I’ve been back just over a week now from completing the Raid Pyrenean, enough time to get some thoughts together about this pretty special trip, and cut the footage together into a short film ‘SuperU’. This is shot very much as a companion piece to last year’s ‘Towards
the Ocean‘ and 2009′s ‘Whisky for Breakfast‘( London Edinburgh London).
It’s fair to say that the Raid Pyrenean still presents a fair challenge to most cyclists, climbs like the Tourmalet, Aubisque and Pailheres go on for ever, and then a bit more, at a gradient that, whilst not savage, is enough to keep you stuck in bottom sprocket for the entire climb. The weather can play a big part too, descending the Tourmalet in the cold, fog and rain was no fun at all, but the similarly long descent of the Pailheres totally, mind-blowingly ace. The climbs of the Aspin and Col de Port were the most beautiful I’ve ever done.
So, it was hard for sure, but never excessively so and having road-side support, decent food and good hotels every night certainly allow you to recover sufficiently to be ready for the next day. When I showed this film to my wife she said ‘ it looks like you had a nice holiday’. And that, in essence, is exactly what it was. Enjoy.