Is a Cycling Holiday for 2016 in your calendar?
It can be difficult choosing you cycling holiday and sometimes just the description of a cycling tour will sew doubt in your ability and enjoyment of this type of holiday. But trust me!, everyone is thinking the same and once you are in the saddle on that first ride you will have forgotten all the anxiety you had on the flight over.
You do, however, need to pick the right cycling holiday so this short explanation will guide you through the different options for cycling ability, locality and sociability for your dream cycling holiday.
Self Guided or Organised Guided Tour
Departing for an Organised Guided Tour is sometimes daunting the first time. Questions like, who will be there?, how many people?, how hard will it be? and always, will I be able to keep up? are constantly asked. Do not despair, everyone is thinking the same things and there are so many tours to choose from you WILL find the one to fit your criteria.
If you just want a gentle introduction into cycling abroad or in the mountains then you can choose a Self Guided cycling holiday. This maybe on your own or with a group of friends for a long weekend or a week away. You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to our cycle specific holiday centre in the French Pyrenees where you will have access to a vast array of cycle routes, all pre prepared, printed on route cards and GPS files. You do not even have to bring a bike, if you prefer to rent one from us. If you happen to have a mechanical or physical breakdown out on the road, there is always the knowledge that emergency back up is only a phone call away. So Self Guided cycling holiday is a great way to ride abroad and in the mountains at your own pace and with your own itinerary, stopping when you like and riding whatever distance that takes your fancy and then be pampered and looked after on your return. A great introduction to the cycling holiday.
Organised Cycling Tours
All of our Cycling Tours are fully supported and this means that you will be met at the airport by Pyrenees Multisport staff. You are transferred either to the arrival hotel or to our base in the Pyrenees. You will have help building your bikes or have your rental bike provided and then fine tuned for you. There will be a briefing meal and the road books, route cards and on our Grande Tours, your cycling jersey, will be given to you. All accommodation, evening meals and breakfasts are provided. Lunches will be at cafés on route and the support vehicle will have hot & cold drinks and snacks to be given out on request (or just grab them when you want). The support vehicles will carry all your kit and leap frog the group throughout the ride. Everything is taken care of including keeping you and your bike on the road whenever possible. All you have to do is ride your bike!
There are several types of organised guided cycling tours but these can be broken down into two categories;
A Cycling Tour can be based in a single location with rides radiating out each day normally with coffee stops and lunch stops and returning back to the same base base (and bed). Or they can be multi base tours going point to point from hotel to hotel or, they can be a mixture of both similar to our Tour Ultime which has a few days based at our location in Luscan and a few days going point to point through Spain and Andorra.
Both single and multi base are always fully supported so you will have the support vehicle near by at all times with your extra kit, food, motivational encouragement and if it is a point to point, your luggage too. The groups are made up of all abilities and over the past 10 years our experience in supporting everyone has allowed all to enjoy the riding at their own pace with zero pressure. We never hurry the back markers (our support vehicle is not a sag wagon) and we never make the front riders wait. You are all here to enjoy your riding whatever speed you ride at and we support that.
Here are our Cycling Tours that we provide under this category;
- Pyrenean Traverse – a 6 day sociable ride across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Med
- Tour Ultime – following some of the TdF stages as well as a 3 country tour riding however much or little as you like
- Giro Dolomiti – the Italian giants over 7 days, ride the lot or pick and choose
- Raid Alpine – from Lake Geneva to Nice plus the Alp d’Huez over 8 days
- Tour de Corse – circumnavigate the island of Corsica in 6 stages, early season with great weather
- Tour de France – 1 week special watching the mountain stages plus the 3 country tour
There is cross over between Cycle Tours and Cycle Challenges as it depends if you would like to ride the tour at your own leisure or to receive an award at the end for completing the ride. For example the Pyrenean Traverse, our 6 day tour across the Pyrenees is also know as the Raid Pyrenean which can also be completed over 5 days and within a set 100 hours by the Cycle Club Bearnais. This is a set “Brevet” or medal challenge and in the case of the Raid Pyrenean, you are required to ride from Hendaye to Cerbere over 18 set climbs in 100 hours. You will have an official stamp card to prove you have ridden the entire route, which is a lot of fun and a feeling of accomplishment as it fills up over the tour. You then receive a medal, a certificate and added to the list of finishers for that organisation.
Here are our Cycling Challenges that we provide under this category;
- RAID Pyrenean – Atlantic to the Med in 100 Hours – organisation Cycle Club Bearnais
- CENT Cols – 100 Cols over 10 days of riding – this is the Ultimate Cycling Challenge in the Pyrenees – organisation Cent Cols Club
- Raid Alpine – from Lake Geneva to Nice – organisation Cyclos Randonneurs Thononais
- Tour de Corse – circumnavigate the island of Corsica in 6 stages – organisation Audax Club Parisian
The Grand Tours
We have a put together a portfolio of tours that takes in specific tours from both the Cycling Tour and Cycling Challenges to form our Grand Tour Series. These are iconic tours throughout the different mountain regions of France and Italy. This allows you to plan your attack on the famous routes of the Pyrenees, Alps, Dolomites and Corsica. They also reward you with the medals and certificates to show off your achievements. Plan these over several years and you will never have to worry about your cycling holidays for a long time.