Les Avants, Switzerland

Les Avants is a small town above the Swiss city Montreux on the east end of Lake Geneva. It is a small ski resort town and old bobsled town. At the turn of the last century, bobsledding reigned supreme in this town. The first European Championships were held here in 1910.

The course starts near the top of a funicular. It heads underneath the train track down to a hairpin.  Back down a fairly long straight with a chicane as you head underneath the tracks again. A big right hand sweeper leads to two more hairpins. Another high speed straight leads the rider back into town. There are several sharp turns, unfortunately backed by rock and concrete walls, followed by one last hairpin. The course ends immediately after the end of the hairpin because the train tracks cross the road. After crossing the tracks, it is a short jaunt down hill to the bottom of the funicular, for another ride to the top. Unfortunately, while the course is nice, the road surface leaves a lot to be desired.

Saturday, August 7

I didn't get to the hill until mid morning, and I had to drive through a torrential downpour. Apparently the storm came from here, as the roads were completely soaked.

Because of the rains, it was a little late getting started. The first run down there were still some wet patches. But the road dried up fairly quickly.

The cool thing about this free ride is the funicular.

The cool thing is that there is no waiting for the bus back to the top, just wait for the next train.

I don't know how many runs I got in, I lost count. Like most Swiss towns, there was a water fountain 

and fortunately it was near the bottom. I think I stopped for a quick drink after every run.

The evening I headed up to the tent

Sunday, August 8

Today was much nicer than yesterday, looks like it will be a full day of riding.

One nice thing about free rides, it is fairly free form. Usually as soon as we get off the train we can go. A few people go, after a few seconds the next group goes. Of course it usually takes a few minutes at the start of the day as they make sure the course is clear.

We got ride after ride after ride in. The scenery is amazing in the Swiss Alps.

The end of the run had a fence across it, to slow everyone down. It was the end of the run because the train, not the funicular, but Eurrail type trains, cross the road.

The day turned out to be fairly hot. At the end of the day, a few people used the fountains to cool off.


It is really hard to put into words what happened, and how good a free ride is. I spent almost the entire day Sunday riding. You ride down, hop the train, and ride down again. Free rides are fellow mellow, and a lot of fun as there is no stress from competition. No one got seriously injured, and we all had a grand time.