Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Tour du Lac Annecy ... Lets Ride

The Tour du Lac Annecy ...  
Tips to make your bike ride a Safe and Memorable one.  
 I imagine as May 11th gets closer there will be more people using their bikes to explore Annecy. After being confined since March, the hope of being able to ride around the lake has given me something to look forward to and I am sure those of you reading this as well.

         (Mero Mero the perfect bag for carrying my camera if I want to cruise ... find it here)

The Tour du Lac in Annecy is about 42 kilometers around. The day before confinement I made it around in 1:47. I was riding and out for a workout. The weather happened to be perfect and earlier that week I road the tour du lac but at a more leisurely pace to stop and take some photos.

What Direction Should you Go? You can ride in direction of Sevrier if you feel like your bike level is good enough to get up the infamous hill of Talloires. The reverse direction towards Veyrier du Lac will have you cruising down the hill but there is a chance to get stuck in some strong wind in the afternoon passing Duingt. Both directions are beautiful and will have you enjoying some spectacular views. There are pluses and minuses to each direction and I have found it is a personal preference. I switch it up depending on my mood. I also do half tours often direction Talloires and then I get the hill (great workout).

Depending on your cycling level the ride can take you anywhere from 2 to 9+ hours (this is an approximation and depends on your level, bike, etc). I say 9 hours more jokingly because I had a friend in one of my French classes make the mistake of riding the lake with a city bike, nonetheless it was a story for her to tell and we all laughed with her and her choice of riding around the lake on a cruiser. She had a good attitude about it and wanted a journey. A journey is definitely what she got. 

 The Ride: I ride the Tour du Lac often and have learned some tips that have helped make the ride more enjoyable and also safer. I am amazed with how many people I see without proper gear and when I say proper gear I mean a good ole helmet. There are some segments where you are sharing the road with trucks, motorcycles and cars (I've been almost side swiped several times from cars passing each other) and to think of not wearing a helmet terrifies me. The number one thing I will tell people is wear a helmet. If you want to look cute like you are starring in your own romantic comedy with a baguette in your basket sans helmet remember nothing ends up being as cute as a romantic comedy, but there is something cute about wearing a helmet. :)

 My tips for riding around the lake ... these are just recommendations that I HIGHLY suggest :)
1. WEAR a helmet ... this also includes having your children wear a helmet, your friends, your wife, boyfriend, girlfriend and friends. I have found peer pressure works wonders and if you peer pressure those you care about to wear a helmet ... WELL DONE!

2. Bring a bike pump ... you can find a small bike pump that can fit alongside your water bottle. I have one small enough so you don't notice it. (I might be speaking from experience after asking a man named Jean to use his pump as my front tire went flat one ride. I luckily ran into Jean and after he helped me pump my tire he says:  you know you have the same one right there (bike pump) HA never did I make this mistake again. But in all seriousness ... make sure your tires are pumped, and that you have a patch kit. Most people will help you if something were to happen but I feel being prepared just gives you an ease and confidence when you ride.

 3. Clothes ... this is a suggestion that wearing proper workout gear is best when riding around the lake if you plan to do the full tour. It's 42k around and you will sweat. Some sections are windy, some hot, some shady, just wear clothes that absorb sweat and keep you warm. I always carry a lightweight windbreaker even when I ride in summer.

4. Cruising ... if you are cruising on the same bicycle path as others (runners, skateboarders, rollerbladers, people walking) share the road and be mindful of others. Pay attention to the lane you are in, and if you are in a big group pay attention to the people in front of you, to the side, and behind you. Just be courteous and this makes for smooth cruising.
 5. Water ... I always say have a bottle of water even if you plan to stop at a restaurant, or perhaps you think you can stop at a market. You never know if the markets will be closed, or if the restaurant will even give you enough water. You are riding around the lake and the worst thing is to find yourself in a situation where you don't have water. Bring water, you can thank me later :)

 6. Check your bike, the tires, the frame, give a good look over and make sure everything is running properly before you head out. If you need a tune up Basecamp in Talloires offers great services.

7. Shoes ... wear proper shoes that are closed toed. Sure if you are riding for 10-15 minutes to go to the beach I am sure you will wear sandals but if you are riding around the lake I suggest shoes. You never know if you might fall, have to put your foot down quickly, or just for pure comfort for 42 kilometers  athletic shoes make the ride more comfortable which in the end makes it more fun. If you have clip ins don't bother reading this suggestion because you know the importance of shoes. 

8. Have fun, enjoy the views, and take in everything the lake has to offer. Be mindful of others on the road and I am positive you will have an incredible time. 

 9. Stops ... if you do need to stop make sure you look where you are stopping, move from the bike path and find a place that is safe and clear from others. For leisurely stops there are plenty of places to stop along the way. I love stopping in Sevrier and admiring the views. Stopping in Talloires is a must for me at Basecamp for an espresso or a flat white.

 It's the little jolt needed to get me around the lake.  If you can't make it around the lake it's ok. It's all about the ride right? Ride safely eveyrone and enjoy the journey. 

Happy Riding, Cruising, and Cycling,

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