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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Conquer the Pyrenees

Chateau de Pitray
Chateau de Pitray

The Pyrenees 1000
Trip cost:  $4500 Dollars.
Dates:  Aug 27 to Sept 11.
  • Cols of the Pyrenees Ride:
  • Puerto Otxondo - 602 m
  • Puerto de Artesiaga - 996 m
  • Collado de Urkiaga - 890 m
  • Col d’Iraty - 1135 m
  • Col Bagargui - 1327 m
  • Col de Suscousse - 1216 m
  • Col de Soudet - 1540 m
  • Col de Marie Blanque - 1035 m
  • Col d’Aubisque - 1709 m
  • Col de Soulor - 1474 m
  • Col du Tourmalet - 2115 m
  • Col d’Aspin - 1489 m
  • Col d’Azet - 1737 m
  • Col de Peyresourde - 1569 m
  • Col du Portillon - 1320 m
  • Col de Mente - 1349 m
  • Col Portet d’Aspet -1069 m
  • Col de Catchaudegue - 893 m
  • Col Latrape - 1520 m
  • Col d’Agnes - 1570 m
  • Port de Liers - 1517 m
  • Pas de Souloumbrie - 911 m
  • Col de Mamare - 1361 m
  • Col de Chioula - 1431 m
  • Port de Pailheres - 2001 m
  • Col de Palomere - 1036 m
Pyrenees challenge overview

Ride Across the French Pyrenees - Coast to Coast - and Back !

1000 miles, 100'000 ft climbing, 12 days riding + 2 rest days.

August 27th to September 11th - 2019.  Contact me about signing up

This Pyrenees Cycling adventure is born from the culmination of my riding experience in the Pyrenees mountains. In my opinion if you want to conquer the Pyrenees on a bike there is only one way: the   France  From  Inside   cycling trip across the Pyrenees - coast to coast - Atlantic to Mediterranean - and back. When you complete this bike trip then you will feel fulfilled and you will be blown away.

Ride Across the Pyrenees Cycling challenge

Scott makes friends at the summit of the Col d'Azet.

Every sport has an event or competition that stands as its historic and defining challenge. I think most would agree that for the sport of cycling the “Tour de France” is that event, and that within the “Tour de France” the Pyrenees Mountains are arguably the portion of the race that is the most difficult and legendary (some would argue that the Alps are also as difficult, but humour me). Unfortunately, you and I will never compete in the “Tour de France,” but we can as amateur cyclists ride our bikes in the Pyrenees and experience the history, legends and challenges that they offer.

Ride Across the Pyrenees cycling and bike challenge

Top of the Tourmalet. Taking a moment to catch your breath. That says it all.

I have ridden many times in the Pyrenees - I vacation in France every year to visit family - sometimes for only a day and at other times for multiple consecutive days, but it wasn't until the year 2006 that I put together a trip that would challenge me to bike across the Pyrenees from coast to coast ( Atlantic to the Mediterranean ) and back (I've been doing this trip every year since 2006). I used my experience from previous bike tours in the Pyrenees to create a course that would take me over the most famous climbs, and then I divided the route into 12 sections. The result was 8 days to cross the Pyrenees mountains from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and 4 days to come back to the starting point at Biarritz - Atlantic; the return leg travels through rolling foothills of the mountains (in 2011 the loop was reversed from counter clockwise to clockwise). 12 days of some of the most beautiful and challenging riding you could ever imagine, in a country that I consider a fairytale playground for cyclists. The trip has now been perfected to include 2 rest days, creating a riding routine of: 4 days riding - 1 rest - 4 ride - 1 rest - 4 ride. Again, in 2011 the route was direction was changed from counter clockwise to clockwise.

Ride Across the Pyrenees Cycling Trip

The climb up the Porte de Pailheres, east side.

Here then are the numbers - the riding stats:

  • Total round trip mileage, approximately 1000 miles, total elevation climbed 100,000 feet.
  • Total mileage to traverse the Pyrenees in 8 days, over the big passes and in the high mountains, 596 miles, and total elevation climbed 67,025 feet. The average day of riding in the mountains was 74.5 miles with 8491 feet of climbing, with the hardest day at 90 miles and 12,221 feet…5 passes in one day! Average ride time per day 5.5 hours.
  • Total mileage to traverse in 4 days, through rolling hills terrain in the foothills of the Pyrenees, 418 miles, and total elevation climbed 24,963 feet. On the return leg average was 104.5 miles and 6,241 feet of climbing a day. Average ride time per day 6.5 hours.

Not bad! However, these numbers, as impressive as they may seem, do not provide the details of how hard, satisfying and magnificent the riding actually is. For that you have to go over there and do it yourself.

Amazing stat!! If you come on this trip and do the entire ride you will have not ridden in a vehicle for 2 weeks, and yet you will have covered 1000 miles. Personally I think that is incredible and very cool. Talk about "unplugging" from reality.

Ride Across the Pyrenees cycling challenge

Gordon, somewhere on a typical Pyrenees back-road.

" I've never worked so hard in my life,  or smiled so much, especially during the 25 mile downhill. After each day, I kept thinking that the next day's ride couldn't possible be as fun as the ride just completed, but it always was, for 12 days straight."   Gordon Cavanaugh (completed the trip in 2006 and 2010).

Pyrenees cycling adventure and challenge

When the trip went in a counter clockwise direction, this is the moment of our first glimpse of the Mediterranean sea.