For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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I am going to France starting 4th July, I am travelling 10 days before my wife arrives and would like to do a week or so of riding in either the pyrenees or the alps. I can not find any tours that suit my timetable and was wondering if anyone knows how easy it is to catch up with other like minded riders and ride with them or how easy it is to organise by yourself.
You are there for the week of the La Marmotte sportif in the Alps, a huge event so book real soon.
I did a tour with these guys this year and it was sensational. For advice and accomodation do contact them, an English couple so easy. They are great value and could possibly link you up with what is happening that week and help with accom.
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Thanks for reply, your not joking about accomadation, is already just about booked up, so I have had a change of plan. I am going to ride the alps for 6 or so days starting around 20th July and then three days in Pyrenees, looking forwrd to Ventoux. If I cant find a tour group will ride by myself but saying that I have read there are hundreds riding around that time so I am sure will meet someone. My wife coming earlier now to fit in schedule, oh well theres an extra $200 for change of flights lol
The drive from say Bourg dÂ´Oisans (Alpes) to Bedoin for Ventoux is about 4 hours...Bedoin to say Pau (Pyrenees) is a further 600km... some days you can double those times depending on traffic,especially heading to the South.I might be skipping the Pyrenees personally as you would lose too much riding time traveling .
Be aware that taking your bike on a TGV is only possible a lot of the time if it is in a compact bike bag...I here of many cyclists who get turned away at train stations.
Thanks for the info toolonglegs, its really hard deciding what to do without the info that you just gave. i suppose you are right about the riding time. i have just downloaded 30 bicycle touring routes from Oisans tourism,(great info) and so perhaps i will stay there and get in more riding. I have ordered a cycling France book to see if that helps me decide.
Bourg d'oisans is the best place to base your self....you can do galibier (non telegraph side ) / alpe d'huez / deuz alpes / col de glandon & croix fer with bourg d'oisans as starting point....there are also some little known cols around the that are amazing. Then a short drive and you can do izoard / madeline / seistriere with its associated climbs for a quick trip into Italy but starting in France. Then a day or so doing ventoux.
All depends how strong you are...doing big climbs everyday is great but you need to be pretty fit.
Thanks again toolonglegs,your advice has been very helpful. Are you close to the Bourg d' Osains? I am going to get serious now and see about availability of accomodation and booking lol. I want to get fit to do this but the difficulty here in Perth is that it is very flat so plenty of hill repeats for me. I am currently doing about 250k a week mixed in with a bit of racing so am coming of a reasonable base of fitness but it sounds like mountains are different story. Thanks again for your advice and I am sure I will be asking for more in the future
If you fancy the Pyrenees instead of the Alps I can recommend Pyractif. Run by a British couple out of a restored farmhouse in one of the Pyrennean valleys. You can stay there and do whatever you want - they do supported tours or you can just get bed and board and ride wherever you want during the day. I've done tours with them in two previous years and am going back in 2012.
Thanks Scirocco, I have emailed them also, their rides were all booked up but they are happy and willing to let me ride alone with their guidance, maps, luggage moving etc. and i must say at a very reasonable price. I have actually booked a chalet approx. 30 km from Mount Ventoux for a couple of days and have just bought a book "Cycling France" which has good sections on the Pyrenees.
Is it as busy in the Pyrenees regarding traffic? When are you going over?
I am not ruling anything out yet and this could fit the bill nicely.
thanks again for your help
One of the nicest things about the Pyrenees is the lack of traffic. Roads are naturally quiet and drivers are considerate. Scenery is kind of more rugged and remote than the Alps but not as "grand". Pyractif have a great location in the Barousse valley with climbs in nearly every direction, or you can just pootle around locally if you don't fancy the steep stuff. Lots of those little French villages where you see all the houses but no-one seems to be around and you wonder where everyone is. A nice ride to the ski town of Luchon with lots of cafes and shops. And of course there are the epic cols not that far away like the Tourmalet, Port de Bales etc.
Chris and Helen are great hosts. The house is just that, a house, not a hotel but it's clean and comfortable and well looked after, meals are excellent.
I'm booked with them next September so probably a bit later than you. Please PM me, though, if you need any information.
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