Today was one of those magical days in the Pyrénées – “Magnifique” as the French would say!
31° C in the valley (36° C in our courtyard – south facing), not a cloud in the sky and the mountain roads were deserted. 
So what should I do but go for a ride…  chores can wait - wow was this beautiful. I headed out to climb the Cirque de Troumouse, located off the road to Gavarnie (UNESCO World Heritage Site), it winds itself up a valley and then for the last 4kms it takes you up the side of a mountain (13% grades). The views are outstanding!

By Tim - 18/10/14

Last night we a had a night off, with the sun out, not a cloud in the sky, the Pyrenees in all their glory - it was “BBQ Time”…

We “fired up” the little camping BBQ that we recently purchased (12€) and made a “soirée” of fun and laughs…

Nothing like a BBQ to keep things simple!

Summer Fun at Our B&B In The Pyrenees – Sure made me smile!

By Tim - 03/09/14

The Tourmalet takes its toll…

The Etape du Tour took place yesterday (stage 18 of this years TDF), and once again it was the Col du Tournament that did the damage.

It started off cloudy in Pau, the pace was fast and I managed to stay with a large group until the base of the Tourmalet – this is where things changed… Rain started!
It started raining 3kms into the climb and didn’t stop until 3kms from the base of the climb – go figure…

By Tim - 21/07/14

Located 60 kms from our B&B in the Pyrénées, the Cirque de Troumouse is a must climb on your list once you’ve done all the major “Historical Cols” in our area. 
I road up there yesterday and remembered just how stunning this ride is – it’s a 15km ride (from the turn-off junction on the road to Gavarnie) with the last 8 kms winding up through the Pyrénées National Park. 

By Tim - 14/06/14

Today was the “Official opening of the Tourmalet” where the statue is driven up the mountain on the back of a truck, having spent the winter months down the valley.

It’s a huge “party atmosphere”, with more than a 1,000 cyclists of various levels partaking in this fun event. A live band escorts the statue up with the local villagers on the side of the road yelling encouragement (I think it was) – I did notice quite a few wine bottles as I rode past…

By Tim - 07/06/14

Well, the title says it all...
Nice to see her enjoying (somewhat) the bike again!

Di on her bike - always a great sight!

By Tim - 21/05/14

Today, as I rode up the Col du Couraduque I got chatting with a guy (it was a leisurely ride) who was staying in a local hotel but was looking for a B&B that catered for cyclists – funny, “I have a got a place for you” I said. 

I explained to him about the advantages of a B&B over a hotel and offered to take him for a ride to show him what’s around (the hotel had given him a GPS unit that he didn’t know how it worked)! 

By Tim - 15/05/14

The snow is retreating and some of the lower mountains are snow free so Di and her friends have been checking out the hiking trails.

After her back injury she's unable to do any of the steeper walks but she's finding plenty to keep her occupied and comes back every time with tails of her day. So far she hasn't got lost!

The high mountains are not quite accessible for now as they are still under a bit of snow but it's definitely not a bad time of year for a little gentle hiking in the Hautes Pyrenees. 

By Tim - 11/05/14

Today is a holiday in France (they have 3 of them this month so I wonder why I can’t get anything done…) so the club had a special ride to the Col de Marie-Blanque.

Sounded like fun so I went along only to find the entire top end racer riders were there – what a difference that makes from my usual club rides.

Needless to say I was schooled on how to climb a Col “French Style” (full gas from the bottom to the top) – I wasn’t the last up but it was impressive to see how the “young guns” can ride (I’m I getting old?).

By Tim - 08/05/14

Respect, Speed and BIG Cojones…

Run since 1896, this race certainly deserves it’s nickname ‘Hell Of The North”, it really was mental and physical attrition – and I loved it!

The weather was a typical northern France day; a cold early morning fog gave way to clear skies with a slight breeze.

Over 3000 riders took part and with many of the prime viewing places taken in anticipation for the pro race the following day, the ride had a magical atmosphere.

By Tim - 15/04/14