Friday, August 3, 2012


We’re currently staying in a small town 10 km outside of Annecy, on Lac Annecy, called Duingt (Doo-en if you are French, Done-gu-nit if you are Darin).  The lake, though glacially fed, is warm and very clean.  Apparently it was too clean at one point and all the fish were dying because they had nothing to eat.

Our hotel is right on the lake and has a beautiful view of the mountains on the other side, as you can see:

There is also a great soaker tube that works well for the recovery of sore muscles

And for doing laundry.  Gotta love the jets!

Our first ride here we went up the Col de Forclaz.  It is an 8 km climb and claims to average around 8%, but with most of the steep pitches being 11-16% they get their average due to the “breaks” of 3% through the towns – so don’t believe the numbers!  

It is a beautiful climb, but there is lots of car traffic as we found out at the top that it is a great place for launching paragliders and parapenters (para-sailing).   There are several companies that offer tandem flights and their vans “fly” up and down the mountain delivering pilots back to the top.

The views of the lake are spectacular though.


I couldn’t resist signing up for a flight and the next day drove back to the top, a much more terrifying feat then climbing on the bike, and launched off the mountain and in to the air with my trusted pilot Christian.   What an amazing experience.  He gave me a quick instruction, “stay vertical” and before I knew it my feet were off the ground and we were looking for thermals to gain more height.  The views were incredible and we were above the birds!  I had asked before we started if we could do turns and tricks; only to be told “not right away, you’ll be sick”.  Fair enough, makes sense.  Before we landed though I was able to take the controls and do some turns, then Christian entertained me with fast turns and some woops leaving my stomach well above my head.  So much fun!

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