….and I did receive all of my stuff at Helsinki-Vantaa. Which was a very interesting place to land with your bike: As the luggage belt was clear of all luggage, we were queuing to claim our bikes as lost luggage as they had not turned up from anywhere. When we got hold of a staff member, she told to our surprise that the bikes had been delivered to a locked room that had a sign “only staff”. WTF?? We were supposed to know to ask them to come and open it. There were no signs or instructions for large luggage…that’s what I call customer service you can only receive in Finland.

We had two photo shoot days and I took also some photos at the French DH Nationals.

A 24 photo set from the trip is available at: http://kansala.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Antti/20112-07-17+Morzine+small+set/

For people that are more interested or have excess of time, a larger (>130 photo) set is available at: http://kansala.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Antti/2012-07-17+Morzine+large+set/


It is the time of the year that the seagulls have plenty of food. “Salakkas” are spawning at the shoreline and the seagulls have an easy time of catching them.

A couple of more seagull shots at: http://kansala.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Antti/2012-07-07+Seagulls/

For tech geeks:

All of these shot (except the first one) are shot with Sigma 120-300/2.8 lens and a Sigma x2 teleconverter. I am pretty satisfied with the quality of the photos even with the TC. The autofocus is somewhat slower, but otherwise it seems to work just fine as long as there is enough light. The x2 TC loses two full stops of light.