This time on Bike Magic Trail Guide TV we go alpine as film maker Mark Huskisson takes us to Les Arcs in France to ride with Sam Morris, a local guide and company owner who knows the trails as well as anyone (possibly better).
If you’ve ridden in Les Arcs you’ll know just how incredible the terrain and scenery is, and if you haven’t then watch the film, read our MTB Travel Guide (here) and book a trip!
Les Arcs with Sam Morris
Words: Mark Huskisson
Having filmed with Sam from Bike Village a few times in the past I thought he would make a great addition to Bike Magic’s Trail Guide series, which I’ve been putting together recently.
Sam is an all round nice guy and knows the trails and area around Les Arcs like the back of his hand, having lived in this part of France for the last 13 years. He is one of the most enthusiastic people I have had the pleasure of spending time with and talking about all manner of subjects while out on the trail. Whether the aforementioned subject is the geography or history of the area or the local politics, there is always a healthy dose of humour thrown in to lighten any chat. He runs Bike Village along with his wife Lyndsay and the amazing group of guides that they have both present and past. Many customers return year-on-year to be part of the Bike Village family and I can see why.
For this episode of Trail Guide TV Sam rode the trail he calls Little Cheese, which is a trail high on the Beaufort Town. These mountains are on the opposite side of the valley to the Les Arcs resort and rise up to around 2400m. We drove up to around 1400m and climbed to around 2000m on a mix of farm track/fire road and single track.
The location is in the d’Isere valley, 10km drive from the resort of Les Arcs. A great trail with stunning scenery combined with an amazing single track descent best tackled with a guide and uplift, we covered the top 500m descent but the trail continues to the valley floor with almost 700m more drop on the way.
Sam has a distinctive style on the bike and his riding really suits the terrain here, the fast flowing single track high up on the pasture is littered with little technical features which set you up well for the tight and technical switchbacks which follow. It’s a real skill to get down this type of terrain without dabbing on the tight corners and well worth honing your back wheel hop to get the back end round some of the tighter corners. It doesn’t always look that pretty but it definitely is the only way to get round some of the tight bends.
If you fancy a trip here and would like to sample some of the amazing trails away from the bike park then Bikevillage.co.uk is a great option, with very knowledgeable guides, superb food and plenty of humour thrown in to keep your spirits up on the trail. They run trips with uplift support to get the first big dose of climbing done by van, which leaves the rest of the day free to descend and climb in the right balance.
About Bike Magic Trail Guide TV
The aim of our Trail Guide TV series is simple: to inspire and uncover. We will ride some of the finest natural trails in Britain and occasionally abroad too, sometimes with local riders and sometimes on a trail hunt of our own. Trail Guide TV won’t provide maps and directions to each of the rides, but it will give a place name and some insight into the terrain. You’ll have to go on a search of your own if you want to ride the same amazing trails.
These features will all be put together by the expert hands of Mark Huskisson of Reset Films (think Find, MacAskill etc.) and will combine beautiful landscapes, stories and some of the best natural trails around. We are rather happy to have Mark on board.
Enjoy the show and keep coming back to Bike Magic as Trail Guide TV is a regular show.