Ride the 7 Pyrenean Cols Picture 1
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Best Time of Year: April - October
Ride the 7 Pyrenean Cols
Grand Tour Cycling's Flagship Pyrenean Ride, this is 5 star - in every regard. This is going to be 2 of the biggest, most memorable, and most challenging days of riding that you may ever be blessed to experience. Taking in the true essence of the Tour de France, this ride visits most of the battlefields of the big ride, as well as the famous villages and towns in between. Pacing yourself on day 1 is crucial, as the big guns only roll out on day 2 - when we ride the daddy of the Pyrenean Cols - the unmistakeable Tourmalet!
Arriving into Pau on day 1, we shall get ourselves together, and prepare our bikes. Our hotel is in Bagneres de Bigorre, where we shall head out for a spot of dinner, and a pre-ride briefing. Then it's out towards the mountains, as we head around the lower foothills bound for St Beat - where things get going. We ride the Col de Mente, and the Port de Bales, before the first really big name - our last climb of the day - the beautiful Peyresourde. From our overnight in Loudenvielle, we shall scale the Aspin as our morning warm up, before we really get cracking - with the highlight of the ride - the mighty Tourmalet. From here we just have the Soulors and Aubisque, before our final spin down the valley to reach our final overnight hotel... good times... good riding...
Day 1 Arrival and Bike Prep..
Arrive into Pau - transfers will be available subject to arrival time (transfers available according to most common arrival time). Transfer to Bagneres de Bigorre. Time to prep. bikes at the hotel. Then there will be time for a pre-ride briefing with your leader and support driver, before heading out for dinner. (If you arrive early there will be time for a short leg warmer ride in the afternoon.
Day 2 Bagneres de Bigorre to Loudenvielle, approx. 141km, approx 3100m ascent
Our ride begins gently, with us skirting the mountains, the road rises and falls on a manageable scale, an entree for the main course that lies ahead. We have a fair distance to reach the Garonne Valley, and a pleasant ride down the valley to St Beat. Here the challenge begins in earnest with the ascent of the Col de Mente (1340m). We shall double back on ourselves, before crossing the valley once again to make the more imposing climb up to the Porte de Bales (1900m). From here we descend again, into Cazeaux before the final climb up the Peyresourde. Tired legs will enjoy the final descent of the smooth tarmac down to Loudenvielle for some rest and good food.
Day 3 Loudenvielle > Bielle via Col du Tourmalet, apx 148km
So this is the big one! Let's hope you've saved something from yesterdays amazing epic ride. Once again we have a warm up - riding down the Louron Valley, before we begin the early ascent of the Col D'Aspin - at just 1490m this is really only an opener for today, but certainly enough to get us loosened up. After our coffee stop, in the perfectly located village of St Marie de Campan, we get our chance at the big one. Climbing to almost 7000 feet - the Tourmalet is tough work - and a real insight into the professional riders and just how incredible they are - try timing your climb - and see how you compare! Carefully down the otherside, we roll into Luz St Sauveur, for a well earned lunch break, and then its time to gather your energy for one last push - up and over the double dip col of Soulor and Aubisque. With these mighty 7 cols under your belt, you can certainly call yourself a Pyrenean Veteran, and never again will you look at the Tour de France through the same eyes. Our final overnight in Bielle, where we deserve a celebration. Whether we have the energy is a different matter!
Day 4 Return to UK
An easy relaxed day - with just enough time for breakfast, to pack the bikes, and to catch the transfer to the airport. Your legs will be your souvenir, sore, and a wee bit tight, but when you get home, those local hills will be a piece of cake!
3 nights comfortable and clean b&b style hotels. We shall be using twin or triple rooms through the trip. Single rooms may be available on request (please note, a single supplemantary fee will be required).
What is a Level 4.5 Cycling Challenge Like?
