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

That’s it! It’s the big day, the departure of Mammenn: 4 months biking and running around France. Months of planning coming to completion. It’s a long weekend, so Nevin can come with me for the first 4 days. That morning we are taking some time to get ready: breakfast, last packing… The weather forecast is quite fresh and we have time to pedal in the afternoon. We finally leave at 11 and as soon as we start to pedal, I realize the bike feels very unstable. I’ve put quite some weight in the front panniers and the front wheel is wobbly, especially at low speed. After only 1 kilometer, we stop so I can distribute the weight differently. We are not off to a good start…
The Map Mammenn 6000 Hexagonal
In the streets of Orbe, in Switzerland
Lake Saint-Point
The day feels hard: in the end it’s quite warm and we need to climb over the Jura ridge with the heavy bikes. I couldn’t put a kick stand on the bike, because it’s advised agaoinst by the Surly brand and everytime I stop I get frustrated because it’s difficult to lean my bike against something. I’m starting to wonder what I got myself into. After a good climb, we reach the pretty little village of Jougne in the French department of the Doubs. We can finally cruise down to the lake Saint-Point and the camping of the village of Saint-Point-Lac with its very welcomed refreshment stall.
Jougne in the Doubs
Nevin in front of the memorial of Jougne

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.

Vue sur les Vosges depuis le haut du Hohneck
Morning mist on Lake Saint-Point
Lake Saint-Point
Nevin along the Doubs river

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).

The morning of the second day


I’m starting to get used to my heavy bike.
The Map Mammenn 6000 Hexagonal
I chose to get off the bike for that rocky descent

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.

A village of the Doubs
Vista on the Swiss Jura

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!

Vue sur les Vosges depuis le haut du Hohneck
The Doubs river

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!

A village in the Doubs
Spreading ourselves out at the Saint Hippolyte campground