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Raid Pyrenian Unsupported

cookiemonstercookiemonster Posts: 668
Hi

I'm thinking of giving the Raid Pyrenian a go in September. The tour companies, like Marmot, are all booked up, so it would be unsupported, which is fine.

My question is whether I would need to book accomodation in advance, or can I count on finding somewhere to stay in each town if I just turn up (tired and hungry...)

Any views?

jon

Posts

  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    looks sick, who's in? would be good to do sometime when a) the cols aren't closed by snow, but b) it's not 37C. September? Could be cold but one would be fit from the summer of cycling. May? Tourmalet can still be closed. Who's fit in May?
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • PostieJohnPostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    That looks fantastic, I'd love to:-

    a) Do that

    &

    b) be fit enough to do that.

    Although it's the least of your worries with that amount of climbing. But surely May is likely to be into a head wind while Sept gives you some assistance?
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,859
    I helped organise a Raid Pyreneen Touristique with a group of friends ten years ago and we pre-booked all the accomodation. Mainly because in some places where we stopped there was only one hotel and we wanted to ensure that all ten of us had a bed for the night. In most places we stayed (and from memory they were St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Laruns, St Marie de Campan, Fos, Aulus-les-Bains, Ax-les-Thermes, Prades and Collioure) we would have gotten away with finding a hotel on arrival.

    I think it depends a lot on where you plan to stop each night, i.e. are you going to set out with a view to seeing how far you get or will you pick a town to stop at and aim for that? If you're doing the official Raid Pyreneen then you've 100 hours to complete it in which basically gives you 4.5 days to complete the ride in. Assuming you're going east to west then you're probably going to have to do a 100 mile first day, an 80 mile second day (which'll include the Aubisque and the Tourmalet), a 100 mile third day, a 100 mile fourth day and a 50 mile half day at the end. That's a lot of riding in the mountains and the last thing you'll want to do is have to spend half an hour finding a hotel at the end of the day so it may be worth working out which towns you might stay in, find a phone number for the Tourist Information Office in each of them then call ahead when you're an hour or so away to ensure you get a room.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    andyp wrote:
    I helped organise a Raid Pyreneen Touristique with a group of friends ten years ago.........
    The list of names of the places we stayed in is vaguely bringing back a few memories Andy. Was Ax-les-Thermes where we had frogs legs for dinner?

    For the life of me I can't understand why the Touristique version of the Raid Pyrenean isn't far more popular than the Randonnee version - far more time to enjoy far more cols and see far more of the Pyrenees - what's not to like? Always seems a bit of a waste of a long journey to go all that way and hurtle through the Pyrenees and along the valleys to finish the thing in 100 hours to me.

    Ruth
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,859
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    The list of names of the places we stayed in is vaguely bringing back a few memories Andy. Was Ax-les-Thermes where we had frogs legs for dinner?

    For the life of me I can't understand why the Touristique version of the Raid Pyrenean isn't far more popular than the Randonnee version - far more time to enjoy far more cols and see far more of the Pyrenees - what's not to like? Always seems a bit of a waste of a long journey to go all that way and hurtle through the Pyrenees and along the valleys to finish the thing in 100 hours to me.

    Ruth

    I think the frogs legs were in Aulus-les-Bains. It was the same place as the charcuterie 'tree' which the waiting staff had to whisk away before we cut it back to bare wood. :wink:

    The Touristique version is much better than the Randonnee version, far more cols and much less time spent chainganging along valley roads to the next col.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Ah yes, I recall that charcuterie tree too.........
    andyp wrote:
    The Touristique version is much better than the Randonnee version, far more cols and much less time spent chainganging along valley roads to the next col.
    So why does nobody do the Touristique version and everyone do the inferior Randonnee version then? Surely there would be just as great demand for the Touristique version if some of these companies (Marmot, Pyractif etc) were promoting it? I really don't get it - surely if you go all that way you might as well spend longer there, seeing far more of the Pyrenees and making a far better holiday of it?

    Ruth
  • PretrePretre Posts: 355
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    So why does nobody do the Touristique version and everyone do the inferior Randonnee version then? Surely there would be just as great demand for the Touristique version if some of these companies (Marmot, Pyractif etc) were promoting it? I really don't get it - surely if you go all that way you might as well spend longer there, seeing far more of the Pyrenees and making a far better holiday of it?

