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SUMMER IN LES GETS: PART 1 - James Rampton, Les Gets, France.
Friday June 29, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Our Roving Reporter turns Robocop as he tests the ski slopes. Not on two planks, instead he's rolling down the slopes on two chunky wheels.



As you may well be aware, PlanetSKI's roving reporter is a man for whom chess counts as a high-adrenalin sport.

But now, in his endless quest to find you the best Alpine activities, come snow or shine, he has broken the habit of a lifetime and gone all white-knuckle on you.

In the process, he has found himself dressing up as a futuristic riot-control cop - more of which anon.

Spending a few days in the beautiful French resort of Les Gets, we are discovering that there is just as much to entertain you in the mountains during the summer as there is during the winter.

Our first thrill-seeker's outing?

Mountain biking.

We start by visiting the extremely well-equipped bike hire shop, Evasion Sports.

Here we are kitted out like extras from Rollerball.

Kitted out like extras from RollerballKitted out like extras from Rollerball

















The staff painstaking lever PlanetSKI into a back protector not unlike one of the shells worn by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Chunky elbow and shin guards follow.

Rampton - dressed as a futuristic riot-control copRampton - dressed as a futuristic riot-control cop




















The ensemble is topped off by a full-face helmet clearly borrowed from the kit-bag of MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez.

By the end of the fitting, I could easily be mistaken for a rather less aggressive and automaton version of Robocop.

Rampton ready for actionRampton ready for action

















With our bikes ingeniously strapped to the back of our seats, we then travel to the top of the Chavannes chairlift.

At the summit, surrounded by gorgeous sun-lit peaks, our instructor Antoine demonstrates that he has a Master's in Limitless Patience.

Antoine Antoine - Limitless Patience 



















He is exceedingly deft in teaching us the basics of biking.

For instance, he shows us that the most effective way of riding is by standing up on the pedals and hunching over the handlebars in a stance akin to a bulldog's.

The look is very much "high-velocity guard dog."

All the while, Antoine's very calm, reassuring approach helps allay our fears about the sanity of hurling ourselves downhill at unfeasible speeds with only a pair of brakes standing between us and total wipe-out.

Once we have got the hang of it, it emerges that mountain biking has a lot in common with skiing.

Like downhill, it's about managing turns, picking the right line and mastering your speed - oh yes, and not falling over.

On the road in Les Gets On the road in Les Gets



















It also injects you with the same shot of pure adrenaline as you hurtle down the mountain only nominally in control.

Mountain biking is just one of many inventive new ways in which ski resorts are attracting summer visitors.

The Portes du Soleil area, where Les Gets is located, offers 37 summer biking trails stretching over 300 km.

Underlining the newfound popularity of mountain biking in the Alps, we also catch the tail end of the The Crankworx World Tour as it passes through Les Gets.

The Crankworx World Tour, which also calls at Rotorua, New Zealand, Innsbruck, Austria, and Whistler, Canada, showcases the world's best mountain bikers.

They spend four days doing things on a bicycle that you imagine in other circumstances would require a superhero's special powers.

The festival brings an extraordinary 60,000 visitors to Les Gets.

The Crankworx World Tour publicity blurb suggests that it is, "Where ordinary humans perform the extraordinary and launch into the realm of the unimaginable, riding faster, climbing further, flying higher, and going bigger than what was once thought to be possible."

PlanetSKI may not be quite at that level yet.

But we can confirm that mountain biking is the most fun you can have while dressed as Robocop.

We'll be roving and reporting more from Les Gets this week.

At the top of Les Chavannes - Les GetsAt the top of Les Chavannes - Les Gets


















Random Totem Pole in Les Gets Random Totem Pole in Les Gets





















Downhill mountain bikes and equipment can be hired from Evasion Sports, 16 Rue de Pressenage, 74260 Les Gets, France. Tel: +33 4 50 79 70 90. Website:‎

PlanetSKI is staying at the 38-apartment Annapurna residence in Les Gets. Website:

Located in the centre of Les Gets, the Annapurna is an exclusive development of new build apartments. 150m from the Mont Chéry télécabine and 200m from the Chavannes, the Annapurna provides high-end classic freehold apartments, from 1 to 5 bedrooms. The residence has its own swimming pool, ski rental and service, jacuzzi and spa, lounge bar, restaurant and underground parking, ski lockers and cellars.

Apartments can be bought at the following prices:

1 bed 40 m² - €295k
3 bed 85 m² - €857k
4 bed 109 m² - 1,067,500 euros.

They can be also be rented at the following prices:
From: 2 bedroom apartment with further cabin, sleeps 6 people, from €215 per night on a self-catering basis including access to the spa and swimming pool
To: 5 bedroom penthouse apartment, sleeps 12 people, from €430 per night on a self-catering basis including access to the spa and swimming pool / www.rental-apartments-chalets-les-gets

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number 1 for ski news

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