Part 1: on the Pic de l’Ours in the Massif de l’Estérel
The Pic de l’Ours in the Massif de l’Estérel is our local mountain, because we can see it directly from our terrace:
At the same time, it is the man’s favourite mountain. He always goes up when his feet itch. Sometimes on a racing bike, sometimes on a mountain bike. I’ll introduce you to both tours here.
By the way, ‘Ours’ means bear, ‘Pic de l’Ours’ means top of the bear.
Tour 1): With the racing bike on the Pic de l’Ours in the Massif de l’Estérel
The return track with the racing bike from our terrace has a length of 43km and 815 heights.
And no two journeys are the same. Sometimes, he meets a cyclist who asks him for directions in English until they both find out that they are Germans and then rave about the area together.
Another time, he meets a Frenchman who was born in Paris, has been living in Nice for 15 years now and spends his annual holiday in Cannes, which is less than 40 km away from Nice. Simply, because it is the most beautiful place on earth he has ever found in his life. And he rightly asks: Why should I fly somewhere when I already live in the most beautiful area?
Oh yes, and then there was this spooky encounter when the man went up one evening at dusk. He had just pedalled himself into a trance as he drove around a bend and suddenly faced armed, camouflaged figures securing the area as their comrades rappelled down from a helicopter standing – completely silent by the way – in the air above the treetops. The man was scared to death and almost dropped off his bike. The guys certainly enjoyed themselves royally – as soon as they didn’t have to look grim anymore.
On his way back they scared the man again. And at home we laughed our heads off when we imagined that the soldiers in Spe asked excitedly over their headsets what was coming up the mountain, because the man and his bicycle shine like an American Christmas tree in the dark – and in the French emptiness it can get very dark. He has EVERY light you can have and since he really has EVERY light, even the Italian drivers on the Corniche d’Or make a pleasant bow around him. They’re probably so blinded that they don’t know if it’s a minibus or a truck in front of them.
That’s what his bike looks like:
And not to mention the many animals that the man chases up on his evening excursions: a raccoon (or perhaps a badger, with the speed of animal and cyclist difficult to say), deer, wild boar, rabbits…
This is a part of the road bike track, where you can really get off your bike and curse yourself and the bike god, because the ascent is hard as bone:
With the racing bike one rides on the ancient Corniche, which is today closed for cars, but still very well asphalted. You can start at Cap Roux and pass the Rocher de St. Bathélemy. Arrived at the top, on a Sunday afternoon, one meets everything from school classes to groups of pensioners travelling by bike.
Tour 2): With the mountain bike on the Pic de l’Ours in the Massif de l’Estérel
Now we get some impressions of the routes for mountain bikers.
It’s better not to ride here at night. Even with floodlights on the helmet the trees will be there faster than you can react.
And as the crowning finale: taking a break.
Now that you have mastered this mountain and still have the strength for a little detour as well as the desire to carry the bike a few meters on your back, I suggest a side trip to the sea. Simply because you can.
Take a breather, stretch your legs, breathe – you are at the sea!
Do you have any tips for cycling tours which the man should try out? Leave me a comment, I am happy about new input.