Pyrenees Raid Road Cycle Tour

Cycle traverse of the Pyrenees via classic Tour de France cols

9

days

Cycling

From $2,100 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Bike from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic
  • Classic cols – Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet, Aubisque
  • Cycling guide and baggage transfer
  • Choose between 2 cycling routes each day

This is a classic, challenging road cycling holiday over famous Tour de France cols in the Pyrenees. Our version of the famous 'Pyrenees Raid' cycling adventure starts from the pretty artist’s hang-out of Collioure on the Mediterranean and ends in St Jean de Luz on the Atlantic coast. Cycling amongst breathtaking scenery, we will tackle many of the most challenging Tour de France passes, including the highest of all, the legendary Col de Tourmalet (2115m). Epic climbs and sweeping, hairpin descents are amongst the challenges we will face in crossing stunning cols such as the Aspin, Soulor, Aubisque and Marie Blanque. Mostly following quiet country roads, we will experience the great variety of Pyrenean landscape, from pretty farmland to soaring, rugged peaks. Cycling east to west, from the Land of the Catalans to the Basque Country, we also experience a variety of different cultures, as well as superb local hospitality and regional food. This is a truly classic road cycling journey and is surely a 'must do' ride for 'sportive' riders and cycling enthusiasts alike.

Is this holiday for you?

ROAD CYCLING. This is a classic road cycling holiday which we have arranged so that you can choose between 2 different levels of challenge. There are 8 cycling days and on 6 of these days you will be able to choose between the shorter (A) and longer (B) route. Detailed ‘Road Books’ (and GPS tracks) will be provided for each of the routes and the cycling guide will accompany those group members cycling the shorter route. Those choosing the longer route will ride unaccompanied by the guide, at least on some sections. If you choose to ride the (A) route each day, you will accumulate 770 kilometres of riding with 15,600 metres of ascent. Ride the (B) route every day for a total 945 kilometre ride with 21,550 metres of ascent. This is one of our most challenging cycling holidays and not for the faint-hearted. However, comfortable hotels, good food and vehicle support make it accessible to regular weekend and sportive cyclists. We follow a mixture of main roads and back roads and prioritise the quieter options. This is totally supported riding - at the start of the day, when the group sets off biking, your kit bag will be loaded into the support vehicle and transported to the next overnight halt. Apart from a fixed rendezvous for lunch, you are free to cycle at your own pace, with the support vehicle never far away. We must stress that apart from the emergency tool kit and spares that you would take on any day ride, you will not be required to carry any gear. Stunning scenery, atmospheric overnight accommodation and a classic linear route make this an unforgettable cycling experience. With an average of almost 100 kilometres each day (and 2000 metres of ascent) on the shorter of the 2 route options, this is a trip for keen road cyclists who enjoy the challenge of climbs and descents day after day. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Collioure, beside the Mediterranean.
  • Meet the guide and support vehicle and set off cycling through the rugged foothills of the Pyrenees Orientales to Prades.
  • Cycle through wild country and across little-known cols to Ax-les-Thermes.
  • Cycle from Ax-les-Thermes to Castillon-en-Couserans.
  • Cross the Tour de France cols of Aspet, Mente and Peyresourde to Arreau.
  • Cycle across the Col d'Aspin and the mighty Col du Tourmalet (2115m) to Luz Saint Sauveur.
  • Across the Soulor, Aubisque (1709m) and Marie Blanque passes to Lescun.
  • Cycle across several beautiful cols, including the Baguargui (1319m), to Esterencuby.
  • Into and out of Spain again via the Col d'Ispeguy (672m) to Saint Jean de Luz.
2016
Sun 03 Jul - Mon 11 Jul Code PYMB/01/16/ Adult$2,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Pyrenees Raid Road Cycle Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is PYMB/01/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 03 Jul and departs on Mon 11 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
Mon 05 Sep - Mon 05 Sep Code PYMB/02/16/ Adult$2,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Pyrenees Raid Road Cycle Tour
  • The departure reference for this tour is PYMB/02/16/
  • This tour begins on Mon 05 Sep and departs on Mon 05 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Collioure. Flights should be booked outbound to to Perpignan and inbound from Biarritz. Alternatively, you can book your flights into and out of Toulouse and book an additional transfer package from us. Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers in the trip notes for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is shown on our website as either Guaranteed or Limited Space.

