View Full Version : col du Mont Noir

11-13-2011, 12:41 PM
I couldn't get away for velotel's full day Ventoux expedition (parental commitments), so I rode up the col du mont noir instead. There's no competing with velotel's trip ride up one of the most iconic of French climbs, but I really enjoyed this one nonetheless. It starts up a moderately steep shaded set of switchbacks, then along a magnificent road cut into the rock, then up some tight switchbacks to a small town called Malleval, then into an immense cirque, through a notch in the cliff band and on to the col. We turned around at the col and ~ halfway down I discovered that my buddy was no longer behind me! Having seen the way people were driving, I feared the worst and started cranking back up towards the col, rehearsing a call to the medics in French. Happily, it was just a blown tube, but I was really starting to sweat it. Anyway, here is a video of the ride. The descent is shaky because I did not fully close the gopro case after I had to open it to remove green crayon marks from the inside of the lens.


11-13-2011, 05:03 PM
Wow...those tunnels look terrifying. Thanks for sharing!

11-13-2011, 05:37 PM
Thanks for sharing. Man that road is narrow! Yikes. But if both parties have their wits I guess it works out?

Looks like a lovely ride though. Thanks.

11-13-2011, 05:47 PM

11-13-2011, 06:42 PM
Lovely. Having been in the Vercors in September, this ride has many familiar aspects. These are gorgeous roads to ride and do seem narrow, but the reality is that on a bike you can hear people coming, you have room with a car coming (much better than being in another car!), the tunnels are not long, and the grades are long, but generally not too extreme. And it is so spectacular. Did I mention that it is gorgeous? This area is very satisfying to ride, and close enough to the main alps so one can head over there for a day trip if the high Alps are part of the agenda. Anyway, this is an enthusiastic +1 for the Vercors. There are good places to rent or stay. I took a look at Velotel's web site, and if you want to do a tour, he clearly has a good handle on setting such a thing up. If you want to hang in the Vercors, I bet he can give you a number of rides to work with in the area. We loved our trip... what an incredibly relaxing and satisfying vacation.

Thanks again for posting the video !

11-13-2011, 11:04 PM
Hey, check out the video of the Galibier that's also in your collection. That's an amazing film. Nicely done.

Although I must say this made me a little nauseous... why no guardrails?


11-14-2011, 02:10 AM

Agreed that the Vercors is an often overlooked gem. There is excellent riding throughout, and as you say, many interesting places to stay. Also, plenty of off day activities. The southwestern Vercors is pretty much right next to the cotes du rhones, too if you're into that kind of thing :)

the funny thing about those shelf roads is that the exposure doesn't seem to be too scary. Possibly because the views are so spectacular and distract you!

Galibier: I happened to be riding it (totally by accident) on the day that they shut it down to cars! They had a huge free food station set up at the col as well. The road is actually really wide, so the lack of guardrails isn't too troubling, but yeah: you have to pay attention. p.s. I'm slightly embarrassed by the music, but youtube has an automatic music identification algorithm which rejects music it "knows" which means using the obscure stuff.

Karin Kirk
11-14-2011, 10:07 AM
Very cool - watching those videos is a nice way to start of a snowy Monday here. I love the tunnels and overhangs, and the valley looks invitingly pleasant and green too. Looks like a really nice ride - not terribly extreme but super fun.

Thanks for taking the video and sharing!

11-14-2011, 01:24 PM
heres some info on the climb


11-14-2011, 09:12 PM
That looks like a great ride...thanks. :beer:

11-15-2011, 07:55 AM
very cool maxn ... 2 questions ... how fast were you running at various stages and what camera were you using?


11-15-2011, 09:03 AM
GoPro HD (not the new one) mounted upside down from the bars using the GoPro handlebar kit... in upside down mode. Descent avg speed look like ~28kph.

11-15-2011, 12:36 PM
Great video! Thanks for sharing.

11-15-2011, 01:15 PM
great video. thanks for sharing. it makes me wanna ride even though it's wet, foggy, and 37F here in pdx right now. ugh...

11-15-2011, 04:04 PM
Incredible! That must be a great area to ride, even if they do let cars onto the bike paths ;)