You can find the final itinerary of the 1st Chapter of Mammenn, on the Komoot collection “Mammenn Chapitre 1: Jura, Vosges, Alsace” by clicking here.
Thursday, May 26th 2022, The big departure
DAY 1: from Lausanne to Saint-Point-Lac / 65km, 970m ascent
Day 2: from Saint-Point-Lac to Morteau / 56km and 420m ascent
This morning there is some mist over the lake, it’s beautiful and very pleasant to ride in the fresh morning. Quickly, we cross a “road closed” sign, but we decide to go anyway: at worst we will just need to push the bikes. After 3 kilometers of not seeing any constructions, we finally discover the reason for the closure sign: ridge in construction. Actually there is just no more bridge, it’s been taken down but not rebuilt yet. A little trail is going up on the side of the hill and we try to push our bikes but it gets steeper and steeper and the bikes are heavy. Finally we turn around, a little bit irritated by the time and kilometers lost. In the end this detour will add 11km to the planned day and reroute us through a very busy road.
We arrive at Pontarlier around 11AM. Nevin is attracted by a “French tacos” sign and realizes when ordering that it’s not at all the kind of tacos he is used to. Never mind, it’s nice to have warm food. The afternoon is extremely nice, we ride along what used to be train tracks (la voie verte le Chemin de Train) before climbing a little bit to follow the Grande Traversée du Jura itinerary and ascend the Col du Mont. Finally, we zoom down to Morteau for a nice local diner: Morteau sausage and cancoillote (a local runny cheese).
DAY 3: from Morteau to Saint Hippolyte / 50km, 614m ascent
The day is off to a good start: our bike touring neighbors at the campground gift us some croissants. With a happy belly, we start this short day in terms of distance but with a bit of ascent and a climb straight off the start to get out of Morteau. The wind is quite strong and we struggle to find the right temperature: too warm in the climbs and cold, even with a windbreaker, in the descents. I’m starting to get used to my bike, even if it still takes some time to get the right position to lean it against something. But I’m less bothered by the weight, when being careful about the weight repartition between front and rear panniers. The day is a succession of flowers and peaceful cows in fields, cliffs surrounded by forests and beautiful vistas over the Swiss Jura. We end it by a long descent to the village of Saint Hippolyte and its campground on the Doubs river.
DAY 4: from Saint Hippolyte à Plancher-Bas / 76km, 490m ascent
This morning we follow beautiful “green lanes” along the Doubs and other canals. After a lunch break in Audincourt, I leave Nevin at the train station of Belfort-Montbéliard. I take the opportunity to get lighter by getting rid of what I don’t need. It’s with a heavy heart that I leave the train station, but I’ll see him very soon again. The solo adventure begins!
It’s time to close the Jura chapter and to cross over to the Vosges. After riding through Belfoort and its very nice bike lanes and along Lake Malsaucy, I climb slowly to the village au Plancher-Bas. Tonight I stay at Josette’s, a family friend who lives in a beautiful typical farm and who takes good care of me. I’m sleeping in a good bed and ready to tackle the Vosges the following day with the Planche des Belles Filles!