I tested the Col de la Loze on an electric bike

July 07, 2023

Climbing the Col de la Loze on an electric bike? That's something new for me!

This is the story of an adventure that begins with a click on “Turn off computer” and ends with laughter mixed with steep climbs. 🥵

Yes, you guessed it, I’ve decided to swap my keyboard for an electric-assist bike and embark on an epic ascent of the Col de la Loze.

Yes, sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone, defy steep slopes and experience things that give you butterflies in your stomach (and aches in your legs).

And guess what? The Tour de France cyclists will be taking the same route as me on 19 July. 🚴‍♂️

So saddle up and let’s go!

(I invite you to read the whole article, as I challenge you in the last few sentences… 👀)

10 am: departure from the tourist office

And off to the legendary Col de la Loze

The countdown was over and the excitement was at its peak. At 10 o’clock on the dot, I was ready to embark on this epic adventure.

Accompanied by my assistant for the morning, Hugo, the webmaster for Méribel Tourisme, we were ready to face the challenges ahead. 💪

OK, I have to admit that I cheated a bit by opting for an electric-assist mountain bike rather than a conventional road bike. But it was to prove that the Col de la Loze is accessible to everyone and that we can have fun climbing it.

In fact, take a look at this photo taken at 10 o’clock. There are a few threatening clouds in the sky, but nothing can make me give up. When I have a goal in mind, I go for it head on, and this time my course was set for the Col de la Loze.

From the Tourist Office, it’s 750 metres of positive gradient for 8 kilometres of intense climbing. The challenge was on, and I was ready to take it on with gusto. 🥵

10.05am: and the climb begins!

It's the start of a great climb…

The ascent of the Col de la Loze has finally begun! Helmet firmly screwed on my head to ensure my safety, I set off on this legendary route. And I have to say that the mountain bike’s electric assistance was a real asset.

From time to time, I’d switch to eco mode to feel the effort more, then switch to E-Mountain Bike mode to make things easier for me. 🤫

The first few hairpin bends took us through the beautiful Altiport forest. As I looked up (and didn’t close my eyes to avoid hitting a tree), I was able to admire the Méribel chalets that make up the resort’s charm. What a magnificent sight!

Break at the Altiport lake

As I progressed, the effort began to show and I started to feel a little thirsty. That’s when I thought of my little secret spot: the Altiport lake. An idyllic place to relax. Whether you’re on your own, with a partner, friends or family, this is the place to be.

The wooden deckchairs and tables invite you to take a break. It’s the ideal place for a friendly picnic or simply to enjoy the sunshine (which is always present in Méribel, of course). Unfortunately, during my visit, a few drops of rain came down, preventing me from perfecting my tan. 😎

And it keeps on pedalling

The summit is close…

After this pleasant break at the Altiport lake, it was time to get back in the saddle. The last 5km of the climb awaited us, and believe me, they were the most daunting. The gradients of over 20% presented us with a few challenges, but fortunately we had the electric assistance at our side.

Hugo and I were able to continue the climb with ease. The electric assistance made this arduous stage much more accessible. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the effort disappeared, but it was much less.

At first, rain accompanied us, but as we climbed, the clouds dissipated to make way for glorious sunshine at the top of the Col de la Loze. A well-deserved reward for our sustained efforts and proof of the effectiveness of electric assistance in tackling the most demanding slopes. 💪

12 noon: the finish at the Col de la Loze

When I reached the summit of the Col de la Loze at exactly midday, a feeling of pride came over me. Even though I’d had the benefit of electric assistance, the adrenalin of the climb and the euphoria of the conquest made me feel like a true king of cycling.

The summit of the Col de la Loze is an iconic place, an essential stopping-off point for Tour de France cyclists. Knowing that the world’s best riders would be treading these same roads a few days later added a special dimension to my experience. 🤩

I took a few moments to imagine the champions’ wheels gliding over the tarmac, the noise of the supporters, the yellow jersey and the images being broadcast around the world. Excitement was building in me as I thought about the excitement that will take over this place when the peloton passes through on Wednesday 19 July.

I had to take a short break at the summit to savour the moment and take a few photos of the panoramic views over the Méribel and Courchevel valleys. Time flew and before I knew it, it was already midday.

Here we go for a good half-hour descent

I can tell you it feels good

After savouring the beauty and calm of the summit of the Col de la Loze, it was time to head back down to the Méribel Tourist Office. The descent would undoubtedly take less time than the ascent, but it promised to be another high-speed experience.

As Hugo and I set off down the winding road, we were surprised to come across some curious marmots who seemed to be cheering us on. They were the unexpected supporters of our descent. 😅

The descent offered us some magnificent views and we returned along the Renarde road, which runs alongside some beautiful chalets right in the centre of Méribel.

Although the descent was less physically demanding, it was just as captivating. The speed, the wind and the scenery whizzing by created a sensation of absolute freedom. We enjoyed every moment of this exhilarating descent, aware of how lucky we were to be travelling these roads.

Essential equipment for cycling up the Col de la Loze

From the photos, you can see how important it is to be well equipped for this adventure on the Col de la Loze.

Take a helmet for your safety and a rucksack with a water bottle to stay hydrated. In terms of clothing, opt for comfortable sportswear suited to physical exertion and the weather.

And if you don’t have an electric bike, don’t worry, you can hire one from one of the resort’s sports shops.

In conclusion, I can only encourage you, dear readers, to enjoy this unique experience of the Col de la Loze on an electrically-assisted bike. It’s a real must, a special moment to share with family and friends, or even on your own. It’s a sporting challenge, of course, but thanks to electric assistance, it’s accessible to everyone.

🎯 And for seasoned cycling enthusiasts, I’d like to throw in an extra challenge: climbing the Col de la Loze on a road bike. If you’re up for the challenge, don’t hesitate to contact me. We can share this epic climb and our passion for cycling 😉

Arthur, your loyal editor and activity tester