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Cycling in the Pyrenees

 
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 9:02 am    Post subject: Cycling in the Pyrenees Reply with quote

Has anyone ever been cycling in that part of France?

I'm going for a two-week break in mid-August and will be based in Carcassonne but I can start from anywhere in a 100Km radius by getting the train (thank you SNCF for accepting cyclists as human beings, not cattle!).

Although I've been before, I've only once taken my bike with me and was wondering if anyone had any tips or particular towns I should stop in or mountains I simply must climb (apart from the Tourmalet, of course!)

Or do you all think I'm totally bonkers? Twisted Evil
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Cougie




Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1900
Location: NW

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry - not done the Pyrenees - just the Alps.

Try cycling.rec newsgroup, or just google 'Cycling in the Pyrenees' - u should get lots of stuff.

Have a great time, and make sure you have low gears !
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G




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robert...

Very jealous Evil or Very Mad

I've been cycling in Andorra, which was fantastic, it's on the Vuelta route frequently. It's a fun ride as you go through 3 countries Very Happy Start on the border in Spain, then cycle up a very long mountain till you reach France, then it's all down hill if you head back from where you came.

What about choosing a day off this years tour and having a crack at it Very Happy

It's going to be bloody hot though!

Cheers

G
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Spen




Joined: 04 Jul 2003
Posts: 65
Location: London/Kent

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just ride mate..who cares where you end up, being a cyclist in france and spain is great as people will welcome you, rather than here where they hoot at you even though they have a space to go around you that would fit a double decker bus...
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
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Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good - I did have a gander at a few sites that Goolge threw up for route ideas and I'm drooling already at the prospect of some real climbing. A couple of highlights are a Lourdes-Tourmalet-Luz Ardiden-Lourdes loop of about 100Km, as well as the Toulouse-Plateau de Bonascre stage of the Tour. Twisted Evil
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Cougie




Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1900
Location: NW

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds fun ! Watch out for thr heat though - try riding early morning if you can - and pack the low gears !
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the heat - I can climb harder and go faster on the flat. I used to cycle in the Tuscan Appenines on holiday in Italy when most of the locals were indoors cooling off! Needless to say, there was much muttering about the madman from London on his bicicletta! Luckily, the continent is very cyclist-friendly and their villages all have fountains that serve as well-needed water stops!

I'm planning to set off around 8am, stop off for breakfast, and arrive around 1ish for lunch. Should be able to cover around 120Km. Then I get transported home after spending the afternoon getting a well-earned rest!
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
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Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update now that I've made it back alive: tried to climb the local mountains (900m and 1210m) on my first day there but, as I discovered later, it was 44c in the shade and so humid I was sweating as if I were in a spin class. Tried to refuel with water (drank first two bidons in the first hour and the second was hot enough for a cuppa Evil or Very Mad ) but I lost too many E-lytes and wasn't carrying any Embarassed So I never even made it to the second climb and cut short to head home after a 60Km loop. I twice did part (the hard part) of the Narbonne-Toulouse stage but again cut short at 60Kms - this time I thought my tyres were going to blow up in the heat and I had to push the pedals downhill as they were sticking to the tarmac Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Hills are no fun if you can't freewheel on the other side! Wink

I only managed 5 rides in all but my last one was a humdinger - the highest peak for about 200Kms around. Only 1210m to the top but it was 15Kms of constant climbing and, I'm ashamed to admit, I even dropped to single figures on the speedo....which is set to Kph! Embarassed Embarassed

I'd recommend it, though - but not in the middle of the hottest August France has ever seen! Twisted Evil
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8161
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert wrote:
I love the heat - I can climb harder and go faster on the flat.


Robert wrote:
I'd recommend it, though - but not in the middle of the hottest August France has ever seen!
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Cougie




Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1900
Location: NW

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm glad it was not just me that suffered in the heat !
And I did blow a tyre with the heat of braking !

Well done on surviving !
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2003 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed I loved the heat but I'm rather fond of oxygen, which was in short supply on the Continent Evil or Very Mad

Still, I'm aiming to go again at the end of July next year (after the Tour) so hopefully won't be as stifling.

Glad I wasn't in Paris, though - over 3000 dead when I last heard Confused
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone fancy going there now? I've heard it's started snowing already! Twisted Evil Good for downhill MTB, I suppose, as long as you don't brake too hard and skid over the edge (Italian-job style!)

Amazing how one place can be both one of the hottest and coldest in Europe within six months....
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