Touring - Advice needed: Picos or Pyrenees
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Hello all, In June I'll be in studying in Spain and I'll have about 5 free days to ride either the Picos de Europa, or the part of Pyrenees. Any suggestions or ideas who can help me with route planning?
Ben in Sebastopol, CA
I have absolutely no experience riding in this area but the wiki page for Picos de Europa shows some stunning looking scenery.
A couple of my European colleagues have alerted me to a pilgrimage (that is possible to ride) in northern Spain called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (http://www.caminodesantiago.me.uk/). I don't know if this route would fit your timetable but the architecture and scenario are supposed to be very pleasant on the eye.
04-23-09, 03:02 PM
I’ve cycled in the Pyrenees twice and this region has plenty to offer in terms of challenging rides, great scenery, wonderful culture and lots interesting little roads to explore. I’ve never cycled the Picos de Europa, but I did cycle past them and they do look magnificent. A friend of mine hiked the Picos and she said the weather can be unpredictable and that she was stranded in fog for 1 week! Spain and southern France have a lot of wonderful places to cycle so wherever you choose to go it will be great.
Where will you be located?
04-23-09, 04:29 PM
I toured the Picos last Setember, they are really pretty and quite compact. The weather can be unpredictable with mountains and sea very close. I had some days of warm sunshine and others of storms, fogs, etc.
There is a good crossing from Potes, up to the teleferico (cable car) at Fuentas De. You need to be at the car by 9:00am to get your bike up then you have a long and tricky descent along tracks, stony trails to the road at Sotres then some more descent to Las Arenas. Do-able on 32mm tyres.
For a longer trip you really need to head offroad.
If you want some big alpine style road passes, the Pyrenees are probably better.
I cycled 3 days in the pyrenees and 4 days in the picos. No question: Go to picos. Where are 2 hiking maps (east and west picos) which contains also bike pathes through the picos. The gorge is prohibited for cyclist (but nobody cares). If you go down where is one climb (100m altitude where you have to push your bike up and then push it Down (200-300m altitude). It takes about 1 hour (and hikers help you pushing / carrying the bike)
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