Bicycle tour from Andorra, Vuelta across the Pyrenees, across Massif Central and the Alps back to Lake Geneva about 3100 km
from August 28th to September 22nd, 2010. ca. 3100 km, 43 mountain passes
From Andorra border to France across the Pyrenees, across Massif Central and the Alps back to Lake Geneva
Soulan,St.Girons,St.Jean du Castillonnais,
Col de Portet d Aspet
Col de Portet d Aspet 1069 m
Antichan du Frontignes,St.Beat
I have enjoyes descending from pass Col de Portet d Aspet so much, that I really missed to see that monument.I am very sorry
about it now. I have seen something briefly, but I did not want to climb back. It was the monument of Fabio Casartelli (Italian, Goldmedal winner at road cyling at the Olympics
)was not able to stop.
I downloaded this photos from internet.
At the 15th Stage of the Tour de France on 18.06.1995. he crashed with several cyclists during the descent from the pass. He sufferedso heawy injuries when he hit concrete block on the roadside pralte,
that despite the immediate medical Help and more
resuscitation attempts he died in the helicopter.At his memorial monument the shadows show on his birthday and on the day of his victory on the Olympics and won and on the day of his dead.Three days later Lance Armstrong won the stage.
The captain of the Motorola team dedicated this victory to his
teammate pointing to the sky.
descending from Col_de_Portet_d_Aspet Col
Lapebie_La_Route_du_Sud the most beautiful view in the Pyrenees verified by a British painter
In the evening, the ball game
pétanque is played.
trout fishers in Garonne
river at St..
old church in
view from camp site in Fos
Fos Camping of the town
In the morning I was in the Spanish Pyrenees , I was cycling through the small town Bossost in direction
Steep descendiing to Bagnieres du Luchon.
on the way to Pass
the mountain pass top
in Banieres du Luchon,Mekka der Radfans
, which is often the finish of Tour de France stages.
The road is winding up to Pass Col de Peyresourde.
Bahamontes stage winner in 1958
favourite cyclist of my late friend ( Legner
B_d_Luchon peaks overviewing the pass
The pass roads are covered everywhere with the famous cyclist names, of ETA or demanding freedom for the Catalans etc. At some of them I thought thanks heaven, it is better for me not beeing able to understand it.
During climbing of the passes in the Pyrenees - perhaps Peyresourde - I found the scipt,which I liked , because I was a fan of Jan Ullrich.
Man = man
jetzt ran = now push!
and under a well made caricatour of Jan Ullrich sprayed at least 3 years ago.
I reached during church chime at noon on the way to Col de Peyresourde
(1563 m). The beginn of Peyresourde
View from Peyresourde
to the West.
on Peyresourde. On Peyresourde
I am trying to take photo from a kite. During descending fromPeyresurde I admire the Pyrenees, a pond in the mountains. But later I was not disappointed either.
much traffic on Col d Aspin-en
The next pass :Col
start of Col du Tourmalet.
Camping , inn, restaurant in Saint Marie de Campan
Panorama from Tourmalet to the West
Statue of Jacques Goddet auf Tourmalet, who was the organizer of the tour from 1936 until 1986
Descending from Tourmalet, 150 m lower a valely is leading to the Skicentre.
long descend to Argeles Gazost, after climbing the pass: Col du Soulor.
That sign shows the start of Pass Col du Souolor and
that one finishes the row..
du Soulor uphill to Aubisque.
Such a chasm lined the narrow road with no road railing. I rolled fast downhill to Laruns
Col d Aubisque
Aubisque Col de Marie Blanque
After descend, I followed the advice of the American couple, who were also touring passes to Bielle, to climb the Col de Marie Blanque, even though it was late. Early sign of the pass Col de Marie Blanque. Evening victory. Opposite again a resistence monument.
Camping in Louvrie.
before Lourdes. Internat
by the river, with a wonderful old bridge.
downtown. Crosses in Lourdes.
The entrance of the lower church and its Interior.
