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Raid Pyrenean

Mendip rouleurMendip rouleur Posts: 163
I have signed up to do this with Marmot Tours in September.

Has anyone ever done it, and if so, can you give me some advice please- stick to the helpful variety please.

Anyone else signed up for it? What is your calendar/training/prep etc looking like?

I have entered a variety of sportives, to act as markers really, and am loosley following the "Time crunched cyclist" as a training model.
“I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.”

http://mendiprouleur.blogspot.com/

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  • FloodcpFloodcp Posts: 190
    Hi

    I did the raid with Marmot Tours last June. it was brilliant. You should enjoy it very much. The organisers, James and Cathy are great and do their best to make life as easy for you as possible excluding actually riding the route for you :D

    My advice would be to do a few long rides to ensure you have the endurance to complete the approx 100mile per day. Also get a few hills in if you can. There isnt much in the UK that would compare to the tourmalet.

    I hadnt done as much riding as I planned before the event and coped just fine.
    Most important is that you enjoy the ride.
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    I have signed up to do this with Marmot Tours in September.

    Has anyone ever done it, and if so, can you give me some advice please- stick to the helpful variety please.

    Anyone else signed up for it? What is your calendar/training/prep etc looking like?

    I have entered a variety of sportives, to act as markers really, and am loosley following the "Time crunched cyclist" as a training model.

    We did it unsupported in August/Sept last year. Brilliant ride, quite possibly the best time I've ever had on a bike. I wrote a fairly windy report of my trip here:

    http://sites.google.com/site/markdrayto ... enean-2009

    I'm not sure how much specific training you'll need -- just get the miles in so you're comfortable being on the bike for 8 or 9 hours and ride at a sustainable pace. Don't worry about trying to get lots of hills in. Stomping up short hills in the UK is quite unlike long, sustained Alpine/Pyrenean climbs. If you try to ride the Pyrenees like you might a 4 minute climb here you'll quickly be in trouble!

    It's quite tempting to really smash the first day as it's relatively flat. This might come back to get you. The first half of the route is better than the second -- the western Pyrenees are classic mountain cycling, with narrow roads and craggy views, while the eastern Pyrenees are more scrubby and rounded and the winds are stronger.

    It looks like you'll be staying in Hotel Campanile in Hendaye, the start town. The breakfast spread there is *awesome*. Don't be shy!

    If anyone else is considering doing it unsupported, go for it. It's completely manageable. The route is well-described (and often the only route you can take!), booking accommodation is easy and train travel there and back removes faffing with boxes and returning from the same airport. This year we're doing the Raid Alpine in the same way.

    Last tip: coke. Coke is king. Nothing like a cold coke to propel you up a mountain. But be prepared to pay through the nose: €5 for two cans on the slopes of the Tourmalet.
  • I did the Raid in 2005 with Baxters.

    I will be happy to answer any questions.

    As already mentioned it is an unforgettable experience.I trained hard with long rides for 9 months and arrived at the start in Hendaye in tip top shape.

    There is no getting away from the fact that it is hard but I got m fitness to a level where I really enjoyed it in the most part.

    Make the most of days 2&3,they are by far the best.
    Quite a few main roads on day 1 and after the Col De Port on day 4 your back on main roads again.

    We did the extra Col De Marie Blanque at the start of Day 2,was not sure at the time whether it was a good idea but so glad we did it looking back.

    Your guides should give you the option of doing it.

    Your in for a treat and im very jealous!!
    Riding wise ive been Making Mediocre cool since 2003.

    HIGHLIGHT..Raid Pyrenean 2005!!!

    LOWLIGHT..To many to mention!!!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I have signed up to do this with Marmot Tours in September.

    Has anyone ever done it, and if so, can you give me some advice please- stick to the helpful variety please.

    Anyone else signed up for it? What is your calendar/training/prep etc looking like?

    I have entered a variety of sportives, to act as markers really, and am loosley following the "Time crunched cyclist" as a training model.

    This is exactly what you are looking for:-

    http://www.sportivecentral.com/index.ph ... 313&page=3

    Enjoy!
  • I did the ride a few years ago with Baxters - absolutely fantastic. the best ride of my lfe (so far!)

    i was kind of moderately well trained for it, I did quite a lot of 100 mile rides including some back to back 100s - so doing a century and getting up the next day and doing another. i think this was really useful as it prepares you for a few unanticipated challenges like saddle sore. also gets your legs used to starting again. the Tour of Wessex was a great training ride in this way (although we probably shouldnt have gone out drinking between days one and two...)

    everyone tends to focus on the uphills and trains for these. of course this is the main challenge but dont forget you can plod up these and still arrive on time. but dont forget a) the fantastic awesome downhillls (day 4 there is one that goes for something like 28km) and b) that on the flat if you get in a group you can cover a lot of ground quickly.

    so get out there, find the longest hill you can and...

    enjoy
  • As captain cavs says it is a good idea to try a few back to back rides in training.

    I based my training around time in the saddle rather than speed,although that came on as well.

    I did my club run on a sunday which was 80-100 miles.

    I also did a 55mile hilly loop every tuesday and thursday WITHOUT FAIL!

    This got my legs used to regular longish rides which held me in good stead because as already mentioned you dont have to crack on if you dont want to.
    You have plenty of time each day to get from A-B.

    I did it with 4 clubmates and we treated it as a holiday having 2 quickish coffee stops and a good lunch stop each day.

    Its a lot more hardcore than the Raid Alpine but you can make it an enjoyable experience by putting in the proper training.

    One guy on our tour asked us on the way there how many training miles we had done,so we told him.
    He said he had done 4 1/2,we naturally assumed he meant thousand,he actually meant hundred.....needless to say he abandoned on day 1 and spent the rest of the holiday on the bus with a bad knee...what a numbtee
    Riding wise ive been Making Mediocre cool since 2003.

    HIGHLIGHT..Raid Pyrenean 2005!!!

    LOWLIGHT..To many to mention!!!
  • and pace yourself. we were amazed that on the first day we were first to the hotel. we knew we were nowhere near the fittest so what happened? well when we were rushing on and munching power bars they were eating chicken and chips in a lovely french cafe... needelss to say on days 2-4 we did the same!
  • Yeah he is right...

    You want to finish it and feel like you savored it and took in your surroundings rather than just be head down pressing on.

    Its all over before you know it so take your time and take it all in!!!!
    Riding wise ive been Making Mediocre cool since 2003.

    HIGHLIGHT..Raid Pyrenean 2005!!!

    LOWLIGHT..To many to mention!!!
  • Oh yeah the hotels...

    Not sure if Marmot use the same ones as baxters,probably do...

    Hotel Camponile is fine.Eat LOADS!!!
    Our hotel in Oloron was great..lovely food,air con and a pool.
    Hotel 2 cols is basically a hostel,not many home comforts there but loads of character.
    Food in the hotel in Massat was fantastic.
    Prades was fine as well,,,worth a look round there in the evening,nice little squares to have a beer.
    Riding wise ive been Making Mediocre cool since 2003.

    HIGHLIGHT..Raid Pyrenean 2005!!!

    LOWLIGHT..To many to mention!!!
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