Old Friends Come To StayPost by Admin October 6, 2016
Old Friends come to stay – The Double Panda Tour
Having lived and raced in a few places, Ive accumulated some friends and July 2016 we managed to have a get together at bedbreakfastbikespyrenees. We’ve all met through the cycling job – some from my racing days amateur and pro, coaching the junior Raleigh Team in LA and others from just riding the bike. A bit of a motley crowd, but that’s the great thing about cycling it brings people together from all walks of life and backgrounds with one thing in common and that’s the love of the bike.
The last time we met up for a bike ride was 5 years ago in Vietnam where we toured for a week arranged by my good friend Patrick Morris of Veloasia – we called that sojourn The Double Snapper Tour.
Since then I’ve moved to the French Pyrenees and it seemed like a good idea for them to all descend on our B&B. This time the tour was to be called The Double Panda – 8th to 18th July 2016.
Invites were sent out and the chaps arrived from LA, Australia, Holland, Ireland and the UK
Daily route sorted, discussed over breakfast and by 10am out on the road. The rides varied in distance and terrain, its hard riding the mountains every day and therefore we mixed up the routes a little to take advantage of the abundance of quiet lanes taking you through rolling countryside heading towards the medieval town of Mirepoix and beyond, obligatory coffee and lunch stops.
And of course we had to take a day out to watch the ‘Tour’ – Andorra to Revel passing through Tarrascon – a first for some and a sight to behold!!
We even managed to get my good friend, LA’s premier chef & Iron Chef, Neal Fraser to cook for us!!
Some of the group were Pyrenees virgins, didn’t know what to expect and were thankful that they had taken my advice on the gearing of 34×28. A number of those cols are long and hard; the secret of success is to pedal away on the small gears at your own pace. They soon found their own rhythmn in ascending and of course those descents!!
After training on the likes of the Marouse, Peguerre, Crouzet, Chioula, Port De Lers etc the grande finale of our cycling sojourn was the iconic Tourmalet or as one of my racing friends calls it quite rightly the Tour Malet, we took it from the west side.
Mission accomplished, Pyrenees conquered!!! There is talk of a return Tour!!!