Spring Cycling In The Pyrenees - Col de Peyresourde from Arreau (1569m)

The first, and only other time, we cycled up the Col de Peyresourde was in the autumn of 2014, and for some reason I remembered it as being hard but a little scenically bland. In hindsight, after revisiting the climb today, I’ve no idea why I would think that? It’s beautiful.


We set off a little earlier from Arreau to tackle the gradually ascending 10km to the start of the climb proper. We set ourselves a relatively gentle pace and the distance seemed to melt away beneath us. The road was mercifully quiet, it being April, but the scenery was in wonderful bloom. Hardly a minute seemed to pass without one of us commenting on a particular view. It was a lot like the Lake District on a rare sunny spring day. Flowers were breaking out, the grass was vivid green and the streams weaving through the fields were sparkling in the sunshine. It was perfect.

The climb itself is definitely harder than the Aspin which we’d done the day before. It’s only 9.5km long but with a 7% average gradient which hides a flat kilometres or so near the start, so much of it is 8% plus. Not that it mattered so much since how fast we went was not on our minds at all. What we were looking at was the wall of rocky summits smothered in snow-fields which dominated the southern horizon. With the white snow and grey rock creating a wonderful contrast with the green of the valley floor, it was perfect postcard material. Except, of course, we were getting to cycle through it.

It took us an hour and half to cover the 20km from our motorhome to the top, where we paused for a few photos and a banana, and then we whistled back home in 25 minutes! Turns out the opening 10km along the valley were steeper than we realised.

A few pictures of the ride….










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Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!: Spring Cycling In The Pyrenees - Col de Peyresourde from Arreau (1569m)
Spring Cycling In The Pyrenees - Col de Peyresourde from Arreau (1569m)
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