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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:48 am 
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i will be doing both this summer. Curious to which one is people's favorites and why. Hoping this psyches me up for alpe d'huez and Tourmalet

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:19 am 
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If you know where to go in the Pyrenees, you can ride for hours without seeing a soul. Alps is more heavily traveled. Be careful in the Pyrenees, some of the surfaces on descents are treacherous, even in good conditions.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:40 am 
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I think the Pyrenees are wilder and more beautiful than the Alps as the latter can get quite busy and some of the valleys have a surprising amount of industry, but both have some truly great spots to ride.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed
When you go to the Pyrénées, be sure to ride a Thomann. That way, you can zip up the Pyrénées as if they're not even there. I don't know whether a Thomann will flatten the Alps as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:49 pm 
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are those bikes still being made?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:03 pm 
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I've ridden in the Pyrnees a couple of times (98 and 15) and a number of times in the Alps. I'll be back in the Alps in a few weeks again. I'd have to agree with the comments about the Pyrenees being less crowded. There are side roads that lead into valleys that seem to be in the middle of nowhere. We rode Pierre St. Martin about three weeks before the Tour was coming and I don't remember seeing more than about 10 other riders all day. On a dead end in the middle of nowhere a few days later, there were no other riders but great views. Compare that to the steady stream up to Huez.

Both are really good. The Pyrenees are a lot more remote unless you're near Lourdes. The Alps have more people and some higher elevations like the Iseran and Galibier. In either case (and in mountain areas in Italy), plan your weekend rides carefully and avoid big name climbs if you can. You can be passed my groups of motorcycles as long as 50 bikes and that can be really disconcerting. Doing the Sella Ronda counterclockwise on a Saturday last year, I almost packed it in for the van when we were stopped repeatedly by traffic that was so heavy you couldn't move. I don't remember having those problems in the Pyrenees but do recall them from the Alps and Italy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:14 pm 
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great comments. the crowds are one of the key reasons why i gave up riding in Mallorca and switched to Girona. for now I'm excited about being able to try the Pyrenees and the french alps. My trip to the Pyrenees has me driving past Girona on the way to Barcelona for a return flight. Will be weird not being able to visit. There's always next year.

A trip on a bike is so much better than buying yet another new bike!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:20 pm 
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fromtrektocolnago wrote:
great comments. the crowds are one of the key reasons why i gave up riding in Mallorca and switched to Girona. for now I'm excited about being able to try the Pyrenees and the french alps. My trip to the Pyrenees has me driving past Girona on the way to Barcelona for a return flight. Will be weird not being able to visit. There's always next year.

A trip on a bike is so much better than buying yet another new bike!


Totally agree. I'd rather ride in the mountains on a £500 bike than round my local routes on one that cost £5,000. In fact my last trip was on a rusty 1984 Koga Miyata that I bodged together for a few hundred quid.

Not done the Pyrenees yet (though planning a coast to coast) but have ridden in the Alps and whilst it may not be remote and completely empty, the majority of the climbs are peaceful and have very limited traffic, especially further up. Also good that a lot of them have a marked shoulder for cyclists on the way up and the old distance and gradient markers every km. Road surface generally pretty good too.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Less crowded, but the weather is also more unstable.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Ulver wrote:
fromtrektocolnago wrote:
great comments. the crowds are one of the key reasons why i gave up riding in Mallorca and switched to Girona. for now I'm excited about being able to try the Pyrenees and the french alps. My trip to the Pyrenees has me driving past Girona on the way to Barcelona for a return flight. Will be weird not being able to visit. There's always next year.

A trip on a bike is so much better than buying yet another new bike!


Totally agree. I'd rather ride in the mountains on a £500 bike than round my local routes on one that cost £5,000. In fact my last trip was on a rusty 1984 Koga Miyata that I bodged together for a few hundred quid.

Not done the Pyrenees yet (though planning a coast to coast) but have ridden in the Alps and whilst it may not be remote and completely empty, the majority of the climbs are peaceful and have very limited traffic, especially further up. Also good that a lot of them have a marked shoulder for cyclists on the way up and the old distance and gradient markers every km. Road surface generally pretty good too.


I read that the Pyrenees roads are mostly chip-seal versus unlike the Alps meaning the roads are a little better in the Alps.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:26 pm 
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fromtrektocolnago wrote:
great comments. the crowds are one of the key reasons why i gave up riding in Mallorca and switched to Girona.

Amen to that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Both are superb for cycling but I prefer the Pyrenees. Sometimes it can feel like you have ridden back through time. An escape from an increasingly busy and homogeneous modern world. The same applies to the Cevennes and the Auvergne. Having said that I am off to the Alps and then the Vosges in a few weeks and I cannot wait!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Doing both this summer too as i'm doing "Marmotte Granfondo Alps" (174k 5000mD+) and "Marmotte Granfondo Pyrennees" (163k 5500mD+ . Doing the Alpe d'huez TT on 30/06 too as a prologue ;)

Maybe some of you in the alps end of june/early july ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:46 pm 
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djcharlou wrote:
Doing both this summer too as i'm doing "Marmotte Granfondo Alps" (174k 5000mD+) and "Marmotte Granfondo Pyrennees" (163k 5500mD+ . Doing the Alpe d'huez TT on 30/06 too as a prologue ;)

Maybe some of you in the alps end of june/early july ?


We'll be passing each other in the airport. I'm doing Vaujany Oisans as I'm not quite Marmotte material

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Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:46 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:04 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
fromtrektocolnago wrote:
djcharlou wrote:
Doing both this summer too as i'm doing "Marmotte Granfondo Alps" (174k 5000mD+) and "Marmotte Granfondo Pyrennees" (163k 5500mD+ . Doing the Alpe d'huez TT on 30/06 too as a prologue ;)

Maybe some of you in the alps end of june/early july ?


We'll be passing each other in the airport. I'm doing Vaujany Oisans as I'm not quite Marmotte material


Are you going for a smaller route then? Because if I remember correctly a friend of mine's time on the Vuajany was pretty close to his Marmotte time.


On topic:
I've only been to the Pyrenees once (and in May) and the Alpes multiple times. The Alpes are definitely busier, but like havana said, the weather also seems more stable.


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