Cascade-Affiliated International Tours
High Passes of the Pyrenees, A Coast to Coast Tour
Sunday, June 3rd 2007
- Arrival at Perpignan Airport. You will meet your tour staff there. They will shuttle you to the hotel in El Port de la Selva, a lovely little Spanish town in a beautiful bay not too far from the border. This transfer takes about an hour.
- Assembling the bikes
1st stage: 81 miles with 5600 feet of elevation gain
Route: El Port de la Selva - Llanca - Agullana - Col de Manrella - Col de Llauro - Col Fourtou - Bouleternère Molitg-les-Bains
Col de Manrella:
- summit at: 2400 feet
- elevation gain: 1900 feet
- length of the climb: 6,27 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 4,6% / 8%
- summit at: 2120 feet
- elevation gain: 1640 feet
- length of the climb: 12 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 2,6% / 6,0%
Getting going after the long flight is the theme of today. That’s why we chose a route with only two climbs worth noting. But even those two are rather easy and won’t hurt if you don’t want them to hurt you.
After some 5 incredibly winding miles along the coast we leave the Mediterranean Sea and cruise through North Catalonia. Those first 20 miles are rather flat to hilly and will help warm us up for the first climb of the day up to the Col de Manrella where we will cross the border between Spain and France.
A little twisty road that mostly runs through dense forest brings us down into the valley of the Tech River that we cross in order to ride right into the next climb. Its moderate grade and the nearly non-existent traffic enable you to enjoy the scenic view over the Côte Vermeille to your right.
Continuing the climb while passing a few typical small hamlets we reach the Col Fourtou where another really great descent begins.
After reaching Bouleternère at the end of the descent we have to ride on a road with more traffic for five miles before we can turn right and roll the final six miles to our finish in Molitg-les-Bains on a small and gently climbing road. Look forward to a very scenic hotel that still exudes the glamour that this region was famous for when many tourists came to relax in the thermal springs.
Tuesday, June 5th 2007
2nd stage: 53 / 64 miles with 8700 / 11000 feet of elevation gain
|Route: Molitg-les-Bains - Col de Jau - Roquefort de Sault Col de Garavel - Escouloubre - Usson-les-Bains - Port de Pailhères
Variation A: Ax-les-Thermes
Variation B: Plateau de Bonascre - Ax-les-Thermes
Col de Jau:
- summit at: 4940 feet
- elevation gain: 3116 feet
- length of the climb: 11,5 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 5,9% / 8,0%
Col de Garavel:
- summit at: 4140 feet
- elevation gain: 1300 feet
- length of the climb: 4,7 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,2% / 9,0%
Port de Pailhères
- summit at: 6565 feet
- elevation gain: 3960 feet
- length of the climb: 9,3 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 8,1% / 12,0%
Plateau de Bonascre (variation B)
- summit at: 4530 feet
- elevation gain: 2930 feet
- length of the climb: 8,20 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 8,6% / 12,0%
|Probably the most demanding 64 miles you have ever ridden! Today we will either climb or descend with no flat section longer than a few hundred yards in between. The first climb of the day starts directly at the hotel. 11.5 miles and 3116’ feet of elevation gain later we will pass the Col de Jau. This moderately steep climb serves as a very useful “warm-up” for the rest of the day. The descent is another enjoyable one on a small road through the forest with many, many turns. The following flat section is just long enough to shift the chain off the big chain ring and switch to climbing mode again. This beautiful small road starts steeply and makes the legs hurt for the first time today but eases a little bit when passing two small towns before reaching the Col de Garavel. The winding and road brings us down into the Aude valley, which offers us three miles of a modestly descending road where we can recover a little bit. Hopefully you have some energy left because the 2001 meters (6565’) high Port de Pailhères is a climb of the Hors Catégorie, the highest of five classes that the Tour de France organizers use to describe the difficulty of their climbs. Besides being demanding, it also runs over one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the whole tour. That’s one reason why you should make use of your smallest gear and enjoy the surroundings. The other reason why this is a smart idea is the optional climb that follows after the long and relaxed descent into Ax-les-Thermes.