Ryanair offer flights from London, Stansted in to Perpignan and back from Biarritz. For the Toulouse Airport (with transfers) option, there are flights with easyJet, British Airways and Air France.

Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

 


Toulouse Airport Transfers - £150

If you choose this transfer package, you will be picked up from Toulouse Airport in the late afternoon of Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and taken to the group hotel in Collioure. On the completion of the ride at midday on Day 9, you will be transferred back to Toulouse Airport in time for an early evening flight back to the UK.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • bike

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Collioure, beside the Mediterranean.

    The group will rendezvous at the hotel in Collioure. KE Land Only package services begin with dinner and overnight at the hotel.


    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Meet the guide and support vehicle and set off cycling through the rugged foothills of the Pyrenees Orientales to Prades.

    After breakfast at the hotel, meet the guide and support vehicle driver. Then, after an initial briefing, this first day of cycling provides a brilliant introduction to the holiday. We can make a diversion to the beach to dip our toes in the sea, before cycling away from the Med on quiet roads through open farmland. The first 25 kilometres are pretty flat and allow us to get into the ride, before we start our climb up to cross the Alberes foothills, part of the Eastern Pyrenees. Those choosing the (B) route today will divert to cross the Col de la Brousse (860m) early the ride. Climbing to cross the Xatard Pass (752m) amongst scrubby oak woodland, the air is scented with herbs. We will have regular stops at the support vehicle to regroup and refuel and we will find a suitable place for our picnic lunch. The road twists and turns through a surprisingly wild and remote area, with a number of quiet Catalan villages and climbs again to the Col Palomere (1036m), where we can look back to the distant Mediterranean. Dropping down now, with Pic Canigou (2786m) away to the left, we cycle through Finestret to join a short section of busier road which takes us in to Prades and our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1200m

    • Distance 100km

    • Meals ld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Cycle through wild country and across little-known cols to Ax-les-Thermes.

    This area is rarely visited and our rolling route takes us through historic, walled Catalan villages and across several superb little passes, such as the heavily wooded Col de Jau (1513m), the Garabel (1267m) and the Moulis (1099m). Another highlight of today's ride is the village of Mosset which ranks amongst the most beautiful in France. The (A) route finishes today with the crossing of the Col de Sept Freres (1253m) and the Col de Marmare (1361m), before dropping down to Ax-les-Thermes. The (B) route crosses instead the Port de Pailheres (2001m) and the Col du Chioula (1432m). Our overnight stopping place, Ax-les-Thermes, is a pretty town on the Ariege River, known for its sulphurous and health-giving hot springs.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1900m

    • Distance 110km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Cycle from Ax-les-Thermes to Castillon-en-Couserans.

    Today's ride traverses perhaps one of the wildest and most spectacular parts of the entire journey as we climb on switchbacks to cross the Port de Lers (1517m) and then cycle past the mountain tarn of the same name to reach the Col d'Agnes (1570m) and the sleepy village of Aulus-les-Bains. At this point, the (B) route diverts to include the Col de la Trappe (1111m). Our undulating ride continues via the pretty Ariege town of Seix, where it will be hard not to longer at a cafe in the bustling square. But, we still have to tackle the Col de la Core (1395m), one of the main passes used by the French Resistance during the 2nd World War - there is a monument at the top of the pass. A superb descent, starting out with a series of switchbacks and with great views across the valley, then takes us to our hotel in Castillon-en-Couserans.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2000m

    • Distance 120km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hrs cycling

  • Cross the Tour de France cols of Aspet, Mente and Peyresourde to Arreau.

    The day starts out easily enough through a pleasant river valley to the rustic village of St Lary, beyond which we begin the climb to the Portet d'Aspet (1069m). A cafe stop at the top is a good idea before we make the steep descent. Half way down is a monument to Fabio Casartelli who died here in a crash during the 1996 Tour de France. We are, once again, entering a very tranquil part of the Pyrenees and one of the most beautiful. The next classic climb is the Col de Mente (1349m) and it's topped by yet another brilliant cafe. Look out, on the descent, for the plaque marking the spot where Luis Ocana fell while leading Eddy Merckx in the 1971 Tour. Down in the valley bottom, the village of Saint Beat is another of 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France'. At this point, the (B) route makes a diversion up the Spanish border at the Col du Portillon (1239m) followed by a quick return into France. The popular tourist spa of Luchon is another place where the cafes are hard to resist. There are also a couple of cycle shops - good news if your brake blocks are on the way out. The final challenge of the day is the Col Peyresourde (1569m), steady on the way up and with a super 17 kilometre descent to our hotel in Arreau.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2400m

    • Distance 85km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Cycle across the Col d'Aspin and the mighty Col du Tourmalet (2115m) to Luz Saint Sauveur.

