Friday, 2 September 2016

Where We Stayed

We stayed in two locations this year. Most of the time we were based at the Vélo Peloton Pyrénées Cycling Lodge, in Saint Savin near Lourdes. Paddy and Olive have a wonderful location for cycling in this part of the Pyrenees. Paddy used to race bikes, and has a vast knowledge of the entire area. He also has the distinction of managing to ride up the Hautacam 100 times in a single calendar year. Olive is a fabulous cook. There is secure bike storage, and spares and consumables available. The house is large and the rooms spacious. There is also a comprehensive satellite TV system, very important if you are staying during one of the grand tours!

Breakfast and dinner are communal and a great chance to get to know the other cyclists staying there, to swap experiences and to arrange rides. While we were there we met people from the USA, Canada, Ireland, and lots of folks from Melbourne. Everyone was pretty committed to cycling! 

Saint Savin is just outside Argelès-Gazost, a perfect location for the Hautacam, the Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden, and the Soulor and Aubisque. There are lots of superb, though less well known climbs nearby too, and a 40 kilometre flat ride to Lourdes and back. There is lots of information about the rides on their web site.

They have a super set up for cyclists.

In the Massif, we stayed at the Grand Hôtel, in Le Mont Dore. This is a traditional, small French hotel. It's in a great location near the centre of the town. Once again, there is an excellent French breakfast buffet. Bike storage is possible, but not especially secure. It's a good idea to be able to speak some French in this part of France.

There are a number of climbs that have been used in the Tour within easy reach of Le Mont Dore, and the Puy de Dome is well worth a visit if you have a day off.

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