What a journey! 3 Westies (JD, Duncan and me), 1 Carnethy (Andy) and a friend of mine (Graeme) are just back from 9 amazing days cycling in the French Pyrenees.

 

The aim had been to cycle from the Atlantic to the Med over all the high passes we could find. This didn’t quite happen because of a French tradition. A tradition more established than croissants for breakfast, wine for lunch and fine cheese with everything. Yes, a strike!

 

We arrived at Toulouse train station at 8am surprised how quiet it was, and soon discovered that we would not be getting a train to the Atlantic. We settled for a bus to Pau which, albeit slowly, delivered us to the foot of the big mountains.  This meant rather than a 40 mile gentle climb from the sea we hit the big climbs immediately – a perfectly acceptible alternative.

 

Having mapped out our route the stats read 900km of cycling, 22,400m of ascent, 2 hors catagorie climbs, 12 category 1 climbs, and 21 other categorised climbs with only 2 punctures. But stats are only numbers and don’t even begin to describe the stunning mountain scenery, pristine smooth tarmac, near perfect weather, the joy of steadily climbing a 2,000 meter col, and the thrill of descending the other side. So hopefully the selection of photos below help with that.

 

Route

 

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