You can find the final route of the first chapter of Mammenn, on the Komoot collection “Mammenn Chapitre 1: Jura, Vosges, Alsace” by clicking here.
And you can read about the first 4 days in the Jura here: 4 days in between the hills of the Jura and green lanes along the Doubs.
Monday May 30, 2022
DAY 5: from Plancher-Bas to Guebwiller through the Planche des Belles Filles / 87km, 1 200 meters ascent
That morning I climb the Planche des Belles Filles, first stage in the Vosges. I spent the night at the beautiful farm of a friend of the family who fed me and I slept in a cosy bed.
The road going up to the Planche des Belles Filles (7km ascent with an average 8,7% gradient with a max at 22%) is very calm and the air is crisp. Even if my steel bike with the racks is still heavy, I could leave the panniers at the bottom of the climb and it makes it much easier to go up.
At the top I chat with a couple who slept in their van and then I enjoy some quiet time by myself with a great view and savour this moment.
That afternoon, I cross into the region of Alsace, where I grew up. It’s quite an emotional moment to see the sign, soon accompanied with a sight of a stork flying. In the evening I meet with a friend of mine from university and his friends to enjoy a well deserved pizza.
The summit of the Super Planche des Belles Filles
Day 6: the Grand Ballon hiking/trail running / 29km and 1 290 meters of ascent
That day I go up the highest summit of the Vosges massif by foot: le Grand Ballon (1 424m above sea level).
The summit is quite windy so I don’t stay for long. I prefer to enjoy a blueberry pie at the restaurant, but there too I have trouble staying warm so I start the descent quickly.
I start to get tired on the second part of the descent and the free entrance to the swimming pool next to my campground is amazing for my sore feet and muscles. That night is the first I spend alone since the start of the trip, but after chatting with some other campers and a load of laundry, I quickly fall asleep.
The view while climbing to the Grand Ballon
Blueberry pie, the treat when arriving to the summit
DAY 7: from Guebwiller to Colmar / 33km, 180m ascent
It’s been 2 big days of cycling or running and that morning I take my time. I only have a short day of cycling to get to Pauline’s place in Colmar where I’ll stay for 2 nights. I haven’t seen her since high school so it’s quite cool to see her again. That day is a nice ride on the vineyards bike route.
Day 8: Metzeral – the Hohneck – Munster hiking/trail running / 21km and 880m of ascent
After a breakfast with Pauline and her baby boy Helio, I enjoy a stroll through Colmar to get to the train station. Today is on foot again, to reach the Hohneck, second summit of the Vosges. I see several chamois as well as storks on the way back down through Munster.
Chamois at the Hohneck
DAY 9: from Colmar to Strasbourg / 78km, 80m of ascent
I first wanted to stay on the vineyards bike route but the weather forecast shows chances of thunder storms and rain. So instead, I take the canal from the Rhône to Rhine which saves 15 kilometres, but also some ascent.
In the end there is only one shower and I have time to get under a bridge and let it pass while having lunch.
In Strasbourg, I stay at Charlotte’s place, a very good friend of mine who is also going on a bike trip this summer, in Sweden.
DAY 10: from Strasbourg to Haguenau / 38km, 60m ascent
After a nice brunch at her place, Charlotte cycle with me to Haguenau, where my parents live and where I grew up. It feels like a big achievement to reach that sign only by biking from Lausanne. Time for a a few days of resting and refueling!
Arriving in Haguenau