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2016 Prologue: the (Hu)Mid-i-Pyrenees.

June 15, 2016


Look, I’ll keep this brief and skip the courteous provision of context because we all know this blog’s readership is lucky to hit double figures, so you all know the score anyway.
Another year, another LVG trip. In fact, another LVGBV – not just a brand, but a hashtag – trip, given last year’s posse nuptials. An annual tradition born in the steamy swamp of (mostly) PR people that has evolved to a broader crowd.
Again, there are mountains on the horizon. That plea for a visit to Norfolk fell upon deaf ears.
Again, the weather looks a bit iffy. Hence the humidity here in Foix, near Andorra. Thunderstorms beckon: capes at the ready, taxi numbers discretely tapped into phones for the chosen few.
Again, a mighty support van is poised, though without traditional pilot Howie, a fallow year for him, and the rest of us the poorer for it although Vaidas and Erik will keep us in check.
Again, further posts will be dependent on the kind of hotel wi-fi equipment that can probably be knocked up on Blue Peter with a rummage in a recycling bin.
Again, the banter has begun.
What lies ahead, beyond the merriment, is this:
Day 1: Foix to Bagneres de Luchon, via an initial long, long hill then the Portet d’Aspet and Col de Mente, both of which have sad and notorious two-wheeled histories.
Day 2: Bagneres to Argeles Gazost, via the holy pimples of the Pair of Swords, the Tour upstart that is the Forchette de Marzipan and the Grand Boucle’s favourite lofty excursion, the Col du Tourmalet (Peyresourde and Horquette d’Ancizan also in the mix).
Day 3: Argeles Gazost. One, two or three optional mountains. Or none. All optional, and a nice place in which to have such options.
Day 4: ArgyBargyless to St Jean Pied de Port. Doesn’t pied de port imply the ‘feet’ of said locale are in proximity to a port? Doubtful, as it’s a good 60km from the sea. Certain proximity to mountains though, with the long drag up the Col de Soulour, dramatic hop up to the Aubisque for those funny cycling climbing frames and the Col de Marie Blanque (Mary White, perhaps a relative of Barry)?) to be tackled before the soigneurs, mechanics and team psychologists do their evening duties.
Day 5: St John Port Feet to Biarritz; morning only. Flat and downhill, looking forward. A chance to wind down and dry out.
That’s your lot. Utterly straightforward. About 565k/365 miles, more or less, some of them optional. What could go wrong?
Stay tuned.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Grantie / Lance permalink
    June 16, 2016 11:50 am

    Best of luck gents! I have a huge emotional connection with Peyresourde as it was the first ‘real’ hill I managed to scale (albeit slowly). I will always remember coming around the corner and seeing the last stage with those awesome switchbacks to the summit… the mixed feelings of awe, excitement and utter horror at what I still had left to do will never leave me :).

    Anyway, have an awesome trip chaps and look forward to the updates on the adventure!

    • Me permalink*
      June 16, 2016 1:14 pm

      I remember that day vividly Lance. You and Ravden sloping off early to get a head start…I came past you both just before those Peyresourde hairpins as you were taking a little break. Later that afternoon I had my ‘dark moment’ on the slopes of the Col d’Aspin. We shall not talk of it.

      Stay safe fellas.

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