In 1997, the entire mountain biking world talked about Château-d’Oex, where the world championships were held. The region has been quiet since then, but the beautiful routes for anybody are still there.
In Château-d’Oex you climb up some neighbourhood roads to the wooded areas on the steep south-facing slopes between Château-d’Oex and Rossinière. The ascent is short, followed by the downhill ride to Lac du Vernex. The Saane river is dammed here and has created a lovely little lake, normally a perfect opportunity for a break. But with only just six kilometres behind us, we push on without stopping, along the bottom of the valley, and return to Château-d’Oex.
There is still enough strength left to add an additional loop to the east. We keep following the Saane river upstream past the village of Gérignoz and finally reach Rougement with its many generously built chalets. This is where we start heading back to Château-d’Oex along the lovely southern slopes. The highly conditioned top riders of the 1997 world championships would probably have done this 30-kilometre route in about 90 minutes, but they would have missed the scenic attractions of this lovely area up in the highlands of the Vaud. We, on the other hand, prefer to take it a bit slower.