La Marmotte – Bourg d’Oisons – Alpe d’Huez

This year La Marmotte cycling event from Le Bourg d’Oisans to Alpe d’Huez will revert back to its regular route over the Col du Galibier

gf-marmotte-iconIn 2015 damage to the Tunnel du Chambon meant the closure to the road between Bourg d’Oisans and the Col du Lautaret/Col du Galibier which subsequently forced a revised route of last summer’s La Marmotte event. Since then a temporary road has been constructed which has unofficially reopened access to this valley. This is a small road, suitable only for cars and small trucks, but contrary to local sign posting, is open to the general public. This spring will see construction start of a new tunnel to permanently replace the original Tunnel du Chambon. It is widely rumoured that the temporary road will then become a cycling only route, meaning that cyclists will no longer have to use the many dark and dangerous tunnels on the original road to the Col du Galibier.

So this year’s Marmotte will once again start in Le Bourg d’Oisans and head over the Col du Glandon, along the Maurine Valley, over the Col du Telegraph and the Col du Galibier, before finishing on the 21 hairpin bends of Alpe d’Huez, a total of 174km.

Living room.500k copy
Living room with free wifi

Due to popular demand, Bike lodging have taken on a large chalet for this long weekend and will be offering a four night catered package. Longer trips are also possible. We will be hosting the chalet and providing half-board catering, as well as a large early breakfast on the day of the race.  We also have a two bedroom chalet with its own private hot tub next door, which may be rented separately, or with the half-board catering package in the larger chalet.

For more details on this chalet or any other available properties in the area do please get in contact enquiries@bikelodging.com.

 

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Tour de France – Alpe d’Huez available hotels and accommodation

Bike Hotels Tour de France – Stage 20 Alpe d’Huez

Tour de France on Alpe d'Huez
Tour de France on Alpe d’Huez

So the Tour is well under way and making its way south. Next week sees some spectacular stages in the Pyrenees, before heading to the Alps for the third week culminating in the final mountain stage finish up the twenty one hairpin bends of Alpe d’Huez. Such is the popularity of this stage, that spectators keen to reserve the best places on the famous climb have already claimed their place on the hill with the intent to stay there until the stage on the 25th July. By this time the numbers of cycling fans lining the route is the topic of much speculation, but some estimates are for up to 1 million, but more realistic figures are for around 400’000 people.

Those lucky enough to be following the Tour with camper vans can benefit from the relaxed rules about camping on the side of the road. However those looking for last minutes beds in the region will struggle at this late stage.

Thanks fully Bike Lodging still have a couple of interesting available options within a short ride of the Alpe d’Huez climb as well as a couple of other stages earlier in the week.

La Danchere Lodge – A great value option in a charming hotel at the entrance to the Ecrins National Park. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens with a public bar, which are one of the nicest places to relax even during the busiest weeks in the region. Half-board prices are from €75 per night with a minimum stay of 4 nights.

La Danchere Lodge
La Danchere Lodge

We have a selection of other places available in the Bourg d’Oisans/Alpe d’Huez region, so do please get in contact for other options.

Bike Lodgingenquiries@bikelodging.com

Mont Ventoux Bike Hotel Malaucene

Hotel Malaucenne - Mont Ventoux
Hotel Malaucenne – Mont Ventoux

Introducing one of our most popular hotels in the Mont Ventoux region. The hotel sits right in the heart of Mauaucene at the start of the climb to Mont Ventoux. It’s so close, that from the hotels breakfast terrace, you can watch other cyclists set off on their climb up this famous mountain.

The hotel 18th century former silk farm has been lovingly converted into the beautiful hotel you see today. Each of the nineteen rooms has an en-suite bath or shower room and toilet. They are all individually designed with vintage furniture and items sourced from local favourite second hand dealers. The hotel most recent additions for 2015 are two modern and stylish self-catering lodges both sleeping up to 4 people, built in the expansive grounds.

The 12’000 meters gardens are sheltered from the outside world by ancient stone walls, with plenty of shaded seating beneath well established trees. There are plenty or secluded and private areas to relax and a large swimming pool to cool off in after a hot day.