    A relatively short day for the (A) route today, but crossing 2 of the most famous Tour de France cols. The first of these is the Col d'Aspin (1489m) and our steady 13 kilometre ascent to this pass takes us through picture-postcard Pyrenean scenery, with cows grazing on the green pastures of the summit. After a short descent to the village of St Marie-de-Campan, it's up again on an impressive road to the Col du Tourmalet (2115m), surrounded by jagged peaks. As with all great passes, there is an excellent cafe for a coffee stop right on the summit, opposite the famous 'Geant du Tourmalet' statue, a composite of all the riders who have suffered racing to the top of the col. From here, we descend to the small ski resort of Bareges and then on, ever downwards, to our overnight stop at Luz Saint Sauveur. From here, (B) route riders face a challenging out and back ride up to the Spanish border at the Port de Boucharo (2270m).

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2200m

    • Distance 60km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs cycling

  • Across the Soulor, Aubisque (1709m) and Marie Blanque passes to Lescun.

    After a short section of busier road, we divert up to the Col des Borderes (1156m) and pass through a number of low-key ski resorts as we continue to climb to the Col de Soulor (1474m). On the descent from this col, we pass a plaque that marks the spot where, in 1951, Wim Van Est had a spectacular crash whilst wearing the 'maillot jaune'. Remarkably he was OK, despite leaving the road and falling some distance. Our next climb is another of the classics and we wind our way up, passing a number of short tunnels, to the crest of the Col d'Aubisque (1709m) which has been included in the Tour de France on more than 40 occasions. More fantastic Pyrenean high mountain scenery, as we make the descent on a good road to the small and very unusual spa town of Eaux Bonnes. Stopping for a coffee here, we can marvel at the grand main street, lined with large hotels, now mostly closed down. Continuing our descent to the Ossau River, we begin our last climb of the day over the Col de Marie Blanque (1035m), taking care on the steep descent through woodland. Our overnight stop is in the pretty commune of Lescun, nestled beneath rugged peaks.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2700m

    • Distance 115km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs cycling

  • Cycle across several beautiful cols, including the Baguargui (1319m), to Esterencuby.

    We start out today with a superb sequence of quite small, but beautiful passes. Following on quickly, one after the other, this ride takes us through a part of the stunning 'Basque Country'. First up is the Col de Bouesou (1009m), then the Col de Labays (1351m) and the Col de Soudet (1540m). The (B) route diverts up to the Spanish border cols of Pierre Saint-Martin (1760m) and Port Larreau (1573m) at this point. Continuing our journey westwards, we cross the Bagargui Pass (1319m) and one final high point at the Col de Burdincurutcheta (1135m), before our long, rolling descent through the Pyrenean foothills to our overnight accommodation in the pretty little hamlet of Esterencuby.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 2200m

    • Distance 100km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Into and out of Spain again via the Col d'Ispeguy (672m) to Saint Jean de Luz.

    This short final day in the 'Basque Country' takes us firstly through Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, with its impressive ramparts and citadel, then across the border into Spain via the Col d'Ispeguy (672m) and back into France via the Puerto Otsondo (570m), a favourite weekend meeting place for cyclists from both sides of the border. Dropping down now, towards the Atlantic, we cross the final 'blip' of the Col de Saint Ignace (169m) and descend to the sea at St Jean de Luz, arriving at about midday. KE Land Only package services end on arrival at St Jean de Luz. A transfer back to Toulouse Airport is provided for anyone having chosen this option.

