Spain - France Tour

barnesy

Well-Known Member
Hi Guys,

I leave next tuesday to fly to Alicante, i have 3 weeks to get back to work in Belfast and I intend to cycle from Alicante to Roscoff and then Cork to Belfast.

I will be cycling around the world next year for 2 or more years and I booked the rest of my holidays from in a block before it got too cold to use them. Spain interests me, I have done alot of cycling in France but never Spain, I speak a good level of Spanish but i didnt realise it was so hilly.

I have 2 options i would like advice on and that is which way i get to France. The initial intention was to cycle up inland. I could follow the N330 up and head towards Pamplona, then make my way over the Pyranees near the coast. This is as follows:

MapPamplona.png

StatsPamplona.png


The first 500-600 miles in Spain are very much up and down which i dont really care for, they dont realy go above 1000 M though.

The next option which has just occurred to me is to not skirt the Pyranees but to head straight into them and tackle the Tourmalet while I was at it, it would be a shame to be in the region and not try it. It looks like a case of following the coast a bit to Valencia then heading up and over, then more inland section of France than if i had have done the Pamplona route.

That looks like this:

MapTourmalet.png

StatsTourmalet.png


The distances in total are roughly the same, and this one has a quieter first few days but then it really kicks up, the Tourmalet will take me above 2000 M.

I will be doing it fully loaded, 18KG bike and maybe 20KG worth of gear so it will be real tough. I had dreamt of it as nice days and cool evenings taking it easy but that never happens and being in the mountains now appeals to me.

So id like opinions from people who have done it or have any info they could share. My main worry is that its getting late, i know the Tourmalet may close in late October but will it be bad in mid october? Can i expect snow or a dangerous descent?

I need to average 65 mile days to make my ferry which i have no worry of doing on the flat. In France i had done 80-90 mile days for much of it but that was with long hours of the summer and easy riding.
 
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