Mont Ventoux

Not only does the hotel sit at the foot of the Mont Ventoux, one of the Tour de France’s most famous stages, but the region is blessed by the variety of cycling and mountain biking for all levels for all levels. Unlike some locations in the high Alps and Pyrenees, where every day on the bike is a mammoth day in the saddle,  this region has the benefit of a vast variety of cycling and mountain biking. Aside form the obvious three challenging climbs up the Mont Ventoux, there are also more gentle days trips such as passing through vast selection of fantastic wineries, the Massif des Dentelles, beautiful medieval villages such as Le Barroux and Crillon le Brave and the stunning river valley of Le Toulourene.

Louis Saint Joire and Florence, the French ‘parton’ speak perfect English and thoroughly welcomes cyclists to his hotel. They have a great knowledge of cycling and are usually on hand to offer advice for the perfect days ride.

For information about this or any other properties in the area, do please contact us on enquiries@bikelodging.com

 

Tour de France rooms available due to cancellation

Allemont Hotel
Allemont Hotel

Due to a recent cancellation, two twin or double rooms have become available at

one of our most popular hotels in Allemont. This hotel sits in the perfect position for the final three Alps stages of this summers Tour de France.

Stage 18 on Thursday 23rd July from Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne 186.5km passes over the Col de La Morte and then through in front of the hotel in Allemont before heading over the Col du Glandon and down into the Maurienne valley.

Stage 19 on Friday 24th July from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire 138km passes over the Col de la Croix du Fer a good day ride form the hotel.

Stage 20 on Saturday 25th July starts in Modane and ends up the famous 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez. The start of the Alpe d’Huez climb is just 10km from the Hotel.

The rooms are priced at €70 per person per night, with a minimum of seven night booking. This includes breakfast, afternoon (return from ride) pasta buffet and a three course evening meal.

For details of this hotel or any others in the area, then contact us on enquiries@bikelodging.com

Pyrenees Trip – Vallée de Campan

Bagnères de Bigorre
Bagnères de Bigorre

I spent the afternoon of the 21st March in Bagnères de Bigorre , which is a beautiful market town at the altitude of 550m and located in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Campan Valley close to the start of the climb to the Col du Tourmalet. It has had a wealth of history since 28BC, when the Romans  first developed the regions natural thermal hot springs. Over the years plagues, earthquakes and fires have shaped the fortunes of this pretty town.

During the summer the town is famous for its floral displays and the bars and cafes are busy with happy cyclists and mountain bikers. Much of the town center is made up of beautiful historic buildings and classical architecture.

Tour de France passing the chalet
Tour de France passing the chalet

My evening was spent with Carolyn and Stephan who own a catered chalet just after the turning to the Col du Tourmalet at Saint Marie de Campan. This beautiful chalet with 4 very comfortable en-suite bedrooms, is surrounded by lush green fields and the sounds of grazing sheep. The Tour de France almost always passes within 100meters of their door on the way up or down the Col du Tourmalet and on the odd occasion the climb is not used, then they would likely be using the Col d’Aspin, which starts back in their local village. Carolyn and Stephan are fantastic

Chalet Tourmalet
Chalet Tourmalet

hosts, keen Tour de France fans and a wealth of knowledge of the local area.

When I met with them last weekend, they still have a room available for the week of this summers Tour de France. Stage 11 from Pau to Cauterets will once again pass right past their door.

Accommodation in the Col du Tourmalet area

Pyrenees trip day 2 – Bagneres de Bigorre

Cycling accommodation in the heart of the Pyrenees

This morning I had the pleasure to meet Tim and Di from Canada who settled in the area about 5 years ago to create their cycling accommodation business. Having spend time in the Alps they chose a location just a couple of kilometers from the popular tourist town of Lourdes at the entrance to the Valley des Gaves, and the route to the more popular side of the Col du Tourmalet. However this location also provides easy access to four other cycling valleys, offering numerous circular routes over famous Tour de France Col/mountain passes. It is also surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of Yorkshire Dales style rolling farmland and hills.

Beautiful gardens with swimming pool

The property itself is located in a very quiet hamlet facing south with views over the major peaks, but just a couple of kilometres from Lourdes and all the amenities of a popular major tourist town. The owners have a selection of city bikes, which they lend to clients who fancy popping into town for a drink or dinner, but don’t want to take their own precious road bikes.