Because the climb up to Plateau de Bonascre is well-known for it steep ramps that Lance Armstrong often used to crack his rivals. That’s definitely the place where you will find out if you have controlled your efforts before.
As it is an optional up and back climb, you don’t have to do that fourth and final climb since our hotel is in Ax-les-Thermes saving you 11 miles and 2300 feet of elevation gain.
Wednesday, June 6th 2007
3rd stage: 81 / 82 / 96 miles with 6900 / 7900 / 9500 feet of elevation gain
|Route: Plateau de Bonascre - Foix - Estaniels - Col de Péguère - Massat
Variation A: Oust
Variation B: Col de Saraillé - Oust
Variation C: Col d’Agnes - Aulus-les-Bains - Oust
Col de Péguère
- summit at: 4511 feet
- elevation gain: 2933 feet
- length of the climb: 8,20 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,8% / 12,0%
Col de Saraillé (variation B)
- summit at: 3090 feet
- elevation gain: 975 feet
- length of the climb: 5,45 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 3,4% / 10,0%
Col d’Agnes (variation C)
- summit at: 5150 feet
- elevation gain: 3021 feet
- length of the climb: 10,95 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 5,2% / 9,0%
|This stage is one of the “easier” ones in the course of this tour. And we offer three variations for the second half of the stage so that you can further reduce its difficulty if your legs still don’t feel like they should when reaching the second feeding stop of the day.
Immediately after the start in Ax-les-Thermes we shift into one of our favorite gears and climb some thousand feet up the northern slope of the Ariege valley. We then reach a road that runs some 20 miles along the slope and offers a relaxed ride with a great view towards the main crest line of the Pyrenees. The Ariege river then turns north and we follow its valley until we reach Foix, the biggest, but still rather small city of this region. The road get smaller and smaller here while changing direction and grade very often. A dream ride for the dynamic road cyclist! Despite the many short descents we gain altitude and finally get to a real climb towards the Col de Péguère. This forgotten and most silent pass offers a magnificent panorama view of the main crest line of the Pyrenees. It’s one of our favorite spots for a feeding stop. While you enjoy this spot your tour guides will ask you for your individual choice concerning the final of this stage in order to setup your GPS navigators adequately. Three variations are on offer from “No more climbing today, please” to “Yeah, I’m up for more suffering.”
Thursday, June 7th 2007
4th stsge: 60 / 71 / 84 miles with 7500 / 10000 / 11500 feet of elevation gain
|Route: Oust - (Variation C : Lacourt - Alos - Col de Catchaudégué) - Col de la Core - Castillon-en-Couserans - Col de Portet d’Aspet - Col de Menté - St. Béat
Variation A: Bagnères-de-Luchon
Variation B+C: Bossost - Col du Portillon - Bagnères-de-Luchon
Col de Catchaudégué (variation C)
- summit at: 2929 feet
- elevation gain: 1535 feet
- length of the climb: 6,1 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 4,7% / 12,0%
Col de la Core:
- summit at: 4580 feet
- elevation gain: 2900 feet
- length of the climb: 8,60 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,4% / 8,0%
Col de Portet d’Aspet:
- summit at: 3500 feet
- elevation gain: 1300 feet
- length of the climb: 3,6 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,8% / 11%
Col de Menté:
- summit at: 4425 feet
- elevation gain: 2330 feet
- length of the climb: 6,50 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 7,3% / 12,0%
Col du Portillon: (variations B and C)
- summit at: 4330 feet
- elevation gain: 2000 feet
- length of the climb: 5,35 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,8% / 8,5%
|A small and not too steep road takes us out of Seix, a town 1.5 miles away from Oust. Here the trilogy with Col de la Core, Col de Portet d’Aspet and Col de Menté begins. It’s again up to you to decide whether you want to do more or less climbs and miles. Up to five climbs are on offer for today. Compared to the more famous cols of the Pyrenees, these are even less traveled by motorists although they are still stunning. The light traffic makes this stage even more enjoyable. The road passes through a beautiful landscape with some big forests. Riding through small villages along the way, you will get an impression of how people live in this area. Our destination for today is Bagnères-de-Luchon, a famous thermal spa resort, which has also hosted the Tour de France several times.
