France From Inside Cycling and Wine Tours France

Cycling, Wine and Cultural Tours in the Dordogne, Pyrenees and Southwest of France.

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Chateau de Pitray
Chateau de Pitray

Without a doubt, this was the cycling trip of a lifetime. The route took us over some of the most challenging and spectacular terrain I've ever encountered. Being an avid cyclist, to have ridden climbs such as the Tourmalet, Aubisque, Marie-Blanque, Peyresourde, and Pailheres is an accomplishment I will brag about for years to come

Rose Hewig, attended in 2009.

 

Not to be believed! When this trip was first planned I thought to myself, are you crazy? 12 days of riding, 7000-8000 feet per day of climbing? The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it, and so I did. What an amazing trip. As I have said to everyone, it was everything I expected and much, much more.

Jeff Dux, attended in 2006 and 2010..

Two white horses appear out of the fog ... but I don't see any knights in shinning armor ... it's just a Twilight Zone moment somewhere in the Pyrenees.

Cool fence post ... and the scenery behind is also nice.

This is in the lower foothills, and you can see the higher mountains in the background. Obviously you don't have long climbs in the foothills, but you will have short and stiff pitched climbs all day long. Watch out for cows. And don't be fooled by Rebecca, there is no need for a Camelback.

Somehow that palm tree at the end of the road distorts the location. I look at this picture and think of the tropics, with the rain forest mountains, and the sugar plantation along the road. All it takes is one palm tree to throw everything out of whack.

At the top of the Col du Tourmalet there is a cafe, and this is it, with photos dating back to the early days of the Tour de France. Remember that the riders called the race organizers assassins when they first included the Tourmalet.

The sag-wagon always at the ready. Without it you shall not pass.

Joe went out and bought a pair of yellow shoes to match the jersey. I think this is ... actually I don't know what climb this is. There are too many common characteristics in this photo that prevent me from pinpointing the location and day, such as sunny warm weather and perfectly paved roads.

The Col d'Aspin, east side, which is both the better side to climb and descend. You'll be climbing up this side, followed by the Tourmalet.

Like I said, be careful when descending.

My first year in the Pyrenees. Chris, in black, use to be a "bad ass rider," but he gave up on cycling ... maybe it had something to do with riding in the Pyrenees with the wrong gear ratios.

A nook and cranny typical of the small villages in the mountains.

It looks a little like a Renoir painting, but in focus.

Imagine if you had to ride your bike through the Pyrenees with saddle bags, that would suck. I put this trip together so that no participant would ever have to suffer in such a manner. No excuses, pedal to the floor all day long.