Chemins du Solei



Riding with the MTB from Sisteron ( French Alps ) to Nice/ Sospel.

After having all this work in Sospel, South of France. We headed for the Prologue to Menton. Just 23km, but we saw what we had to expect: MOUNTAINS…



By train we travelled over Nice, Marseille and Aix towards Sisteron, like the door of the Provence…

Sisteron is really impressive. These bizarre mountains and the fortress out of the 16th century, we just could adore them.

Well, yes, of course, I just forgot, we wanted to ride our MTB.

The morning sunshine is really comfortable.


After a warming up the course starts with a gravel ascents and than again gravel. Shall it go on like this?

No, we were entering a pine tree forest. The ground is made of rock, lava and chalk.



It was wonderful to ride,  no bigger ascents, nice single trails. Later on their were some pushing sections, but I was prepared of this. But I remarked, the time was not enough. Our average speed was slower than excepted, but we were able to regain some time on street later on. A really bad hotel waited for us in Digne les Bains, Hotel Aiglun.



Butt he sun stayed with us during the whole tour. 27degrees and more. While having a good mood we were approaching the mountains the next day. The trails became more and more narrow and the downhill parts became more and more hard. But we were quite relaxed all the time, while we already got a wonderful view over our today´s finish location. St. Andre les Alpes.


New day, new ascents. On single trails and over ridable gavel the road is rising and now we passed 1300m over zero. Now we are in: Parc Naturel Regional DU Verdun, and we just ride on declared VTT ( MTB) ways. The road system here is awesome. On our left hand side, we see the clear blue Lac Castilion. While riding on single trails, we are riding up to the peak, before it´s getting down again to Castellan. We are quite early today, and got some time to refresh ourselves in or at the River Verdon.







There is not much traffic here during spring-time. But now the small village are full of outdoor-freaks.

Le stade de neige de Soleihas Vauplan.

Up again, what else???




The path was steep and narrow, so weh ad to push our bikes for more than 2h. Later we hit a forest path and some bitumen up to the ski-area. Sadly the lift´s were out of order. Yes, it´s summer. But we were surrounded by beautiful butterflies…
„L´Alexanor, papillon des lavandes.
Up on the peak, there were no trees, just chalk and some grass.


The descent was awesome. First riding along the peak, hit some blocked ways, later we rode o over trails. It took us over 3 hours for the descent. Than we didn´t want to go on. „ Nous sommes tres fatigue“. Tired. Butt he Mayor of Saint Auban declraed us, that the only way to our finish today was riding downhill. Before we arrived there, we passed the Clues de Saint Auban and looked into the canyon of L´Esteron.



For the next day I´ve planned a tour to relax. Of clurse we did some m of altitude. But the distance was not that much, so we were able to jump into the pool on the earkier afternoon in Puget Theniers.


The next village was called Castagniers and we still had to ride up the mountain a bit. Up to the Col de Saint Rapael. When we crossed the peak, we could enjoy the view over several small villages. Than we saw the sign, only 56km to Nice.


But didn´t  choose the direct way. When we arrived in the valley we had to ride up on The Chemin du Soleil. The way was blocked several times and  sometimes overgrown. Weh ad to push a lot. It wasn´t that easy, while we had almost 9kg of weight in our back packs. In St.Martin du Var, we were  refreshed a bit, but the only and short rain shower, just before we arrived at our day finish. You felt like you were at the Cote d`Azur.
The next day we just rode on streets and rode relaxed to Nice. To our main finish it´s just 60km right thru Nice, Monaco and Menton. The last ascents pushed us to our limits. But we got lots of ambition left and arrived really happy after 450km and about 10000m of altitude in Sospel.
Bernd Schiermeister

Schreibe einen Kommentar