What are the arrival and departure points?
We will collect you at either Biarritz Airport or Biarritz Railway Station at the start of the ride, and deliver you to either Perpignan Airport or Perpignan Railway Station at the end of the ride.
How fit do I need to be?
You obviously need to be quite fit to undertake Pedal The Pyrenees. As a minimum you should be capable of riding 80km two or three times a week and one ride of 130km – 160km per week. You should also try and ride on successive days whenever possible to try and simulate multi-day riding. Don’t forget to factor in some climbing to your distances, so if you can you should be seeking out the hills!
What gear ratios do you recommend?
As a minimum you will need a compact front chain ring (50/34) and either a 30 or 32 tooth rear cassette.
Can I rent a bike?
Yes we have a small number of Specialized Allez Sport bikes available at a rental cost of £100.00 per week.
You will be responsible for the cost of any damage and repairs to the bike and for the cost of any spare parts required during the week.
Will I be cycling with riders of similar ability?
Hopefully, yes. Typically the group of riders will split naturally into 2 groups of equal ability. So you can expect to be riding in a group of 7 or 8 riders including 2 support riders in each group.
What will the weather be like?
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter! You will be riding in the high mountains so you should expect all kinds of weather and temperatures. Typically though at the end of September the temperature will be quite warm (25C is normal). Conversely the morning can be quite chilly and the high mountains can bring winter very quickly during any day.
What clothing should I bring?
You should bring suitable clothing for riding in all weather conditions – dry, wet, hot & cold. You should bring arm & leg warmers, waterproof jacket, overshoes, fingerless gloves, waterproof gloves.
For the evenings just suitable casual wear will suffice again accounting for both hot and cool conditions.
Is there a single room option?
No we do not offer a single room option. All of our riders will be sharing on a twin basis.
Is descending in The Pyrenees dangerous?
It is as dangerous as you choose to make it!
Climbing can be tough and the reward for your effort is the descent. However the descent could be lethal if you get it wrong. Going too fast is the most common mistake followed very closely by trying to brake whilst riding on the brake hoods.
Controlling your speed is essential at a rate you are comfortable with. Often the bends are blind and you will have no idea what is coming the other way. Also you may not know just how sharp the bend is, it could be 90 degrees or it could be a hairpin.
Riding on the drops of your handlebars will mean that you will find it easier to brake and to apply greater pressure on your brakes. Trying to brake from the hoods puts unnecessary strain on your hands, plus it is unlikely that you will get enough pressure to control your speed especially if it is wet.
Is climbing in The Pyrenees a bit like the Peak District but longer?
No! Climbing in the Pyrenees is a significant physical and mental challenge. The climbs are long 10km – 19km with a constant gradient averaging between 7% – 8%.
The climb of the Col du Tourmalet will take around 2 hours – to put that into perspective, if a football match kicked off as you started the climb then by the time you reached the top, the game would have finished and the players would be having a post-match shower!