Friday, June 8th 2007
Rest day in Bagnères-de-Luchon
|Do what you like to in order to recover for the second half of the tour. Enjoy the hot springs, go out for a walk and coffee in this beautiful town or spend part of the day reading in the calm park that belongs to our very nice hotel. Bagneres-de-Luchon has an attractive broad central boulevard with a wide range of shops, including two bike shops.
Should there be anyone in the group who does not feel any signs of wear after the first four stages, there is also a ride option. But take it easy, for beware of the day that follows…
Saturday, June 9th 2007
5th stage: 73 / 91 miles with 9700 / 13500 feet of elevation gain
|Route: Bagnères-de-Luchon - Col de Peyresourde - Col d’Aspin - Col du Tourmalet
Variation A: Argelès-Gazost
Variation B: Hautacam - Argelès-Gazost
Col de Peyresourde
- • summit at: 5150 feet
- elevation gain: 3080 feet
- length of the climb: 9,50 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,1% / 9,3%
- summit at: 4885 feet
- elevation gain: 2555 feet
- length of the climb: 7,50 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 6,5% / 8,7%
Col du Tourmalet
- summit at: 6940 feet
- elevation gain: 4160 feet
- length of the climb: 10,80 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 7,4% / 10,0%
Hautacam (variation B)
- summit at: 5000 feet
- elevation gain: 3605 feet
- length of the climb: 9,79 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 7,0% / 12,0%
|This is the day you’ve been waiting for! The legendary climbs! Think of the early Tour de France riders climbing these Cols at the beginning of the twentieth century. Unpaved roads, heavy bikes, bears around and just one gear! Today for us the Col du Tourmalet, while still a classic, has become much easier to master.
Leaving our rest day hotel, we immediately start up the difficult Peyserourde. Listen for the clang of cowbells on the ascent and take in the panoramic views on the descent. Next up is the Col d’ Aspin, a dream ascent, as is the descent. From the summit you will enjoy superb views to the Pic cu Midi de Bigorre, at 9422’, near the top of the Col du Tourmalet. Now it’s time to begin the ascent of The Big Onethe Tourmalet…perhaps the best known tour climb after Alpe d’Huez. They say if you take this climb steadily, the miles will just melt away, a good thing since it gets steeper at the top. On the summit is a statue of a cyclist commemorating the many Tour stage crossings of the Tourmalet. After a careful 25 mile descent, your hotel beckons. But wait…for the truly committed mountain goats, there is more!
Are you looking for a hors category final after a first-class-stage? Then you should definitely climb up and back to Hautacam, a very small ski resort high above Argelès-Gazost. That means another 3500 feet of fairly steep climbing. The year 2000 marks the last time when Hautacam was used as a Tour de France stage finish. It was Lance Armstrong who rode into yellow on that climb then to win his second TdF a few days later.
Tonight we stay in Argels-Gazost, a town with a modern commercial area surrounding an older village center. Narrow alleyways are lined with attractive 16th and 17th century buildings.
Sunday, June 10th 2007
6th stage: 63 / 70 / 86 miles with 7900 / 8700 / 12900 feet of elevation gain
|Route: Argelès-Gazost - Col de Soulor - Col d’Aubisque - Col de Marie Blanque - Col d’Ichère (variation B and C) - Col de Soudet (variation C) - Montory
Col de Soulor:
- summit at: 4835 feet
- elevation gain: 3343 feet
- length of the climb: 12,0 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 5,2% / 9,6%
- summit at: 5610 feet
- elevation gain: 1310 feet
- length of the climb: 5,0 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 5,0% / 8,6%
Col de Marie Blanque:
- summit at: 3400 feet
- elevation gain: 2010 feet
- length of the climb: 9,40 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 4,1% / 8,5%
Col d’Ichère: (variations B and C)
- summit at: 2200 feet
- elevation gain: 1020 feet
- length of the climb: 2,50 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 7,5% / 10%
Col de Soudet (variation C)
- summit at: 5050 feet
- elevation gain: 3780 feet
- length of the climb: 12,40 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 5,75% / 11%
|Out of the hotel and back into the climbing gearThe Col de Soulor is the first pass we reach today. It’s simultaneously the main and most demanding part of the western ascent to another famous pass of the Pyrenees, the Col d’Aubisque, for there is only a short descent in between these two. This day challenges yesterday in the beauty of its scenery. You won’t want the extra weight, but don’t forget your camera! Multi-million Euro views await us at the summit of the Aubisque. Yet another magical descent follows, dropping us almost 4000’ in 17 miles. Don’t let your legs stiffen up because there is more to come. Yet another Tour de France favorite, the Col de Marie Blanque. The ascent to the Col de Marie Blanque is different to all the other passes because of the beautiful green and almost flat Plateau de Bénou in its middle part. Luckily we are ascending the less steep side. The fastest descent of the entire tour plummets almost in a straight line. Be careful!