    • Ascent 1000m

    • Distance 80km

    • Meals b

    • Time 4 hrs cycling

Holiday Information

  • A KE biking leader
  • Vehicle support
  • Baggage transfer between overnight stops
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • All meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if required)
  • Airport transfers unless purchased separately
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - tips drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please contact your carrier for charges

Breakfasts are usually continental style. Lunches will be fresh and tasty picnics provided by our vehicle support crew. Dinner will be taken at our accommodation. The hotels we use are used to feeding hungry cyclists and generally provide a three-course evening meal, with tasty and large portions of quality local cuisine.

All meals are included in the trip price from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9.
You can book this holiday without airport transfers and make your own way to the start and finish of the cycling. Alternatively, you can choose to book a transfer with KE from and back to Toulouse Airport at additional cost.

Clients making their own arrangements should join this trip at the group hotel in Collioure on the evening of Day 1 on the Land Only itinerary. Perpignan Airport is the nearest to Collioure and is served by Ryanair from Stansted. Clients will need to make their own transfer arrangements between Perpignan and Collioure (taxi or train). Services end on arrival at St Jean de Luz at lunchtime on Day 9. The nearest airport to St Jean de Luz is Biarritz which is also served by Ryanair. Clients will need to make their own arrangements to get to the airport and may also need to arrange an overnight stay before taking their flight home.

If you choose to travel through Toulouse Airport and to take the transfer package that we are offering, you will be picked up from the airport in the late afternoon of Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary and taken to the group hotel in Collioure. At the end of the cycling (Day 9) you will be transferred back to Toulouse Airport in time for the early evening flights back to the UK.

Details of the first night's hotel and an emergency contact number will be provided.
Whilst on the tour, accommodation is on a twin-share basis in comfortable, family run 2 and 3-star hotels. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up another single traveller of the same sex.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

A professional English speaking KE biking leader will accompany the group together with a support vehicle and driver.

We recommend that £150 (or the equivalent in US dollars or euros) will be sufficient for your miscellaneous expenditure and should also cover your bar bills - beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit card or a debit card - there are ATM facilities at Toulouse and Perpignan airports and in Colioure at the start of the ride, as well as in the majority of the larger towns on our route.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We strongly advise that you check the current policy of your chosen airline for carrying bikes and their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information. We suggest that you are aware of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport as airlines may charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your International flight then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Again you should check the baggage policy with your chosen domestic airline prior to booking your domestic flight tickets. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure (international, domestic and internal flights within the trip itinerary - if applicable) are the responsibility of each individual client.

Your Bike - Road Cycling

A road bike or standard touring bike is recommended for this trip. It should be fitted with a compact or triple chainset and a nine or ten speed cassette. Please call if you are unsure about the suitability of your bike. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your trip, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bike mechanic to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn, cracked or dented replace with a new rim or wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks -replace them if they are.

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.

c) Check ALL bearings and quick release skewers and, if required, adjust, grease or replace.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check brake pads, mounts and cables / hydraulic lines and replace if necessary.

f) Check and lube, threadlock and tighten -all bolts (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts and brake calliper mounting bolts).

g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear -replace as necessary.

h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally our bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage -providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harms way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home.


PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

Throughout the entirety of the trip we have the back up of our support vehicle. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle and transported to our next night’s accommodation. During our morning’s ride and on the big climbs the support vehicle will sweep through the group and provide extra water and assistance as required. The vehicle will then stop at a designated rendezvous for the picnic lunch. After lunch the support vehicle will drive onto our next accommodation. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance for group members to ride at their own pace. On our road biking trips it is usual for there to be some distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group and there may be times when other group members, vehicle support and the KE biking leader are out of sight. You will be provided with detailed 'road books' and GPS stats to assist with route finding and the cycling leader will keep a watch at strategic locations. The cycling leader and support vehicle driver will be contactable at all times by mobile phone. Should a breakdown or an emergency arise during your cycling day they will respond as soon as is possible. Whilst our support vehicle cannot transport the whole group, baggage and bikes, it is also there to assist the occasional tired cyclist. So if you want to opt out of a morning, afternoon or even a full day of cycling, it may be possible to travel in the vehicle.

