Cycling up to La Barillette

Cycling over short distances can be a challenge especially when that short distance takes you from the foot of the Jura to the top over 12 kilometres at a 6-10% grade. Cycling up to La Barillette is an endurance test. Perseverance is key.

You can start the climb either from Cheserex or Gingins. The climb starts sharply and takes you up in to the forest. As you climb you follow the winding road by a stone block where old road rules are written. The stone dates from the 19th century and speaks of the regulations which were in effect.

The path takes you up some one way and two way roads. At every kilometre as you climb some plaques tell you the gradient for the next kilometre as well as the gradient. As you progress these are welcome. They let you know how much further you have to go.

I have attempted this climb four times in the preceding months and made it up twice. One of the aspects to be enjoyed with this route is the lack of cars. If you went up via the Route de St Cergue you would encounter cars every few seconds. On this route cars seldom pass and when they do they are sometimes curteous enough to slow down and give you space as you overtake. You can also enjoy some great views of the Mt Blanc and the Lac Léman. As you go up so the view gets better and better. It also gets cooler.

The first 9 kilometres are the hardest. For 9 kilometres you will be struggling to keep your forward momentum and there is a chance that on the first two or three attempts you will give up, especially if you use as heavy a bike as I use. Once you have reached the 9 kilometre mark the path flattens out at around 1000 metres and it is just a matter of cycling for a further 3.7km.

When you get to the top you have a beautiful vista of the Lac Leman. You can see from Villeneuve all the way to Geneva. You can see the Alps in their full glory and you can see the Canton de Vaud. You can see Lausanne, Morges, Nyon, Cheserex and many of the villages below. It’s a great opportunity to spot peaks and get to know them. There is a map showing you the name of the peak and it’s shape.

If you train over the coming month and see that you have a good time on Strava then you could join the VTT race and see how you compare with others.

In summer months from Wednesday to Sunday the restaurant de la Barillette is open. It has a great view of the landscape which you can enjoy while eating an entrecôte or fondue.

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