Listen to your legs during the climb because the feeding stop atop the pass marks the point where you have to decide which variation you want to choose for the rest of the stage. A high-speed 6-mile-descent brings us down into a hilly, green and rural area where the three different variations separate. Choosing the easiest one you are then only some 15 hilly miles away from our finish in Montory, while you might alternatively tackle one or two additional passes. If you choose variation C you will ascend the 3780’ climb up to the Col de Soudet, another real test-piece for your cycling abilities, in the climb as well as in the descent.
Monday, June 11th 2007
7th and last stage: 71.5 / 83 miles with 7500 / 9400 feet of elevation gain
|Route: Montory Tardets-Sorholus Col de Burdin Olatze Col de Bagargui (variation B) Col de Burdincurutcheta (variation B) St.-Jean-le-Vieux Hasparren Ustaritz Biarritz
Col Burdin Olatze
- summit at: 2950 feet
- elevation gain: 2250 feet
- length of the climb: 10 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 4,3% / 17%
Col de Bagargui (variation B)
- summit at: 4350 feet
- elevation gain: 1970 feet
- length of the climb: 9,90 miles
- grade of the climb (average/max.): 3,75% / 10%
|Before you can dive into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, we will guide you over small and quiet roads through the rural area of the Basque Country. It is beautiful country with its incredibly green mountains. Although the high passes of the Pyrenees lay behind us the riding does not get any easier.
The Basque Country is the country of a thousand and one steep hills and is definitely climber’s terrain. The first and only longer climb of the day proves this in an impressive manner. We have some eight rolling miles to warm up from Montory to the foot of this climb up to the Col Burdin Olatze. Then the road narrows to just about three yards width and immediately climbs up to 14% and more. Most cyclists searching for the road turn around at that point thinking that they have missed a turn or chosen the wrong way. But your GPS navigator is not fooling you, you are on track. Just stay on that road and fight your way up the visible steep stretch of road and you will find it flattening (a little) afterwards as a reward.
Don’t start to relax too early: It remains a fairly steep climb with short flatter sections for the most of its length. Upon reaching the summit you will meet one of our vans and have two options. Stay on that road and descend directly towards St.-Jean-le-Vieux or turn left onto an even less important and therefore unnamed road that is one of the most ride-worthy roads in the whole Pyrenees. It passes the Col d’Arhansus, goes down a little bit, climbs a little bit and so on while providing a fantastic view all the time, until finally it climbs up to the Col de Bagargui (4350 feet high). Turn your head to say “Good bye” to the Pyrenees because this is the last time that you see this magnificent range before the descent begins.
After the 400’ climb up to the Col de Burdincurutcheta, the high-speed part of this descent really starts. No traffic, well-rounded switchbacks and perfect tarmac leading down into the Vallée de Laurhibar. Both variations then meet again and won’t separate during the remainder of the stage. At this point near St.-Jean-le-Vieux, the second part of the final stage begins. From there on the elevation profile will only show the fine but irregular profile of a well-worn hacksaw blade and each of its teeth will demand some serious effort. You will definitely have earned your dinner and finisher celebration champagne when you finally arrive in the famous city of Biarritz at the Atlantic coast.
And don’t forget that stone in your pocket
Tuesday, June 22nd 2007
|Recovery/Sightseeing day in Biarritz. Swim in the ocean, soak up the sun, relax, go shopping. Enjoy the French style of life. You’ve earned it!