One option is that you take your own bike on this holiday. It is the bike you know best and will provide you with the best riding experience. However, bike hire can be arranged through our local agent. Your choice of bike will be made available to you at the 9am rendezvous on Day 1 of the holiday. The options are (1) aluminium framed Kona Zing (or equivalent) fitted with Shimano and Tektro components, a compact 50/34 chainset and 10-speed 12/28 cassette. The cost of this bike is 180 euros for the period of the trip. (2) carbon framed Kona Zing Supreme (or equivalent) fitted with Shimano 105 components, a compact 50/34 chainset and a 10-speed 12/28 cassette. The cost of this bike is 245 euros for the period of the trip. You will pay the hire charges directly to the local guide in cash when you pick up the bike. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You must also take your helmet, which will be worn at all times when on the bike.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you cycle above 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels whilst cycling above 2000 metres.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for varying climatic conditions. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your Bike MUST be a road bike or standard cycle-touring bike fitted with a compact or triple chainset and a nine or ten speed cassette. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.

PERSONAL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES

Feet

  • Road or touring cycling shoes

  • Waterproof cycling overshoes

Torso

  • Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)

  • Long sleeved cycling top (x 1)

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Lightweight Fleece top or jumper

  • Lightweight windproof gillet

Hands

  • Regular biking gloves

  • Long fingered gloves

Legs

  • Padded cycling shorts (x 2)

  • Cycling tights or tracksters

Head

  • Eyewear - Biking glasses

  • Cycling helmet – mandatory

KE Trek Bag Contents

  • Travel and apres biking clothes

  • Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking

  • Wash bag and toiletries

  • Swimwear

  • Chamois Cream (e.g. Assos or Ozone)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

To be carried on the bike in your jersey pockets or in a small saddle bag.

Note: If you don’t want to carry any of this, you can leave it in your day-pack in the support vehicle – see below

  • Mobile phone (optional)

  • Mini-pump

  • Multi-tool

  • Puncture repair kit & tyre levers

  • Inner tube

  • Small camera

  • Sun cream

Other items affixed to your bike

  • 1 or 2 waterbottles

 

To be carried in the support vehicle in your day-pack for easy access

  • Lightweight waterproof top

  • Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters, insect repellent (75-100% DEET) and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

PERSONAL TOOLS AND SPARES

Please note: If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring spares – just a pump, repair kit and a couple of inner tubes.

If you are taking your own bike, you should bring the following with you. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally our bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

  • Tyres You will need 700 x 23mm or 25mm Touring/Road Performance tyres suitable for mostly dry with occasional wet conditions.

  • Pump

  • Plastic tyre levers

  • 1 rear brake cable

  • 1 rear gear cable

  • Spare set of brake blocks (front and rear)

  • 2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels

  • Spoke key

  • 4 x inner tubes

  • Spare chain links

  • Liquid chain lube

  • Multi-tool with Allen keys

  • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)

  • 2x puncture repair kits

  • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train.

  • Any spares specific to your bike

KE tools and spares

On all of our trips we carry a track pump, toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. If any other spare parts are needed our support vehicle will make a detour to the nearest bike shop, which can be found in some of the larger towns en route.

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.

BIKE HIRE

It is possible to hire bikes for this trip. Our agent can provide aluminium framed Kona Zing (or equivalent) or carbon framed Kona Zing Supreme (or equivalent) bikes. If you hire a bike it will be made available to you at the rendezvous in Collioure on Day 1. See trip notes for bike hire costs. When you request bike hire, KE will ensure that a suitably sized bike is available for you and will give you further direction with regard to payment. Please note that your contract for bike hire is directly with the hire company and not with KE. Please inform us in advance if you wish to hire a bike for this trip and let us know your frame size. If hiring a bike we recommend that you bring your own saddle and pedals, as well as your helmet.

Please do not hesitate to call us for further advice about what to bring or any other aspect of this trip. We are more than happy to offer you the benefit of our experience. Further helpful information can also be found in the Your Bike, Baggage Allowances, Climate and Travelling with Your Bike sections of the detailed trip notes.

 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, ranging from 18 to 28 degrees Centigrade. It can be cool in the evenings at our highest overnight stopping places and chilly at the highest passes on the route. The weather is usually stable during the early summer and autumn months in the Pyrenees, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out.

  • Rough Guide to the Pyrenees

  • Rough Guide to France

  • Lonely Planet - France

Michelin 1:150,000 series

342 Haute Pyrenees 343 Ariege – Haute Garonne 344 Aude, Pyrenees-Orientale

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