    Ruth

    Pyractif do 3 different versions - normal, "pro-strength" & Raid

    http://www.pyractif.com/cycling-packages/road-coast-to-coast.html]
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Pretre wrote:
    Pyractif do 3 different versions - normal, "pro-strength" & Raid

    http://www.pyractif.com/cycling-packages/road-coast-to-coast.html]
    Thanks for that Pretre. I guess my point is that the Raid Pyrenean Randonnee has become known as the 'official' challenge across the Pyrenees whereas its big sister, the Raid Pyrenean Touristique, validated by the same club in Pau (I believe) never gets a mention, and isn't mentioned by Pyractif either. There's obviously nothing to stop anybody making up their own route, as Pyractif clearly have done.

    Ruth
  • PretrePretre Posts: 355
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    Thanks for that Pretre. I guess my point is that the Raid Pyrenean Randonnee has become known as the 'official' challenge across the Pyrenees whereas its big sister, the Raid Pyrenean Touristique, validated by the same club in Pau (I believe) never gets a mention, and isn't mentioned by Pyractif either. There's obviously nothing to stop anybody making up their own route, as Pyractif clearly have done.

    Ruth[/quote]

    Thanks - I wasn't aware there was an "official" Touristique version, which was of course your point..
  • I didn't know there was an alternative to the more well known 100 hours route. Google turns up scant information about it. Thanks for the information Ruth.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,859
    I've done both the Randonnee and Touristique versions of the Raid Pyreneen. I think Ruth has too?

    I had a look for my brevet card from the Touristique it but couldn't find it. From memory the route we took was based on the list of places where we stayed posted above. I think you had ten days to complete the Raid in but we did it in 8. It was tough but not unmanageable.

    I think our first day's route, from Hendaye to St Jean, is identical to the Randonnee version but day 2 is much tougher, going over the Col Bargagui and the Col de Burdinkurutcheta and the Marie Blanque as the last one of the day. You then do the Aubisque, Soulor, another little one after that which I forget, then the Tourmalet (that was our day 3). Then it's the Aspin and Peyresourde followed by the Portillon, the Mende, the Portet d'Aspet, the Col de la Core, the Col de la Trappe, the Agnes and the Port de Lers, the Pailheres and then some messing around on the final day where the organisers send you up every tiny little hill between Prades and Coulliore.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    I didn't know there was an alternative to the more well known 100 hours route. Google turns up scant information about it. Thanks for the information Ruth.
    Try here: http://www.ccb-cyclo.fr/4.html

    Admittedly it's not easy to find even when you know what you're looking for, but if you scroll down on that page you'll see the 'spec' of each version side by side.

    IIRC Andy sent off for the brevet cards for all of our group, we got them stamped at all the required places as we went and then sent them away for validation afterwards. Don't recall whether we bothered with the medals though.

    Ruth
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    andyp wrote:
    I've done both the Randonnee and Touristique versions of the Raid Pyreneen. I think Ruth has too?
    No, I've not done the Randonnee version. Tony did it in 2002 as training for the all-the-mountain-stages-of-the-tour trip but I'm not sure I was even planning to come with you at that point.
    I had a look for my brevet card from the Touristique it but couldn't find it. From memory the route we took was based on the list of places where we stayed posted above. I think you had ten days to complete the Raid in but we did it in 8. It was tough but not unmanageable.
    Couldn't have been that tough - don't forget that 13-year-old Marianne did it with us! Wasn't there some debate about whether they would validate her brevet card as she was so young?
    I think our first day's route, from Hendaye to St Jean, is identical to the Randonnee version but day 2 is much tougher, going over the Col Bargagui and the Col de Burdinkurutcheta..........
    I'd erased those two from my memory as unpleasant experiences. Wasn't one of them incredibly steep so that we renamed it the Col de Buggery?
    ..........and the Marie Blanque as the last one of the day. You then do the Aubisque, Soulor, another little one after that which I forget, then the Tourmalet (that was our day 3). Then it's the Aspin and Peyresourde followed by the Portillon, the Mende, the Portet d'Aspet, the Col de la Core, the Col de la Trappe, the Agnes and the Port de Lers, the Pailheres and then some messing around on the final day where the organisers send you up every tiny little hill between Prades and Coulliore.
    Yeah, what he said............. I'm damned if I can remember all those cols........... :oops:

    Ruth
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