You are now moving into the realms of serious cycling challenges. Cycling days will be up to 12 hours, or slightly less if the event stretches over several days. You should have very good cycling fitness, with good leg strength, and you should be used to putting in regular training rides most weekends - with some good long rides. Most folks will consider these rides very long, and very challenging. Expect a mixture of length and climbing.
How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 4.5 ‘Bike Ride’?
To participate in these events you need to be in good cycling fitness. You probably are capable of riding at high speeds for up to 3 hours, around 24 - 26 kmph. And you should be used to riding long distances and over hilly terrain. If you do not cycle regularly you must be of very high fitness level - and should think about converting as soon as possible and getting on to a bike - you will need to develop your specific strength and cycling technique. Do not come on these challenges without having spent plenty of time in the saddle. Training rides should be up to 70 or 80 miles, and you should have done a few like this.
Please note, it is extremely important for this physical challenge that you are in good health. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consider carefully whether you should be joining the challenge. Please ensure you fill in the booking form accurately and honestly, this is important. In the case of serious conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, recent illness or operations), please discuss the challenge with your GP. Please also ensure you notify us of any allergies or similar.
It requires stamina and good aerobic fitness - but good willpower will also come in handy! Failure to disclose medical conditions is a serious omission - that could have serious repercussions on any of our challenges.
Included In Trip
Experienced Cycle Leader(s), Full Vehicle Support and Driver/Mechanic, Baggage Transfer, Challenge Pack, Hotel accommodation (3 nights) inc Breakfast, Pre Event Cycle Event Hotline, Short Taxi transfer at start and end of event.
Excluded From Trip
Flights to and from start and end of the ride, lunches and evening meals, personal travel insurance.
Road Bike / Hybrid Bike (with puncture resistant tyres) - please call us for guidance on type of bike on a trip by trip basis
2 X Water Bottles (bladder system/cycle water bottles)
Cycling Gloves, Bike Lock, Neck Scarf, Inner Tubes*, Multi-Tool (with allen keys)*
Day Bag for support vehicle, Small Holdall (for overnight gear)
Bike Lights (front and rear, head torch can be worn)
Saddle Bag (recommended - can be used to carry asterisk* items)
Puncture Repair Kit*, Spare parts for your bike (specialist parts and spokes), Pump (suitable for your valve type)
Personal Medikit Suncream, Plasters, Vaseline, Painkillers, Sunbloc, Insect Repellant
Warm Clothing Medium Weight Softshell, Long sleeve Jersey / insulating layer Lightweight Gloves.
Cycle / Overnight Clothing
Lycra Cycling Shorts, Cotton Shorts, Long Cycling Trousers (Tights/Tracksuit Bottoms)
Cotton T-Shirts for evening
Short Sleeve Cycling T-Shirts (wicking type material) or Cycle Top with rear pockets
Cycling Shoes (approach shoes suitable), Sandals / Spare Shoes for after ride
Casual Evening Wear
1 Outer Fully Waterproof Jacket (gore-tex, e-vent) - comfortable to cycle in
Travel Documents, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Credit Cards, Cash, Local Currency, Mobile Phone, Sunglasses
Snacks for Cycling Days (dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars etc)
Travel insurance (not included), Passport
Make sure you do not ‘over pack’ - bring only what is essential for the trip
A final kit list will be provided in your ‘Final Joining Instructions’ pre-departure
By nature all activities contain an element of risk.Your leader will be first aid qualified and will carry the appropriate safety kit for the activity, such as first aid kits, our on hand support vehicle, and from time to time mobile radios. Safety equipment carried will be appropriate to trip. The leader's primary role is to ensure your safety, but it is your responsibility to listen to their guidance and instructions. You will be issued with detailed safety guidance for riding safely. It is our primary focus to ensure you arrive safely at your journey's end without any crashes or accidents!
Mild warm and sunny weather. Be prepared for hot and sunny conditions - so be prepared to protect against the sun. Equally however, we could get unlucky! So pack rain jackets and warmer clothes too! Just in case!
Notes on Cycling Events
This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss!
Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.
Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions
- For all types of event