Large groups of pilgrims
with flowers. Pilgrims from Italy passeng by.
main road of the pilgrims
Documents of limmiting my freedom
lower church in Lourdes
large group of pilgrims from Italy and Irland
The entrance of the huge cathedral in Albi, the enormous cathedral tower.
in Albi near the cathedral and closer to the downtown.
an almost 50 km alley lined with plane trees before Albi
Morning leave of Albi by the Tarn river
From Tarbes I could not find the right direction,too. So I had to cycle on "N 21", then north on 124 to Aubiet, pedalling through the city. ,
.I went through L Isle Jaurdain to Toulouse.
There I came again to the motor way. I simply could not find any other signposted way. It was 10 km to Toulouse. I followed the sign Centre. Later a sign showed to the right. While I was "tearing off" along the airport and the
Work of Airbus. It Then it turned out I
'm back on a motorway. Soon,a police van stopped.
They dragged my heavy loaded bicycle in the van. That was the end of my fast cycling on the motorway.Finally they made a photo of my identity card and about 2 km later,I was allowed to take my bicycle out of the microbus.
There was really a small turn to the centre.
Before they asked my whether I had money....
But luckely I did not need to pay any fine. One of the four policemen said,if he is seeing me again on the motorway , taking my bicycle away.
I was so afraid, that I did not stop in Toulouse even to take a photo.
I was concentrating only not to come to the motorway in direction of Albi.
Route further:Lavour, Graulhet .
The cathedral showed me the direction to Albi centre. But here
I had to cycle
some km on the highway
Office de Tourism was well marked as in every city. I came
there after 7 p.m., so it was already closed. The
City plan was detached and the camp ground was good to see.
Then I took my compulsary pictures and looked around in the city.
Spa Camping Albi € 24.2. by far the most expensive! The swimming pool I did not try this evening, instead I talked to young cyclists from Britain
Albi on the bank of Tarn river.
Further route.Taunus, Rodez, Villeneuve, Figeac, Maurs. In the evening it turnd out that the planned camp site is only for mobile homes. In the hotel by the lake the young receptionist girl tried to explain just to pitch up my tent on the lake shore.
I thought I will not miss taking a shower this evening. So I sat on the bench by the lake and ate my supper. Then I saw a rat ,which was looking for food. He disappeared only as a woman with a dog came to close to him.
I quickly decided to stay in the hotel, before my food and tent will be touched by the rat. I paid
42 EUR for the room with breakfast.
I arrived to the town Aurillac before 9 Uhr. The Office
Tourism was still closed.I had to ask several times for the direction to Col de Legal.
The girl,who answered me last time, warned me about the approaching rain. That turned quickly in reality.
Varied landscape of Massif
Central and the first pass: Col du
Bruel. The second one is already in unpleasaant rain: Col
also in rain. The inn on the pass has almost enticed me away to stay here. Dispite of changing an inner tube in the rain, I cycled on.
I had bad luck because I did not suspect that the hard pass is ahead of me: Col du Pas de Peyrol.
Even the otherwise grim French policemen, who were waiting in the rain for controlling vehicles, had encouraged me..
Monolith, chapel cut in the rock
Col du Pa
already withot rain. I miscalculated the weather. For in the Office de Tourism I was a day early & nbsp; no rain for the next day predicted
But they had not considered that I am cycling up in the mountains about 1500 m altitude. I could no dry my washed on the revious evening washed
my cloths. That is why I had no dry clothes more.
So I opted for a cheap hotel in the city & nbsp;
Murat (La Messageries 30 + 8 EUR breakfast), where the next morning I
had dried the still wet clothes with hair dryer.
upper town , bank of Ander Varied landscape of Massif
From Department Cantal I got to Haute Loire.
In this department, the sea level was marked on the kilometer markers.
This was around 1000 m over sea level. St.Flour
, then the next pass: Col
de Fix St. Geneys
lunch break in Massif
castle of Polinac
le Puy an Vellay
, , .
A flock of eagles, medieval pig slaughtering, preparation for battle. Now it gets serious..
The enemy fired from huge guns , that made eerie riot. But the attackers do their best. .
A quieter scene
in the festival city.
