|Balcony road from Armentier|
Once in the valley I headed towards the foot of Alpe d'Huez and rode the first 6 switchbacks to bend 16, here I took a right at the 'Restaurant La Sarenne'. This takes you on to a traverse that follows the Romanche valley via what we call a 'balcony' road. Of course, to access a balcony (unless you have the luxury of a lift), you usually have to climb some stairs!!
|Looking back towards Armentier|
Maybe 'balcony' is a bit of a misnomer since the road climbs gently for a good way. The rewards are worth the climbing though. The road and Romanche river ribbon along the valley below and the cars look like Matchbox toys. Not a view welcomed by the vertigo sufferer, but it gives you a great sense of achievement and a real scale of the amount of climbing behind you.
|Looking towards the Veneon Valley|
The descent is very enjoyable, a few technical bends as you approach La Freney and then plain sailing after joining the main road (D1091) that sweeps down from Briancon/the Galibier to Bourg d'Oisans.
A great start to the day and a marvellous excuse to have a big chocolate croissant once back in the valley!
'Bike Oisans' bike route including .gpx file