Although you wouldn’t know it from their quiet position, Lourdes attracts millions of visitors every year,  meaning it has great communications, such as a duel carriageway all the way from the Autoroute/motorway and an international airport, with regular RyanAir flights from the UK. Clients catching the early morning flight from the UK can be at the property by 10am and on their bikes that morning. Tarbes Lourdes Pyrenees Airport

Secure bike storage with workshop

Tim and Di have created a little cycling paradise, with huge beautifully renovated and decorated rooms. Their bike storage and work shop is fully equipped with every tool you could need and plenty of inside space to work on your bikes, should the weather be unkind. Plus of course a fridge full of beers for your après ride drink. Parking is private and off road within their huge closed off courtyard. They also have lovely relaxed gardens behind the property with a good sized swimming pool.

To top it all off, Tim and Di are both keen cyclists with fantastic knowledge of the region.

Cycling accommodation near Lourdes and Col du Tourmalet

Pyrenees trip. Lourdes, and the Vallees des Gaves

The picturesque village of Saint Sevin
The picturesque village of Saint Sevin

Today was an early start with a flight from Lyon to Toulouse and then a drive down to the Pyrenees to continue my research and meetings in popular cycling destinations.

The first meeting of the day was with John Kirk, who has owned a hotel in the beautiful village of Saint Savin, just above Argeles Gazost. The hotel sits just up out the summer heat of the valley floor, with spectacular south facing up the Gaves Valley toward the Col du Tormalet.  The 15 bedroom, 30 bed hotel is popular with cyclists thanks to its location in the heart of some of the most famous cycling routes in the world. The local tourist office sells a cycling guide, available in various languages with 20 detailed road cycling routes in the area, including the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aubisque, which starts right from the hotels front door. John is a keen chef and former road cycling racer. He is extremely enthusiastic about cycling in his region and always happy to offer a little route advice for the day.

Ardiden Velos
Ardiden Velos

Later in the afternoon I popped up to see the resort of Luz-Saint-Sauveur at the start of the climb to the Col du Tourmalet. Despite being the later end of the winter ski season, it is clear to see that this is a fun family friendly tourist location which will be bustling with cyclists and mountain bikers come the summer. The local bike shop Ardiden Velos, is run by English couple Matthew and Nicolette Collins and they offer some of the best bikes in the area.

Hotel Lourdes
Hotel Lourdes

My final stop today was at the Hotel in the town or Lourdes at the entrance to the valley. Located right in the heart of the town, this hotel has very comfortable bedrooms, all en-suite and provides a large breakfast buffet. The owner is a keen cycling fan and encourages the cyclists to stay at the hotel. They offer secure bike storage, free transfers from the local airport or train station. They are happy with groups passing through the region, even for just one night and should they wish to, will allow groups to make use of their kitchen to prepare their own meals.

Tomorrow I head to Bagneres de Bigorre on the other side of the Col du Tourmalet and the Valley de Campan.

Bike Lodging trip to Bedoin Mont Ventoux

Domaine des Pins17/03/2015 – Enjoying an over night trip down to visit a number of properties and businesses in the Mont Ventoux region. I set of yesterday from the Alps in warm spring sunshine. The weather remained beautiful all the way on the 3 hour trip up until about 10km from Bedoin, when a bit of rain came in. I parked up at my first property just outside Crillion le Brave, a beautiful medieval village clustered together on the a hill top overlooking the Mont Ventoux. The property that I have come to visit and spend the night in is owned by an interesting and charming Hungarian/German couple who moved to France over 50 years ago.  They brought the property 25 years ago and since then it has been used to offer under privileged children and summer holiday house and more recently a romantic location for weddings. Their plans are now to offer the house for groups of cyclist. Despite the inclement weather, the

View of Mont Ventoux from the property
View of Mont Ventoux from the property

property is stunning and set in huge grounds with a swimming pool fed from an old Roman well filled from waters sourced direct from the Mont Ventoux. The 15 guest bedrooms which sleep up to 30 are basic but with good beds. Meals taken under in a canopy of trees in a beautiful court yard and on chilly nights in a beautifully converted barn. This property will generally be rented on a self-catered basis, but there is a catering service in the local village who are able to come in and provide meals for large groups.