Wednesday, June 23rd 2007
|Flight back to the U.S. starting from Biarritz. We will shuttle you to the airport.
|THE FINE PRINT
Why ride with Cycle Miles?
Cascade Bicycle Club has invited Cycle Miles back to host another advanced mountain pass tour. This European tour company will provide participants the best in food, accommodations, and ride support while guiding us through one of the most incredible areas of the world for the serious cyclist. The High Passes of the Pyrenees Coast to Coast Tour will be the fourth trip that CBC has partnered up with this excellent company.
This tour could be called a challenge because you should view this as a once-in-a-cyclist’s life opportunity to ride from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean over virtually every significant and famous pass of the high Pyrenees.
How big of a challenge is up to you. Each day provides riding options, and therefore opportunity, to choose or not to choose to ride many lesser known cols that are at least as attractive as the cols immortalized by the Tour de France.
Go the full distance and you will have completed one of the hardest and most satisfying journeys of your bicycling life. Eliminate some of the cols and you will still complete the point-to-point journey and earn the right to throw your small stone, selected on the Mediterranean coast, into the Atlantic.
July is the best month for watching cycling in France. June and September are the best months for riding in the Pyrenees. We’re going to ride, so we’re going in June. The weather will be warm, not hot. Tourists will be few.
We’ll ride through tiny, isolated villages and take in stupendous mountain scenery over some very romantic and storied passes. Perhaps riding over our tour hero’s names on these famous climbs will make us feel a little like pros and give us a boost up the hills!
Who should consider booking this tour?
You should definitely love to ride strenuous climbs. And you should be comfortable descending on steep descents on narrow roads with at times less than perfect tarmac. Because that is what this trip is really all about: climbing and descending. Nevertheless, a love for climbing and descending is not sufficient if one’s engine lacks the necessary power for those special climbs. This is a physically demanding cycling tour for experienced and well trained cyclists. Wherever possible, we offer variations for the stages but even the easiest variations (marked by “A”) are anything but a recreational ride. The main reason for this assessment is the steepness that most of the climbs in the Pyrenees feature. This trip could even be motivation to lose a little weight or to get into the best shape of your life!
Our experience with this trip tells us that even good and rather fit, lean cyclists (5000+ training miles per year) should opt for a smallest gear of 34:27 or 34:29 (with compact drive crankset) or 30:27 (with triple chain ring set-up). Shimano users can fit a 34 cog by using a mountain bike derailleur. Without a proper low gear, you may survive, but you won’t be able to enjoy the last stages like you will enjoy the first one because of tired muscles or even overused joints. And enjoyment is what you come and pay for, right?
We know that a considerable number of experienced cyclists who read the recommendation above think that a gear like 30:27 is for “sissies” only and they would like to show us that one can complete this trip with a 39:27 gear combination. We know that it is possible to do it, but we must tell you those who have done it regretted it big-time after the tour! Not a single person has said they would do it again without a lower gear.
For questions about proper fitness and training for this ride please contact Cascade Bicycle Club Pyrenees Tour liaison & Cascade High Performance Cycling Ride leader, Tom Meloy.
Please note that we have two vans that accompany the riders and that various route options are available almost every day. You are not REQUIRED to ride every segment. Whenever you come to one of the two or three feeding stops per stage (or meet one of the vans in between) you can enter a van to abbreviate a stage and save your legs! Alternatively, some participants might find it more enjoyable to get shuttled up the first climb of the day and start their individual stage from there, slowly warming up their legs on a descent.
Why do this tour?
There are many easier routes to get from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic
Ocean but not a single route that is more interesting, challenging, or more beautiful for the serious road cyclist. It was in 1910 when the organization of the world’s most famous cycling race decided to include some passes of the Pyrenees into their route. Some racers accused the organization of trying to kill them. It wasn’t that they feared the bears or wolves that were around at the time. They simply thought the climbs were too demanding.
Today the roads in the Pyrenees have been improved vastly. Nevertheless, the cols of the Pyrenees remain the most demanding road cycling terrain in Europe. The majority of the climbs are not as long as their counterparts in the Alps but they are generally steeper. This might contribute to the commonly shared opinion that the myth of the Tour de France lives nowhere stronger than there.
