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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from a week of riding through the Pyrenees, thought I'd share a few pics.

I took 450+ pics and 11 videos on my camera, but whittled things down to 120+ pics and 2 videos. Here's a few (sorry these are so large, but after 8 hours of editing, resizing these is just not possible):

Also, I saw Gilberto Simoni and Michael Rasmussen doing recon on stage 11 of this years tour. :blush2: No pics of them though, sorry.

Loading the bikes in Toulouse:
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Climbing up the Col de Port:
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My buddy Jack:
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Me, climbing the Tourmalet:
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Sign says that the next kilometer averages 10%. Ouch.
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Breaking out of the fog...
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Roadblock!
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Tunnel
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I can't say enough about cycling in France. Easily the best vacation I've ever taken, largely in part to Julie, our tour guide, and operator of (here comes the shameless plug) http://ridestrongtours.com/. :thumbsup:

For anyone interested in seeing the rest of the pics (and a video of Jack being led up to the summit of the Tourmalet by two llamas) - click here:
http://www1.snapfish.com/share/p=742271151415240164/l=106726568/g=27693941/otsc=SYE/otsi=SALB
 

· I heart team Zissou!
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The Tourmalet self-portrait was taken in the avalanche tunnels just before La Mongie, right? If so, now you know what pain is!!

Grat pictures, esp. that of the tunnel in the road between the Aubisque and the Soulor.

Post some more!!

Philippe

PS, you were loading up bikes in Toulouse just a stone's throw away from my appt. during grad school -- hope you had time to visit rthe Cathedrral!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let's see if I can answer a few questions.

MB1 - I have no idea what Llamas were doing up there. If you get a chance, check out my snapfish gallery, there's a video there of two Llamas giving my buddy a lead out to crest the summit of the Tourmalet.

pedlfoot - Yes, those are horses. And the story goes like this. As we approached the foot of the Soulor we were roadblocked by these horses. Traffic was stopped on both sides. Well, if you count us on bikes and one car on the other side as 'traffic'.

Just ahead of where we stood the horses were sheparded into a meadow, but not before they walked past another horse (I'm guessing of the opposite sex) in a trailer, who made quite the commotion as they passed.

So the horses are now in the meadow, and the truck pulling the trailer has left.

*Rumble* *Rumble* - next thing you know all the horses come stampeding out of the meadow being chased by both the older woman w/ a stick, and the kid in wellingtons.

Quite the scene!

thebadger - Yes! That's the road! Loved it. Though, it being the last col we were to climb, the initial downhill was quite deceptive.

philipec - Toulouse was great! And yes, the self portrait was taken in the avalanche tunnels. Ow!

And, as per your request, more pics!

Booking another col, a baby, this one!

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Group shot of the three riders we had. I'm on the right. (We had such a small group, three riders, and three guides, that we were really able to custom fit our rides each day - perfect!)

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Across from where the previous photo was taken.

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Photoshop of Jack hamming it up.

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"Ahhhh!" :p

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Cirque du Litor

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I was eating an omlette in this pic...didn't think it'd be quite as interesting :p

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Me, headed out to descend the Aubisque. Best descent I've ever had. The mountain and I danced.

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· Non non normal
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Great stuff. Please start another thread and post another series of photos.
 

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Nice pictures! I was based near Massat for 8 days at the end of May and rode the Col de Seraille a number of times from both directions- an insignificant col compared to the "greats" of the Pyrenees but a beautiful, quiet road with some fabulous views of the Mont Vallier massif on the west side. Looks like the picture after that with the 3 riders on a bridge could be in St Girons. Like you, I can't wait to get back!
 

· Devoid of all flim-flam
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Excellent post. Fine pics. You're a fearless photog. What kind of camera?
 
G

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How was the Tourmalet and the other climbs? A friend and I are trying to put a trip together to do either Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux. Here in PA we only have 1 to 2 mile climbs max and we're freekin out about possibly having to quad that distance on one climb.
 

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Long climbs

You have two mile climbs? Lucky dog :) You have to look hard for a mile long climb here in MO.

You can make it up the climbs in France. Be sure you have good gearing and pretty good fitness. I used a 39x27 and got along fine. Alpe d'Huez isn't THAT bad, although the start is kind of tough. The Tourmalet (from the east) starts easy but gets kind of tough at times. Mont Ventoux will be the toughest of those three climbs. The middle section in particular is relentless.

The hardest part of the climbs is the length. Be patient and realize you will be on them for an hour or more. Keep turning the pedals, pace yourself, and you will get to the top. Don't try to muscle your way over mountains like you might be able to do in PA. Stay light on the pedals and try to keep a good cadence.
 

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Long climb gearing

Gnauss, one of the things to consider when climbing in the Alps or Pyrenees is just how long your ride will be in addition to the particular climb you're doing. Alpe d'Huez, for instance, is "only" a little over 15 km so if you're starting at the bottom of it and riding from there it's a completely different climb than if you're riding over a col or two before or after you do it. I rode Plateau de Beille in the Pyrenees in late May. It's around a 16 km climb at 7.9% avg gradient but I rode 20 km to get there and then about 40 km over another col to get back to where I was staying. So the ride took on a different degree of difficulty than if I had started in Les Cabannes and just ridden to the top. I would definitely advise considering using the lowest gearing that your drivetrain can accomodate. I'm more familiar with Campy 10 speed where you can get a 29 on the back, but if you're using Shimano 9 speed you can use a mtn bike cassette and that would give you some dramatically lower gears than probably what you're presently using. Of course, either option may entail a different derailleur and longer chain. If you're already using a triple, then you may be set without any change at all. Bonne Route!
 
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