This September, Bike Lodging, who also offer an outside catering service, will be hosting a group of 24 cyclists at this property.

Haute Route Pyrenees 2015

Route of the 2015 Haute Route - Pyrenees 15th - 21 August
Route of the 2015 Haute Route – Pyrenees 15th – 21 August

This years edition of the Haute Route Pyrenees, see the riders start on the beautiful Basque Atlantic costal town of Anglet on the 15th August and heading in an easterly direction into the heart of the Pyrenees before finishing in Frances fourth largest city Toulouse on the 21st. This seven stage event will cover 805km with 21’ooo meters of climbing. For the first time the event will stage a pre race, non timed parade around the streets of Anglet.

The Haute Route event is open to most levels of cyclist with a good level of fitness from rookie to expert. Each stage is professionally marshalled with medical crews and mechanical support on hand, rolling road security and even a film crew. All stages are times, so team and individual times can be ranked at the end of the day in to gender and age categories.

Haute Route - PyreneesHaute Route Pyrenees 2015 Stage by Stage 

Prolog Friday 14th August: Grand Village Depart and non-timed parade.
Stage 1 Saturday 15th August: Anglet to Pierre Saint-Martin (137km, 4050m+) Col de Bagarui 1327m, Ascent of La Pierre Saint-Martin.
Stage 2 Sunday 16th August: Pau to Pau ( 159km, 2800m+) Col de Marie-Blanque, 1035m, Col d’Aubisque 1709m, Col du Soulor 1474m.
Stage 3 Monday 17th August: Pau to Hautacam (104km, 3100m+) Col du Doulor, 1474m, Hautacam, 1635m.
Stage 4 Tuesday 18th August: Argelès-Gazost to Saint-Lary Soulan (113km, 3900m+) Col du Tourmalet, 2117m, Col d’Aspin, 1489m, Col d’Azet, 1580m.
Stage 5 Wednesday 19th August: ITT Saint-Lary Soulan to Pla d’Adet (12km, 953m+) Pla d’Adet, 1660m.
Stage 6 Thursday 20th August: Sainte-Lary Soulan to Superbagnères (123km, 4100m+) Col dAzet, 1580m, Col de Peyresourde, 1569m, Port de Balès, 1755m, Superbagnères, 1791m.
Stage 7 Friday 21st August: Bagnères-de-Luchon to Toulouse (157km, 1300m+) Col de Menthé, 1349m.

Other events organised by Haute Route:

5th Edition of the Haute Route Alps 23rd – 29th August Geneva – Nice
2nd Edition of Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps 31st August – 6th September Geneva to Venice.

For more information on the Haute Route Pyrenees or any other even organised by Haute Route, visit www.hauteroute.org

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Images thanks to www.hauteroute.org

For bike friendly accommodation across the Pyrenees visit BikeLodging/Pyrenees

Ventoux Night Session

Ventoux Night Sessions 2015
Ventoux Night Sessions 2015

On the night of the 13/14th June 2015, Malaucene will host the fourth edition of the Ventoux Night Session, an event which aims to get over 200 road cyclists to the summit of Mont Ventoux in time for the sunrise. This year Malaucene will be the host and point of departure town and see riders climbing up the north side of the famous mountain.

During the evening leading up to the event the town hosts a pasta party for competitors, family and support staff. Pasta, bread, cheese, desserts, coffee and of course wine are all served, before some dash off for a couple of hours’ sleep.

Podiumcafe.com
From Podiumcafe.com

The start is staggered, with the expected slowest setting off at around 2.30am and progressively faster groups setting off at half-hour intervals. This is not a race, but a social event with the aim to get everyone to the summit for sunrise. The roads are closed to all but cyclists and support motorcyclists who patrol the route. A van transports competitors’ warm clothing to the summit for the group sunrise photo and for the chilly descent back to the valley.

Solidagri - Event chality
Solidagri – Event chality

Back in Malaucene, local pastries are served for breakfast with hot drinks, followed by a short ceremony and raffle.

Single rider €31

Tandem team €51

Pasta Party €10

Registration link

Event official charity Solid’ Agri