Cycling Col de la Machine
Ride 11.7 kilometers gaining 716 meters at 6.1% average grade
This ride includes stunning views of the valley below, sheer cliffs with precarious drop offs and several fun tunnels to ride through and . . . . to use for photo ops!
Google Maps even specifies this is a great cycling road.
Thank you to the best website for European bike climbs that exists for their contribution to this page - https://www.cycling-challenge.com
The road to Col de la Machine is a “Balcony Road” - a narrow road cut into the mountain with sheer cliffs on one side - a road not for those with a fear of heights! Balcony roads almost always have spectacular views along the route.
Also much thanks to PJAMM contributor Sylvain Garde, Lyon, Rhone-Alpes, France for his photo contribution to this page.
“Frequently recognized as the most magnificent road in the French Alps, this road through Combe Laval was constructed between 1861 and 1898 and originally served for the transportation of timber from the Forêt de Lente to St-Jean-en-Royans (France). It’s one of the French balcony roads. The road was carved out here (with the end of the work in 1898), not for the view, but to make the forestry activity profitable.
Right now it mainly attracts cyclists eager to face the challenge of a steep climb and be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the Vercors region. The most spectacular stretch of the road, between St. Jean-en-Royans and Col de la Machine, cuts into the cliff-like side of the gorge and runs via a series of short, narrow tunnels.” DangerousRoad.com
Thank you Sylvain!!