Soldiers go to war
Leaders are negotiating
Landscape in the highlands. The first pass Col des Pradeaux where I had rested for lunch. The second pass: Col des Limites
In the distance the Alps. Col_de_la_Croix_l_Homme_Mort =
Center of Ambert
in the mountains. The morning mist rises
. Landscape in Central Massif . The first pass :Col des
Pradeaux, where I had a lunch break. The second pass : Col
The remote Alps.
= "Pass of the Cross of the dead man."
Centre of Ambert
The route furhter: Montbrison, Montrond les
Camping ca. 30 km before Lyon in Randonniere, I was lucky to find it in the late darkness.
In the mountains of Lyon (Monts du
Lyonnaise) was the first pass:Col
du Luére, followed by Col
There I received information from a cyclist how to avoid the motorway: Mornant, Givors Grigny, Vernaison. on Sunday
morning when the sun shines a lot of cyclists were traveling. But also thousands were hiking. In the city of Lyon was also
an organized cycling tour with thousands of cyclists and police blockades.
I tried to find out what it was, but for my questions, I received no response.
Finally, I reached the city after a long half circle around the city, this time not on the motorway.
The inner city of Lyon.
On Sunday the shops were closed. I learnd from Russian,who were working in the city, that threre is only one by Turks run grocery open. Originally I did not want to carry lots of food.
So I had to buy now for a higher price.
Main square with statue of the "Sun King"
Further route: Pont du Cheruy , Cremieu. Camping "la Rivoirette" in
Route: Belley, Culoz,Ruffieux,Motz,Gorge and valley of Fier river.
medieval town Morestel on early morning. I looked for a bicycle servide in Culoz
, so I took some photos of the town life
lunch break site
bycle track along Rhone river
Sailboats , marina by the Rhone.
Gorges du Fier
Gorges du Fier = proud gorge
earned well its name
Frangy, Sallenoves,Cersier, Cruseilles. The was the real start of the climb up to Mont
That is already the pleasant valley of Fier
river in the Alps . I saw such well prepared sport grounds almost in every village/ town.
Those peaks are still waiting for" a conquest
". First I admire the small town.
I started to climb up Mont
Saleve , though it was pretty late.
view from Mont Saleve to Mont
Blanc in the lights of sun set
many (21) paragliders
circling over Mont Saleve. Mont
Saleve Telepherique. Panorama to the evening Genf.
Spending the night in one by Vietnameses run cheap hotel in
Annemasse, which was full of noisy Arabs..
Route: Annemasse, Viuz en Sallaz,
Tanniges,Morillon. I pushed the pedals up to my last pass : Col de Joux Plane 1712 m .
On the serpentines of
Joux Plane Passes accompanied by a Frenchman and British on Col du
Joux Plane a spoke broke
from Col du Joux Planel. From there we came up. On that terrace we had a cola
My last pass Col
Joux du Plane towards Mont Blanc
Ranfolly last gorge:Gorges
du Pont du Diable Thonon les Bains by the Lake of Geneve
Morzin, St. Jean d-Aulps. Last gorge : Gorges du Pont du Diable, then downhill to Lake Geneve.
I thought in the morning of the 25th day, which should havee been a reward stage because I had to climb just a big pass, beautiful
weather and at night I did not need to look for any more camping.
But the day occorred in a different way.
Halfway to the Col de Joux Plane Saliva a spoke of the rear wheel broke and got into the bicycle derailleur.
I just had to turn the bent derailleur, even to loosen the brake line. Because the rear wheel was bent so much.
The accompanied Englishman asked whether I can continue the tour with a so much bent wheel.
In the bicycle service of Fülöp in Budapest turned out, that the derailleur's shoe had a crack.
On the downhill, I also had a flat tire
in the back wheel, of course.
Nevertheless, I arrived safely in Thonon le Bains in the evening.
I had managed the tour !
Driving home -in compensation for the long sitting in the car - I saw Matterhorn
then I climbed up to
avalanches protections the road lead to the pass top. View to
god of shepherds
Useful hints, tips for cyclists,who want to make a bicycle tour in France.