But even if you don’t care too much for the history of the Tour de France, the Pyrenees with their fascinating roads and diversified landscape provide some of the most impressive drama that cyclists in Europe can experience.
Some of you may have heard of the “Raid Pyreneen”. The Raid was first ridden in 1950 from West to East. Our route goes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, or East to West. Most cyclists find it the far more interesting and prettier direction. Since this might be your first and only Pyrenees trip you will have to trust us that our route is the far better one.
There is another tradition among cyclists who cross the Pyrenees. They pick up a (small!) stone at the beach where they start the trip, carry it on their own over the whole distance and throw it into the other sea at the end of the trip. Seems to be the kind of invisible and innocuous but permanent trace that we all long to leave in this world. And it can become an additional motivation for those moments during this trip where you might be tempted to pack it in!
Our tour begins in El Port de la Selva, a very small town in Catalonia (Spain) located in a beautiful bay and not too far from the Spanish-French border. It’s during the first stage that we cross that border and stay in France for nearly the whole trip. Since the crest of the Pyrenees is the border between France and Spain, you might wonder why. Studying the map will quickly reveal that the Spanish side of that majestic mountain chain does not offer any comparable variety of roads to the numerous choices available on the French side.
We have divided Europe’s most impressive coast-to-coast ride into seven demanding but also breathtakingly beautiful stages. We’ll do all the world-famous cols like the Tourmalet, Aspin, Aubisque, Soulor, Peyresourde, … yes, Virgina, really every single one of them! But as former participants of other MILES trips already know, the smaller, rarely known and therefore much less traveled passes and a plethora of small roads are what really makes this trip so enjoyable. It took us more than three thousand miles of exploration and some years of constant refinement to make this trip what we think it is now:
An unsurpassable tour that will provide deep satisfaction and challenge to every serious cyclist. It incorporates many challenging ascents of the highest category and even “hors categorie”, tiny roads over rather unknown but very scenic passes, superb twisty descents and breathtaking views over uniquely varying landscapes. All of this, complete with carefully selected, nice hotels (most family run), excellent meals, our on-road catering service, after-ride buffets in the relaxed ambiance of peaceful little villages and last, but not least, a carefree ride with our GPS navigators will make this journey an unforgettable experience.
- Riding starts in El Port de la Selva (Spain) on June, 4th 2007 and finishes on June, 12th in Biarritz (France) at the Côte Basque (Atlantic coast)
- 11 days / 10 nights (2 - 3 star hotel accommodations)
- Arrival at Perpignan, France, departure from Biarritz, France
- 7 days of cycling with 58 to 96 miles and 5600 to 11500 feet of elevation gain per day (depending on chosen stage variation)
- Optional 8th riding day on our mid-week rest day
- Total distance 484 to 586 miles (depending on chosen stage variation)
- Total elevation gain 53400 feet (7628 feet/day) to 72600 feet (10371 feet/day) depending on chosen stage variation
- One rest day after four days of cycling in Bagnères-de-Luchon, a beautiful village with thermal hot springs spa
- Rest day on the Côte Basque at chic Biarritzto end the trip in style!
- Two sag vans (and trailer) for transfers and support during the ride days
- Guide support / mechanic
- Replacement bike and parts in case of equipment break-down
- Daily on-road catering buffet service every 15 35 miles (approximately 2 hours of riding), with hot and cold beverages, bread, cheese, fruits, cakes, cookies, and much more
- MILES legendary after-ride-buffet each afternoon upon arrival at the hotels
- Each participant is guided by a GPS navigator mounted to his handlebar!
- Airport transfers
- Welcome dinner Day One, breakfast & dinner from Day Two until Day Nine
- Breakfast only on Days 10 and 11
- Cost is €2530 not including airfare, based on double room occupancy; (350 Euro single room supplement). €500 deposit. Please contact email@example.com
- Trip payments are fully insured and can be made most easily via Paypal or international money transfer.
- Group & low airfare rates available through official travel agent; Elizabeth Holmes Travel, Seattle, WA. Call Sarah @ 206-547-8361
Cost is €2530 (Approx. $3200 USD) not including airfare, based on double room occupancy; (350 Euro single room supplement). €500 deposit.
