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Old 03-30-06, 05:39 AM   #1
Crankypants
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Alps of Pyrenees?

I love touring through mountains! I have been all over Southern France pulling BOB and now I ask you for advice. Would you recommend a ride through the French Alps (Vercours, Grands cols du Tour) or the Pyrenees (Raid pyreneen)? Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-30-06, 06:14 AM   #2
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Depends on what you prefer...
Pyrenean roads are steeper and smaller, temperature is often over 35 degree C in summer, sometimes there are difficulties like "where can I get my next water ration?", but you MUST have seen once these TdF cols.
Alps are not that wild, sometimes it's cold over 2500 m (even in August), but you MUST have seen once these TdF cols.
I rode both, both with a trailer. My favorite is the Route Des Grandes Alpes.
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Old 03-30-06, 06:16 AM   #3
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Have you done this ride?
http://mngudi.com/BicycleTouring/Pyrenees/
Or check out this site, beter pics.
http://www.steephill.tv/galleries/2005/ariege-pyrenees/
Cheers
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Old 03-30-06, 08:06 AM   #4
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I really enjoy small and quiet roads so I suppose the Pyrenees would be less busy than the Alps. Is this true? Are the Alps crammed full of tourists and traffic in the mid-June to early July season?
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Old 03-30-06, 08:20 AM   #5
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Any suggestions for which place in the Pyrenees would be the best vacation base for cycling daytrips only?

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Old 03-30-06, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
I love touring through mountains! I have been all over Southern France pulling BOB and now I ask you for advice. Would you recommend a ride through the French Alps (Vercours, Grands cols du Tour) or the Pyrenees (Raid pyreneen)? Thanks in advance!
I think the alps are the clear favorites. The extent of the scenery is much greater, and this highland region is not only crucial to understanding European history, it is also the source of all the great European rivers..the Rhone, the Inn, the Rhine, the Po and Danube, if you allow the highlands of southern Germany to be part of the 'Alpine' region.

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Old 03-30-06, 01:45 PM   #7
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I'm going to the Midi Pyrenees in late May and staying at a cycling lodge near Massat where I plan to do day rides for a week. Their website is www.cyclepyrenees.com There are lots of little roads to climb in the area although the big tour cols are further west. The appeal for me was that I could fly into Toulouse, take a train south to Tarascon-sur-Ariege and they would pick me up there for 40 Euro round trip. Take a look at the Steephill website mentioned above as they stayed there and there are some great pictures and video on it. BCCycleguy, if you're still on this thread, I noticed that you're in the Okanagan. What's the road bike riding there like? We're in Ottawa and thinking about moving west. Thanks!

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Old 03-31-06, 12:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
I really enjoy small and quiet roads so I suppose the Pyrenees would be less busy than the Alps. Is this true? Are the Alps crammed full of tourists and traffic in the mid-June to early July season?
There are the north-south-roads like the Grand St Bernard which connects the swiss / french Rhone valley with the italian Aosta valley. These roads are crowded and only the cols are smaller and quiet, because the main road vanishes in a tunnel (but nevertheless lots of tourists).
But there are many quiet roads, too, for example the colle d'Agnello (one of my favorites) or the Col de la Cayolle (another one of my favorites).
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Old 04-17-06, 02:04 AM   #9
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Pyrenees

We're in the Pyrenees because it is less commercialised and has better weather. The roads are truly fantastic and generally empty other than for cyclists.

If you're worried about the heat, the best time to come is September and the good weather can last right up to the first week of November.
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Old 04-18-06, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
I really enjoy small and quiet roads so I suppose the Pyrenees would be less busy than the Alps. Is this true? Are the Alps crammed full of tourists and traffic in the mid-June to early July season?
The roads can be busier than the Pyrenees, but it's never been a problem. For me, my first pass in europe was the col du Galibier and we later did Raid Pyrenees, but as beautiful as they were, nothing matched the awesome beauty of Galibier. Did a subsequent trip through the Alps of northern italy into france and they are definitely more spectacular. Yes there's traffic, but in many of them there's almost as many bikes as cars...
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Old 04-19-06, 12:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
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... Did a subsequent trip through the Alps of northern italy into france and they are definitely more spectacular ...
You're right.



This is Colle di Agnello (Col Agnel on the french side)
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