Today we decided to take the bus from Grenoble up to Lans-En-Vercors then ride a quick up and down trail from the town then ride a good long trail back down into Grenoble, hoping we would get a lot of dowhill for not too much uphill by using the bus, using the bus was a mistake.
For some unknown reason the bus driver made me take my front wheel off to put the bike underneath in the storage section, whilst we blazed up the twisty hairpins on an alpine pass my bike moved around somewhat and the front brake got pressed, meaning that the pistons in my brake got pushed right out and leaked fluid all over my pads and left my brake full of air. Unfortunately I didn’t realise this until we started riding a little, by which time I had pressed the brake and put even more fluid all over the shop. So plans quickly changed and we had to find somewhere to fix my bike, the only bike shop was closed. HOWEVER. Whilst sitting trying to fix it and make it at least slightly useable a man came pootling along on his bike playing with his brakes and we both thought to ourselves, ‘he looks awfully like he is trying to fix his brakes… are those the same brakes as mine?’. I went over and asked and indeed he was bleeding his brakes and with a bit of luck he had the same ones as me, the same bleed kit and used the same brake fluid and was the hero of the day when he invited us around to his garage to help fix my brake! Around 20minutes of bleeding and adjusting my brake and we were fixed! I probably owe my days riding to this guy, so thanks to him!
So we set off up the hill finally, with a brake that still barely worked thanks to the fluid all over the pads and disc but it was better than nothing!
We climbed up to Les Ramées via the ski station road at Lans-En-Vercors as on the map it looked like there was a pretty decent trail which snaked its way back down through the woods. From around 1000m high to 1600m high, there was a little snow on the way up which required a bit of pushing but barely any on the way back down.
The trail back down turned out to be pretty amazing, very very rocky with loads of multiple line trails which were pretty technical and relentless, it required a lot of concentration not to get too loose and wild, especially with my wailing brake which must have ruined everyone’s scenic walk out.
The very bottom section was like a boulder field! Just after this photo it turned into a wide track with rocks the size of your head all over the place, it was almost a case of despite it being rough; the faster you go the easier it was as you didn’t get thrown about by every little rock then.
After our longer than planned morning and wild descent we decided to buy lunch in Lan-En-Vercors and spent a good hour in the sun at a cafe chilling out, after all we did only have another downhill to go to get back, or did we…
The cycle along form Lans-En-Vercors to St-Nizier and the top of the last descent actually turned out to be a bit of a slog – a looong and tiring fire road with a super sharp steep section half way along which surprised us!
The descent down into Grenoble managed to eat through my pads and onto the metal, wearing away the pad backing and my disc, this was a hard day for my poor brakes, oh what it is to have a bike that just works (Jonny?). We were however rather ‘stoked’ to be met by a few enduro goats near the bottom which made our day, you can never go wrong with a badass enduro goat!