Cancellations must be received written by mail or fax. You will receive a refund, less a cancellation fee per person depending on how many days before departure you cancel and less the fee the bank charges for the refund of money to your account. Please write down your bank account data in your cancellation so that we know where to refund your money.
- more than 90 days before the tour's first day: your deposit of € 50
- between 90 to 61 days before the tour's first day: your deposit of € 500 + 25% of the balance
- between 60 to 31 days before the tour's first day: your deposit of € 500 + 50% of the balance
- 30 or less days before the tour's first day or cancellation during the trip: your bill's total (= no money will be refund)
As of February 16, 2007 we need five additional riders to make this trip happen. If you are interested, then now is the time to make a move on this very special once in a lifetime trip opportunity! If we do not have a total of at least eight riders by March 15 then the trip will be cancelled.
Book your spot using CycleMiles Pyrenees registration webpage.
Rider Testimonials on a Cycle Miles Experience
"Cycle Miles is a fabulous bicycle touring company that I had the opportunity to travel with in France on Cascade Bicycle Clubs Affiliated 2004 tour. All of the guides were excellent and knowledgeable in the areas that we traveled. The accommodations they arranged were very good. French cuisine and French wines are most enjoyable and satisfying after a hard day of cycling. The guides were trilingual and the cycling routes were very challenging (rather strenuous), especially Alpe D Huez! I personally enjoyed the tour Cycle Miles put together; If I have the opportunity to do it again, I will choose Cycle Miles.
Redmond , WA
"The first ever Cascade Bicycle Club Affiliated tour in 2004 was produced by Stark Tours who contracted Cycle Miles to run the actual tour in France. Miles showed us amazing routes to ride with little or no traffic; even though we were riding just behind the Tour de France crowds each day. Even though two of the ride leaders were ex German national team championship caliber cyclists, they made sure that riders of all abilities had and amazing time. I rode with one of their great GPS units on my bike and led club riders through three different roundabouts in a small French city without breaking out a map (or a sweat!). If you like to ride BIG mountains, enjoy great on-road support (fantastic daily lunch & post ride buffet) and authentic French food and charming accommodations then Miles is for you. I can't wait to ride with them again."
Cascade Bicycle Club
"My first supported bicycle tour was with Cycle Miles during the 2004 Tour de France through the Alps. This was the best vacation I have ever had in my life! and Cycle Miles was a significant contributor to that enjoyment. Their German attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of the territory enabled them to pick routes, accommodations and food options that were outstanding. In addition, their caring support and assistance along the routes was simply perfect. They were also flexible and skilled in adjusting routes to meet the level of the riders' abilities. These folks are amazing!"
"I have been with Cascade Bicycle Club tours with Cycle Miles in 2004 & 2005 & I've had excellent trips on both. Routes were demanding & scenic and their knowledge of the areas & added GPS units were terrific. Also, the food support provided during each day's riding was amazing. The nightly hotels in the Alps were quite charming & the French cuisine dinners & wines are still talked about amongst fellow riders. Great riding & hospitality from Cycle Miles on both trips, I hope to go again someday".
"After riding both the Pyrenees and Alps tours in past years with Cascade I can't speak higher of the level of customer service & overall hospitality that Cycle Miles offers riders. In 2005 a club member arrived with a badly damaged bike in France. Miles pro mechanic had a new frame built up for the gentlemen overnight, even though that meant staying up until the wee hours to do it. Riding mountain routes of 7-10,000 feet of climbing per day is tough enough; but Cycle Miles makes it much easier with incredible on road support and custom GPS units for every rider. The nightly four-course gourmet meals served at scenic mountain top locations at family-run hotels satisfied our most demanding cyclist's needs. I can’t recommend the Cycle Miles Experience any higher to anyone wanting to ride the classic European climbs"
Cascade Bicycle Club
Worried you might not be in good enough shape to tackle the hills? Join Cascade Ride Leaders this spring in the Cascade Training series. We'll be leading rides every weekend geared to getting YOU ready for this summer's big CBC rides. Visit the Activities Calendar for more information and ride listings.