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Descending Les Diablerets: Mud Bikes

Easy tarmac trails

Easy tarmac trails

What do you get when you cross a kick scooter with a mountain bike? Something called the ‘Arapaho’ mud bike. Equipped with suspensions and motocross tyres, you stand on these contraptions and hurl yourself downhill through grassy fields and dirt tracks.

A classic view

A classic view

As pedalling is redundant, this all-downhill activity is offered at Les Diablarets, nestled at 1,200m in the heart of the Vaudois Alps.

Consisting mainly of chalets, the charming village of Les Diablarets is a magnet for skiers (snow guaranteed from November to May) with its famous black run and Snow Park. Once the snow melts, the mountain trails see a different type of hurtling down the hills.

The Ride
If you’ve been on a kick scooter, it feels pretty much the same – except it rides more like a mountain bike. The trails vary with riding ability, and range from 7kms to 20kms in length, passing through villages, farms and forests.

The trails often make use of farming roads and ski trails as well as open fields, so the terrain varies from rocky singletracks to muddy roads and tarmac. All the routes are downhill, so no kicking is required, and braking is the only way to control your speed.

Rocky farm tracks

Rocky farm tracks

Centre ParAdventure provides Arapaho mud bike tours, along with a host of other activities. Mud bike tours are conducted year-round; if it’s particularly muddy or rainy, bright yellow overalls are provided so you don’t get too dirty (although you’ll look like Big Bird).

Les Diablarets
Situated at the foot of an impressive mountain range in Switzerland’s French-speaking canton of Vaud, the village of Les Diablarets is topped with a glacier which is its year-round attraction. Here, you can ski (it’s got 25kms of pistes and a Snow Park) at an altitude of 3,000m year round. Non-skiers can hop on the Snow Bus (a cross between a bus and a Cat) or try dog sledding.

Around the area, activities like canyoning, paragliding, cross-country cycling, adventure trails, via ferrata and hiking are all popular.

Riding along farm tracks

Riding along farm tracks

If you’re staying in Diablarets or Villars-Gryon, you can purchase a ‘Free Access Card’ that grants you free transport (including buses and cable cars), activities (like guided walks) and entry to sports parks.

15 Responses to “Descending Les Diablerets: Mud Bikes”

  1. Vishal says:

    Starting with a mountain bike is a good idea. The extra weight enables me to obtain the same physical exercise on shorter trails in comparison to road bikes and I know I have got more than enough bike for soft dirt trails. If you bike to your workplace isn’t too hilly, the mountain bike should cover 6.6 miles without wearing you out.

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