Discover France Loves Their Guides…and You Will Too
Discover France offers a wide variety of adventure travel itineraries that help our guests “discover” the best of what France has to offer. Many of these exciting tours also include expert guides to lead the way and make sure every trip runs smoothly. Our guides are professionally trained and certified, highly knowledgeable and know exactly how to show you the time of your life. They have the best job in the world because they get to do what they are passionate about, every day. We thought it would be interesting to pick their brains and learn a little about what being a professional guide is really like.
3 of 6 guide memoirs
Thirty-six year old, Michel Monbon knows what it feels like to push ones limits. He is someone you want encouraging you up what seem like never-ending French mountains, and coincidentally the challenging tours are his favorite ones to lead. Born in Beaujeu, a town south of Burgundy, Michel has been riding anything with two wheels, road, mountain, tandem, and recumbent bikes, for 20 plus years. Like every Discover France guide, he has his license for guiding road bike tours.
Here are a couple other interesting facts to help you get to know this passionate cyclist a little more:
Which region do you like riding best and why?
Everyone knows I like climbing high mountains which is why the Alpes and Pyrenees regions are my favorite. I do also like Provence simply because it is one of the most charming places in France.
What is the hardest col you have rode up?
High mountains are my specialty so I can’t narrow my choice to one, however my top five are: Galibier, Ventoux, Izoard, Tourmalet, and Bonnette Restefond. Italy also has some great climbs like Mortirolo, Marmolada, Zoncolan and Stelvi.
What is your greatest tour memory?
I love all the memories I have made since becoming a guide. It is difficult to say, but I like seeing riders from different countries come together and push their limits. The travelers become friends sharing laughs and the struggle.
What kind of bike do you own?
I ride a BMC SLR Team Machine (Swiss brand).
What should travelers remember to pack?
- Clothing to suit any weather (If you are climbing the big cols, the summits have winter conditions even in the summer)
As mentioned before, Michel greatly enjoys climbing. He specializes in long distance rides and high mountain passes. He knows every switchback of the famous cols in the Alpes and Pyrenees because he rides those 20-30 times every summer. I challenge you to stay on his wheel up Tourmalet or Mont Ventoux. You will definitely have a great ride with Michel guiding you!