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Pyrenees Riding..Where to start?

madracermadracer Posts: 23
edited October 2011 in Road beginners
I hope to go to the Pyrenees for a couple of days in November, weather permitting. I have a house near Bordeaux so will be taking bike by car to the area south of Pau. I know there are the Tour climbs but I'd like to start on something a bit easier before I take on the big ones...Any ideas?


  • November might be a bit late for the big climbs: it was 1 degC and trying to snow on top of the Tourmalet in mid-September...

    I stayed at Argeles, nr Lourdes, and to be honest from there it was pretty difficult to do a circuit ride that wasn't over something big. Out-and-back was the only way to avoid the big stuff.

    Sorry not very helpful that...
  • ratsbeyfusratsbeyfus Posts: 2,841
    Luchon is a good base with lots of tour climbs nearby - Superbagneres, Col du Portillon, Port du bales and Col du Peyresourd all reachable from there. Col du portillon is the shortest of the climbs, but I've no idea what the weather would be like at this time of year or even whether the summits are open. Good luck with your rides.

    I had one of them red bikes but I don't any more. Sad face.

  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Ive ridden in the eastern Pyrenees and there are some gorgeous small climbs such as the col de seraille starting in Massat.
  • Thanks for the tips, I'll be back with a route weather permitting
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    If you want to avoid the big hills there is some very nice riding in the foothills. We were based in Lourdes for the 2001 Etape and the day after went for a ride in the lanes between Lourdes and Bagneres-de-Bigorre. Very pleasant with quiet roads and good views of the mountains. Weather could be poor in November and the cols not so good.
    Just get a map so you can avoid the main roads.
  • I rode the pyrenees a couple of years back.

    We stayed in Pau, its about a 30km ride to the base of the solour which is a 'gentler' introduction, at the top you can hang a right and bag the aubisque - pray for clear skies, it was horribly foggy when I did it in July and I couldnt see 10m in front of me. You can then switch back and descend to the base of the tourmalet - the ascent where the tour finished a couple of years back when clenbutador winked at andy.

    Once you've done that have a bite to eat in La Mongie before descending back to Pau.

    The only problems have been mentioned before, november will probs be too late to bag any of the bigger cols - I know you said you'd like to avoid them but they arent that steep, just long so as long as you are stubborn you can get them.
  • Thats all really helpful thanks, Pau would be an easy place for me to get to and so start from there...fingers crossed for an Indian summer in the hills 8)
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