Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Welcome to the Pyrenees - Part 1

This year, we're riding in the Pyrenees. As I've mentioned before, this is a little awkward, given the name of this blog. So, in the best tradition of UK Channel 4's mashup comedy gameshows, this year, Fatman in the Alps does the Pyrenees!

Today started out really gently, giving Angela a chance to see how she is feeling after major surgery earlier in the year. There is a flat cycle track which runs along the valley, following a dismantled railway, all the way from Pierrefitte-Nestalas to the outskirts of Lourdes. It is, as Sean Kelly would have it, 'pan flat'. It's a decent distance too. We set out from Saint-Savin, over a small climb to descent to Pierrefitte-Nestalas, and joined the cycle track. There was a head wind, but we made pretty good progress. The track is popular with cyclists, joggers and roller bladers, so there were a few occasions when some fine judgement was necessary to avoid a head on collision. Happily there were no mishaps. The route is easy to follow, and has a beautiful tarmac surface. The valley is quite wide, and there are some good views of the peaks on either side. We didn't venture into Lourdes itself. It seemed fairly dismal when we drove through yesterday.

On the way back, we left the track at Argeles-Gazost, and got lost for a while trying to find the road back to Saint-Sevin. At one point I made the classic mistake of crossing the road and preparing to set off... on the wrong side. Doh! We eventually found the right road, and Angela made it almost all the way back, apart from a short walk up the steep approach to the village square, by the church. If she carries on like this, Lac d'Estaing should be within reach while we're here.

The route for the ride is available on Garmin Connect.


  1. You should have bought a left hand drive bike!

  2. You should have bought a left hand drive bike!