Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Four

November 4, 2008


By day four we were starting to ache, but the largest mountain between us and Barcelona was still on the agenda.

The Col du Tourmalet stands at 2,115 metres (however they work these things out), which is more than two kilometres, straight up. If there had been a nice, flat cycle path all the way back to London town, I would have taken it at this point.

I checked the map, and there wasn’t one, so we set off South again. Dave once again shot off ahead, although he was slowed down when one of the cleats fell off his shoe. Despite limping along like this, he still beat me to the peak.


We met again at the top, and once again I raced ahead on the way down to make up for my poor performance on the way up. I chased a Peugeot for 10 miles or so, but backed off when I briefly looked down to investigate a strange smell and noticed that my front brake was actually smoking.

I quickly ducked behind a hedge and waited for Dave to overtake, before sneaking past him again and racing downhill for another 10 miles or so. Once the road began to flatten out we had to grudgingly start using our legs again, but compared to the uphill section it was a doddle, and we covered some good distance in no time.

We found a small hotel to stay at that night, and popped to a local pub for a drink once we got showered. I took the opportunity to whinge on endlessly about the remaining Cols, and told Dave that I was going to pop out of the Pyrenees, and go around the bottom to Barcelona.

Back to the start – On to day five


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